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Recipe: South African Fudge

South African Fudge


This is, quite simply, the best fudge you will ever taste. Having spent my childhood in South Africa, I was quite accustomed to this delicious, crumbly confection. Imagine my disappointment the first time I tried American fudge; bland and syrupy. There is no comparison. I'll let you decide for yourselves though ;-)

It's very important when making this recipe, that you perform the steps in order and don't add ingredients before it is time. It's really a very simple recipe but it can easily go wrong if you don't follow the directions (I should know). You begin with a simple syrup, made by heating sugar and water. Once the sugar dissolves, the butter, salt and corn syrup are added. After the butter is melted, add the condensed milk. The vanilla essence is not incorporated until the fudge is completely cooked and caramelised. This is the most crucial step because it's what causes the fudge to crystalise and take on a crumbly cookie texture. This is a double recipe, enough for a 9 x 13 pan. I actually used a cookie sheet this time but I found the fudge was a little thin on the edges.

Ingredients


Ingredients

4 cups white cane sugar
2/3 cups water

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup light corn syrup (actual recipe calls for Golden Syrup but it's difficult to find in America)
1 tsp salt (if you use salted butter, drop to 1/2 tsp salt)

(2) 14 oz cans condensed milk (I like Eagle brand because the only ingredients are milk and sugar)

1 tbsp vanilla essence (TABLESPOON)

Equipment

9 x 13 dish, or 1/2 sized cookie sheet
Aluminium foil
Whisk
Sharp knife


Cover a half cookie sheet with foil


Cover a half cookie sheet with aluminium foil. This will make lifting the fudge out much easier after cutting. The image shows a full sized cookie sheet but I felt it was too large, even for this double recipe. The ends barely touched the edge of the sheet and crumbled when I cut them.



Make a simple syrup
Add the butter, corn syrup and salt to the simple syrup

Make a simple syrup: Add the water and sugar to a large pot and stir on med high heat until the sugar dissolves. Add the butter, corn syrup and salt.

Add the condensed milk 

Once the butter has melted, add both cans of condensed milk. Continue to boil the mixture until it turns to a medium caramel colour (about 15 minutes). Be sure to continue mixing or it will over-caramelise and burn. It's alright if it caramelises a little on the bottom (as shown in the image below), just be sure to mix really well.

Boil until mixture is caramel coloured and add vanilla essence

Add the vanilla essence. Be sure to incorporate it really well, stirring for at least 3 minutes. Pour the mixture into the pan and let it set. When it is no longer hot to the touch, use a sharp knife to cut the squares. Do not wait too long to cut the fudge, or it will crumble. Carefully remove the fudge from the dish by lifting the aluminium foil. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.




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