Vanilla Fudge


We’re into week 3 of not having an oven, and my patience is being seriously tested. I’m having to deviate from my list this week because apart from one recipe, all the other oven-free recipes on my list are ice cream. I’m not ready for ice cream yet – it was going to be a summer of ice cream, okay? I have made plans, I will stick to them, and this week I decided to make fudge. Everyone just keep your fingers crossed that next week I have an oven!

Last week my friend Alice returned from Edinburgh and brought with her some butter tablet for me. If you’ve never had butter tablet before, I highly recommend it – it’s basically a better, Scottish version of fudge. So so tasty. As I was flicking through Clodagh McKenna’s ‘Homemade’ desperately searching for something oven-free, I found a recipe for vanilla fudge, and it just had to be made. ‘Homemade’ is a beautiful book – it has amazing photography and I love the layout and everything looks like something you can’t wait to make, which is the sign of a great recipe book for me. Needless to say I have not used it enough yet, but hopefully I will be spending the summer making delicious salads and raspberry cordial and pecan swirls from it.


It’s been a long time since I last made fudge, and for some reason the other day, I decided that it wasn’t that important to stand and watch the temperature of the mixture, so I left it and did the washing up, then looked, saw it was at 180 degrees, panicked and turned it down, only to realise a few minutes later that I’d been looking at fahrenheit instead of celsius. Why don’t people teach you that sometimes there is no value whatsoever in trying to multitask? After that I apparently wasn’t thinking, and never really got it back up to the temperature it was supposed to be at, so once it had ‘set’ I was left with delicious fudge-tasting goo. It didn’t really set that well…

But, I did add walnuts and dark muscavado sugar to the mixture, which made it even more delicious goo, so there you go, not all bad. I will re-attempt the fudge, and next time remember that there is no value in multitasking. 

Vanilla Fudge (from ‘Homemade’ by Clodagh McKenna)

100ml milk

100ml double cream

350g caster sugar

80g butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Place the milk and cream in a heavy-based saucepan, add the sugar and butter, and bring to the boil over a medium heat.

2. When the mixture comes to the boil, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 15 minutes. The mixture needs to reach ‘soft-ball’ stage, which is at 115C. Once this is reached, stir in the vanilla extract. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

3. Beat the mixture with a whisk until it reaches a thick consistency. Pour the mixture into a greased tray and leave to set. Cut into squares. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Variations: Stir 80g of rum-soaked raisins into the mix for fudge with a richer flavour. For chocolate fudge, stir in 90g of melted good-quality chocolate. Add after the mixture has simmered.

Next week, we will see if I become so desperate to bake a cake that I use Oli’s kitchen.


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