So at 10pm ish, in an already messy kitchen, with a 7 year old helper* and a baby in one arm, I attempted to make fudge for the first time.
*I had come up to turn J's light out, and he said "but I'm tidying my room!" so I let him, and then A was nearly due home so I said he could stay up until Daddy got back, then he came down and asked if he could help... So goes bedtimes at our house. But he was genuinely very helpful, and of course we don't have to get up in the mornings!
Makes 36 cubes
2lbs (1kg) sugar. An entire packet. J's eyes nearly popped out of his head when I tipped the whole thing in.
6oz (175g) unsalted butter
1 tin (410g) evaporated milk
Roughly 1/4 pint (125 ml) milk
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan (she's not kidding. I used the biggest one out of a set of three, and the mixture absolutely EXPLODED out of it when it came to the boil). Lightly grease and line a square or rectangular cake tin.
2. Pour the tin of evaporated milk into a measuring jug then top up to the 1 pint (500ml) mark with the milk.
3. Add the milk and sugar to the pan over a low heat and leave it for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
4. Bring to the boil, then boil rapidly for 15-20 minutes, stirring continuously, until the syrup reaches the 'soft ball stage', meaning 1/2 teaspoon of syrup dropped into a cup of cold water holds its shape and looks and feels like a piece of soft toffee when you squeeze it. This is good advice. I tested mine after 15 minutes due to the amount of mixture lost in the explosion, and it was exactly like that. You could pretty much tell it was ready as it gets very thick to stir.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the fudge to cool for a few minutes (pour into a new pan if you can bear the extra washing up, and stand in a bowl of cold water), beating almost constantly. When it is thick, grainy and has lost its shine (looks like fudge, basically), scrape it into the prepared tin.
6. Mark the fudge into squares after about 15 minutes, leave it in the tin for at least 2 hours to cool completely, then lift it out, cut it up and store in an airtight tin.
From How to Feed Your Whole Family..., p232.
We only got 30 squares, due to the amount of mixture
DON'T WORRY when your saucepans (and oven, and work surfaces) are covered in this brown, rock hard, sticky stuff:
It just dissolved in hot soapy water when I washed them