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Vanilla Fudge

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Introduction

For some reason this is known in the Antipodes (and I got this recipe from a Kiwi) as Russian Fudge and, although I like this name better, I feel that it perhaps leads the rest of us to expect something altogether more exotic, when this is the plain, comforting, yet temple-achingly sweet, confection of my childhood.

I confess that even listing the ingredients below makes me hyperventilate slightly. I am no stranger to excess, but even I baulk somewhat at the amount of sugar and so on needed. But it does make an awful lot of fudge: as you can see, my portion control is rather erratic, but I reckon you can get 77 pieces out of it. I also have to preface this recipe with a warning: fudge is not exactly difficult to make, but it is dangerous. Unless you proceed with caution you will burn your pan and yourself. Never leave the pot, and make sure there are no children nearby. Mobile telephones are banned for the duration, too.

You need to use your own instinct as to how long to cook the fudge. The recipe I was given indicated it took 20 minutes; my fudge was ready after 12. Just make sure you have a bowl of cold water nearby. Drop small amounts of the molten fudge into the water and if it sets (known as soft ball stage) it's ready. Or you can use a sugar thermometer, which will indicate 'soft-ball stage'. The final whisking is what turns what is a pan of toffee (though you could leave it like this if you want smooth fudge) into grainy texture traditional fudge - or what the Scots call Tablet - demands.

I highly recommend adding some sea salt flakes - I imagine two teaspoons should do it - but since I made this for my daughter (and children are nothing if not traditionalists) I didn't dare stray from convention.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

For some reason this is known in the Antipodes (and I got this recipe from a Kiwi) as Russian Fudge and, although I like this name better, I feel that it perhaps leads the rest of us to expect something altogether more exotic, when this is the plain, comforting, yet temple-achingly sweet, confection of my childhood.

I confess that even listing the ingredients below makes me hyperventilate slightly. I am no stranger to excess, but even I baulk somewhat at the amount of sugar and so on needed. But it does make an awful lot of fudge: as you can see, my portion control is rather erratic, but I reckon you can get 77 pieces out of it. I also have to preface this recipe with a warning: fudge is not exactly difficult to make, but it is dangerous. Unless you proceed with caution you will burn your pan and yourself. Never leave the pot, and make sure there are no children nearby. Mobile telephones are banned for the duration, too.

You need to use your own instinct as to how long to cook the fudge. The recipe I was given indicated it took 20 minutes; my fudge was ready after 12. Just make sure you have a bowl of cold water nearby. Drop small amounts of the molten fudge into the water and if it sets (known as soft ball stage) it's ready. Or you can use a sugar thermometer, which will indicate 'soft-ball stage'. The final whisking is what turns what is a pan of toffee (though you could leave it like this if you want smooth fudge) into grainy texture traditional fudge - or what the Scots call Tablet - demands.

I highly recommend adding some sea salt flakes - I imagine two teaspoons should do it - but since I made this for my daughter (and children are nothing if not traditionalists) I didn't dare stray from convention.

For US cup measures, use the toggle at the top of the ingredients list.

Ingredients

Makes: approx. 77 pieces

Metric Cups
  • 250 grams soft butter
  • 1 x 397 grams can condensed milk
  • 175 millilitres milk
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 800 grams granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 sticks soft butter
  • 14 ounces can sweetened condensed milk
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • 4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Method

  1. Fill a small bowl or jug with ice cold water and put near the stove. Grease a tin of approx. 30 x 20cm / 12 x 8 inch or 25cm / 10 inch square, or use a throwaway foil tin, as I have in the picture.
  2. Put all the ingredients, apart from the vanilla, into a large, heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Boil for 12-20 minutes, still stirring all the time, until the mixture is golden and, when a bit is dropped into the water, it turns solid but still squidgy, i.e., till soft-ball stage (see intro). How long this takes depends on how ferociously it bubbles as well as on the properties and dimensions of the pan. This is hot work!
  4. When the fudge is at soft-ball stage, very carefully remove the pan from the stove and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Preferably using an electric whisk beat for about five minutes, by which time the fudge will have thickened to the texture of stiff peanut butter - this is quite steamy and strenuous - and pour and push into the prepared tin. Smooth the top as well as you can.
  6. Put in the fridge to cool, but don't keep it there for more than 2 hours, or it will set too hard, then remove and using a sharp knife, cut into squares. This is not a geometrically accurate term, as you can see from my cutting skills.
  1. Fill a small bowl or jug with ice cold water and put near the stove. Grease a tin of approx. 30 x 20cm / 12 x 8 inch or 25cm / 10 inch square, or use a throwaway foil tin, as I have in the picture.
  2. Put all the ingredients, apart from the vanilla, into a large, heavy bottomed pan and bring to the boil, stirring constantly.
  3. Boil for 12-20 minutes, still stirring all the time, until the mixture is golden and, when a bit is dropped into the water, it turns solid but still squidgy, i.e., till soft-ball stage (see intro). How long this takes depends on how ferociously it bubbles as well as on the properties and dimensions of the pan. This is hot work!
  4. When the fudge is at soft-ball stage, very carefully remove the pan from the stove and stir in the vanilla.
  5. Preferably using an electric whisk beat for about five minutes, by which time the fudge will have thickened to the texture of stiff peanut butter - this is quite steamy and strenuous - and pour and push into the prepared tin. Smooth the top as well as you can.
  6. Put in the fridge to cool, but don't keep it there for more than 2 hours, or it will set too hard, then remove and using a sharp knife, cut into squares. This is not a geometrically accurate term, as you can see from my cutting skills.

Tell us what you think

What 32 Others have said

  • Amazing recipe! Easy to follow and fantastic fudge!

    Posted by DebJz on 1st December 2020
  • Best fudge ever and the easiest recipe to follow which was a bonus! Mine took exactly 12mins to soft ball stage and probably the same amount of time for us to polish it all off!

    Posted by EllieW on 23rd July 2020
  • I've tried many recipes for fudge and this one is by far the best. I only use this recipe and I've never been disappointed. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

    Posted by Linda-V-B on 24th May 2020
  • Love love love this recipe. Could anyone tell me when I try to make a double batch in the same pan it’s not setting

    Posted by Ellen77 on 15th April 2020
  • Best fudge ever. Just made it. My passed grandma's fudge used to taste this good. Thinking of her while munching. MMMM

    Posted by CeciliaYorkshire on 24th March 2020
  • Everyone loves this recipe, and comment that it tastes better than shop bought! Great no fuss recipe.

    Posted by Skyblue62 on 12th December 2018
  • Oh, thanks for such easy to follow recipe! I did it today!!! It was my first ever making of fudge and to minimize loss ( in case everything would go wrong) I halved the amount of ingredients. It took me intuition and 15 minutes to reach "soft ball"stage. Everything else was straightforward and the fudge is just delicious! Going to make full butch for X-mas presents :)

    Posted by Aniram78 on 24th September 2018
  • I absolutely love this recipe! It was my first time making fudge and used this recipe, it turned out to be an absolute winner! So proud of myself X

    Posted by Marizella on 13th June 2018
  • This is a lovely fudge and I can't stop making it. Wonderful flavour and so smooth. I only have 2 tips, if your fudge doesn't set just put it back in the pot and reboil to 114° - 116° then remove from heat and leave without stirring until it cools to 43° - 50° and beat until it's setting in the pot,transfer to a tray and cool. I hope this helps,it's so worth it!

    Posted by Jools73 on 31st May 2018
  • THE BEST FUDGE EVER!!! Amazing fudge, and actually surprisingly easy with an awesome result :)

    Posted by -12345- on 7th June 2017
  • Wow! This is only the second time I've tried to make fudge (first time about a decade ago, when Imade fudge flavoured ice-cream sauce...). I had half a tin of evaporated milk left over, so divided down the recipe. One change of pan needed - I hadn't realised quite how much the mixture would boil up - but otherwise, it went perfectly. I got a good workout at the end beating the mixture! It took less than an hour to set in the fridge, and now I have a whole tub full of fudge for the weekend. Thank you!

    Posted by Toonster on 13th January 2017
  • Fabulous fudge!! Despite me changing pans twice, forgetting to whisk initally before pouring in tray and having to pour it out again it still set and tasted fantastic. Used thermometer to ensure it reached 116C. The bowl of ice water was handy for my wounds from the hot fudge :-)

    Posted by Redhair4ever on 20th December 2016
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