We like to get into the Christmas spirit early.
Maybe this is due to the mass marketing that most stores seem to adopt, from around the end of October, but it could also be because when it comes to Christmas, you can never be too old to get excited. I still can’t sleep the night before Christmas, and apparently its no longer okay that I wake the whole house up at 6 am on Christmas day.
But with the end of the year, comes the inevitable end of year Christmas parties. Some of these are tamer than others, but when I say tamer I am actually just referring to the severity of the hangover the next day.
The LIB was asked to make some gifts for one of these Christmas parties. On the recipe stand this time, was chocolate fudge and roasted cinnamon almonds.
First up, the chocolate fudge. Now bear with me on the instructions, as this is quite a complicated recipe, not for the ingredients necessarily, but more for the technical nature of actually making fudge.
The ingredients that you will need are:
1 2/3 cups castor sugar;
2/3 cup evaporated milk;
1/2 teaspoon salt;
170g dark chocolate discs;
165 mini marshmallows or 16.5 regular marshmallows (cut in half);
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence/extract;
First, line a loaf tin with wax paper. In a 3 litre sauce pan, over a medium heat, bring the sugar, evaporated milk and salt to a rolling boil (the mixture should literally look like it is rolling over and over), stirring until the sugar dissolves and the mixture begins to boil. Continue to boil rapidly, stirring constantly to prevent burning, until the candy thermometer reaches 108 C (which is below the soft ball range).
Remove from the heat, and stir in the chocolate chips until melted, add the marshmallows and stir until these have also melted and the mixture is smooth. Then stir in the vanilla. and pour into the wax paper lined loaf tin. You need to do this quickly as the mixture will start to harden and solidify as soon as it starts to cool down.
Let the fudge cool a bit (a tip from the LIB is to not let it cool completely as it will be easier to cut into squares with less breakage).
Once the squares have cooled completely, store in an airtight container. We actually keep our’s in the fridge, as the fudge squares are quite sensitive to heat. Keeping them in the fridge also makes them a little harder to get to, and you don’t end up eating them all in one go. This is one of the few techniques that I’ve found actually works.
Don’t worry if the cut pieces don’t come out perfect, as any defects will result in the fudge having a little bit of character, and plus it means someone gets to eat all the rejects.
Seeing as these were a gift, we split up the pieces and put them into bags, and then used a sticker to seal the bag.
I think that’s enough indulgence for one day, plus I think I’ve overloaded myself on left over fudge pieces (I was going for a personal best here), so I’ll have to leave the other part of the gift to another time. Do yourself a favour and make yourself a bitter cup of coffee, as this compliments the fudge really well.