Home-made fudge is perfect for gifting, great for making on a rainy day or just because you love it. This recipe for vanilla fudge is a delicious sweet treat.
Start by pouring a 410g can of evaporated milk into a heavy base saucepan. Add 500g of caster sugar, I'm using golden, and 150g of butter. Heat slowly over a medium heat, stirring all the time, until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted. Bring to the boil and cook for 20 minutes, stirring continuously. But do be extremely careful because the mixture's very hot.
So this has been bubbling away for 20 minutes and it's become really thick and golden brown and glossy and at this stage I could use a sugar thermometer and it should reach 115 degrees or soft ball stage. But if you don't have a sugar thermometer, another way of testing it is simply dropping a little bit of this fudgy mixture into some very cold water and what will happen is you'll be able to pick a piece up and just roll it between your two fingers and it should form a little ball, which is exactly what's happening here. And this tells me that another five minutes boiling and it's going to be ready.
Remove from the heat and allow the fudge to cool for five minutes.
Now, using an electric hand whisk, beat the mixture until it starts to thicken, loses its gloss and changes its texture from smooth to slightly gritty.
So my fudge has got a gritty texture, which is what I want, so I'm ready to add some flavouring and I'm going to use two teaspoons of vanilla extract and all I need to do is whisk it in.
Now at this stage, you could also add other ingredients; I've got some glace cherries, rum soaked raisins, or you could add chocolate or pecan nuts, but this is a classic vanilla so it's ready for me to turn into my tin. Pour the fudge into a prepared tin, lined with foil, and leave to set at room temperature; this should take two to three hours.
My fudge is set and it's ready to cut into squares. You can bag it up or transfer it to a storage container. The fudge will keep for up to six months in a cool, dark place. A home-made sweet treat for friends and family.