Unusual, impressive, incredibly, not-too-sweet fudge petit fours
At a recent Valentine’s Day course at the excellent Woodspeen we were taught how to make fudge.
Saucy Dressings’ readers will know that I am not hot on unnecessary work. I earned some very stern looks at the outset of the class when we were being taught to make butter and I asked outright, “why can’t we just buy it?”.
So when we came to the fudge session I decided to be circumspect. I watched carefully and kept quiet instead. But privately I thought:
“I don’t like fudge because it is too sweet”
“even if I did like fudge, I would just go out a buy it”.
Luckily, post-tasting, a kindred spirit piked up and asked, “it’s a bit sweet, what can I do to bring down the sweetness a bit?”.
One solution offered was to make the fudge using bitter chocolate instead of white chocolate; or to add in coffee, or pistachios. But other than that, the advice was that that was the nature of fudge…it’s supposed to be sweet.
I went home and thought about this. I had the fudge…. time for a bit of experimentation.
This is what you can add to fudge to make it more interesting and less cloying:
- Salt – I used black volcanic salt for Wow! factor – this was a huge success…. from not really liking fudge all that much I progressed (?) to helping myself to several small pieces….. however, one of the Saucy Dressings’ tasters commented that he thought the bits of salt were too big, he didn’t like the sudden salty taste….it’s a matter of taste….
- Dried sour cherries
- Walnuts (which have a bitterness in their skin)
- Cocoa powder (I made a stencil and sieved the cocoa over the fudge, to give a bit of interest)
Recipe for making fudge – adjusted by Saucy Dressings
Makes about 40 small squares
- 1 standard tin (397g/14 oz) condensed milk
- 100g/4 oz/two-fifths of a brick of butter
- 135g/⅔ cup soft brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 100g/4 oz chocolate – white, dark…even milk – ideally ready-chipped
- In a medium sized frying pan, mix the condensed milk, the butter and the sugar.
- Heat slowly. Don’t let it burn, and keep stirring around the edge of the pan, don’t let the mixture dry out on the edge, incorporate it in.
- Break up the chocolate into small pieces if it’s not in chipped form.
- In an ideal world, you would have a thermometer, and as soon as you knew the mixture had reached 110°C you would take it off the heat…. However, we are not living in an ideal world….if you drop half a tsp of the mixture into a glass of iced water it should form into a ball of fudge. The fudge mixture needs to thicken or it will not set. As soon as you feel it thicken, and before it burns take it off the heat. Use an electric whisk if necessary.
- Break the chocolate in, and stir, or whisk.
- Stir in the salt.
- Pour into a microwavable container – bang on the work surface to flatten and get rid of air bubbles.
- cool in the fridge for a couple of hours.
- the key is in the cutting – cut your pieces of fudge small – that way they are not too rich and the sour antidotes atop them will be more effective.
Music to listen to while you experiment
Al Bowlly Ray Noble sings Love Is The Sweetest Thing