My great-grandmother (who we called Granny) made the best fudge. She used four ingredients — milk, butter, brown sugar and vanilla, all measured by eye. She cooked the first three on the stove until the mixture reached just the right consistency, then added the vanilla, removed the pot and stirred and stirred.
Stirring, she said, was the secret to really good fudge.
I don’t know that anyone in my family has successfully recreated her recipe, but I think this year I have come close.
When I found Marion’s Fudge recipe on Sue Riedl’s Cheese and Toast blog, I had a good feeling. It calls for cooking the caramel until the soft ball stage and then beating it with an electric mixer until it starts to crystallize.
The mixer, I thought, would have the same effect as Granny’s stirring.
What I licked from the beaters and bowl has that familiar taste and consistency. I’ve resisted (since Saturday!) cutting into the fudge because I want to have some to share with my family when they visit Dec. 27.
Sue’s recipe calls for Becel margarine and whipping cream. I used unsalted butter and light cream (18 per cent) because that’s what I had — and I’m a rebel like that.
Marion’s Fudge (my version)
250 mL (1 cup) packed brown sugar
250 mL (1cup) white sugar
90 mL (6 tbsp) unsalted butter
175 mL (3/4 cup) light cream (18 per cent)
5 mL (1 tsp) vanilla
Grease a 20-cm (8-inch) square dish and set aside.
Have a medium bowl ready with vanilla already added.
Into a medium, heavy bottom pot, add sugars, butter and cream.
Heat over high and stir to combine. Let boil until a candy thermometer (or digital thermometer) reads 240 F (soft ball stage). This will take about 10-12 minutes.
Pour mixture into medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, mix on medium-high (careful not to splatter as this is extremely hot) for several minutes until splatter on bowl starts to crystallize and gets dense when you wipe it with a finger. It will be fudge-like.
Pour mixture into dish and allow to cool. Slice and share.