I love fudge as much as the next person. At least, I used to. But with every 365 days I add to my life, my sweet tooth seems to be just a little bit less sweet. As if it’s not enough that one has to contend with sagging and spreading, one’s palate apparently also develops ideas of its own. Increasingly I find myself having to alter recipes that have always been favourites, like this fudge recipe. It’s gran’s and it never flops. The texture has that wonderful graininess I associate with any halfway decent fudge. But at the same time it manages to be creamy and it’s not too hard, just perfect in my view. It’s also achingly sweet.
I did not want to tamper with gran’s butter and sugar quantities because I was scared it would mess with the texture. Instead I found a different way of cutting the sweet – by adding loads of bitter cocoa, turning it into chocolate fudge. I made it a bit more adult by adding a dash of brandy too. But the real star of the show here is the cocoa nib outer layer. The deep earthy nuttiness of the cocoa nibs is a fabulous counter for the sweet fudge, and their slightly crunchy texture contrasts nicely too. A recipe of yesterday, made just a touch more modern for today. I think gran would have approved.
All you need is…
4 cups light brown sugar
1 cup boiling water
100g salted butter
2 tbs golden syrup
1 tin condensed milk
4 tbs cocoa powder
1 tbs brandy (optional)
1 packet cocoa nibs (find it at specialist chocolate shops and even some health food shops)
Add all the ingredients together except the brandy and cocoa nibs. Bring to the boil, constantly stirring. Continue boiling over medium heat for a good 25-30 minutes, stirring all the time (a balloon whisk works well for this). Remove from heat, add the brandy if using and whisk for a minute. Pour the fudge into a rectangular plastic container sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with the cocoa nibs and gently press them into the fudge. Allow fudge to set at room temperature or in the fridge. Cut into blocks and tuck in.