The scent of bubbling butter, milk and sugar as it starts to
caramelise and turn into fudge reawakens the childish pleasures to be found in
creating something out of nothing.
This is the recipe I described in the article in
The Sunday Telegraph’s Stella
magazine. It’s based on a recipe from my
mother’s copy of the
Rural Institute Cookery Book (1946) and is in my first cookbook
Modern British Food (see Books).
The sweet illustration opposite is by Neil Packer. He filled MBF with wonderful whimsical
drawings. This umbrella appears under
the recipe for fudge.
55g unsalted butter plus extra for greasing
450g granulated sugar
255ml creamy milk
1 tablespoon golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grease a small 20cm square tray about 2.5cm deep with
butter. Set aside.
Clip a thermometer onto a heavy-bottomed saucepan and add
the sugar, butter, milk and syrup. Place
over a moderate heat and stir until the ingredients have dissolved. Bring slowly to the boil and boil hard until
the mixture reaches 116°C/240°F/soft ball.
Immediately remove from the heat, add the vanilla essence,
and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture changes its
consistency and becomes thick, pale and creamy.
This gives it a melt in the mouth texture, but will take a good 5-10
Quickly pour into the greased tray before it becomes too
firm and leave to cool. As soon as it
begins to set, cut the fudge into small squares, otherwise it will be
impossible too break into pieces later.
Eat when hard.