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 Scottish Women’s 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.

Makes 525g

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 minutes. 

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. 





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