Apologies for the rather tasteless title, but it is, technically, what I have been doing this afternoon. With extra time on my hands I decided to make some of our Christmas gifts this year. I considered making truffles, but they don’t keep that long. I even considered these ‘gifts in a jar’ where you layer up the ingredients for, say a cake or come cookies, and attach a label with the recipe on, but they do seem a little lazy and if you’re giving a ‘cake’ then as you can’t put eggs in the jar, you can’t even give all ingredients required!
In the end I settled on fudge. I had made fudge once, many years ago, as a teenager, but couldn’t remember how. So I searched for a few recipes on the net. Many involved heating the mixture up to precisely 115C which I didn’t really fancy messing about with. For a start, I don’t have a sugar thermometer. Then I came across this Nigella recipe. It looked simple, so much so I wasn’t sure it would work, but then I convinced myself that the only reason you need to heat the ingredients up to a specific temperature in other recipes is because you need to dissolve the sugar properly. In the Nigella recipe there is no sugar to dissolve.
I ditched the pistachios though; I wanted something a bit more Christmassy so I went with glace cherries and sultanas instead. Of course there are many other flavours that would work and you could experiment with a few combinations to find your favourites.
350g dark chocolate (two thirds of the chocolate I used was 85% cocoa and one third was 70%)
1 x 397g can of condensed milk
30g salted butter
100g glace cherries
I broke up the chocolate and melted it down with the condensed milk and butter, stirring regularly to ensure everything was mixed in properly. Once everything was kinda of gloopy, I stirred in the glace cherries and the sultanas. I then spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet lined with kitchen foil, smoothing the top with a wet knife, and left it to set in the fridge.
My god. It was so simple to make! The most difficult part was wrapping up bundles of pieces of fudge to transform them into gifts. I cut the fudge up and put 10 pieces onto a sheet of cellophane, with a sheet of tissue paper on the outside and tied them up with ribbon. I managed to get about 100 pieces, admittedly they are on the slim side as I used a bigger tray than Nigella, but I was able to make 9 gifts with left overs for Gav to scoff.
Arts and crafts aren’t exactly my thing, but I think they look alright considering!
The fudge itself is pretty unattractive but it’s tasty and really rich with the chocolate.
I think next time, I’ll try some ginger, maybe some orange peel and I’ll certainly make the slices a bit thicker!