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  1. A few days ago I mentioned on twitter that I was making fudge – and had lots of requests for the recipe.

    There seem to be a lot of different fudge recipes out there and what goes into them varies a lot – some use evaporated milk, others condensed milk, other milk and lots of sugar. This is pretty much the recipe I grew up with, although I’ve substituted vanilla bean paste for vanilla essence (what we had way back then).

    I wouldn’t make this without having a sugar thermometer – it makes life so much easier. I also wouldn’t make this with kids – boiling sugar is nasty stuff if it gets on your skin. Use a large saucepan so the mix has space to bubble up – a minimum of 2.5 litres will do the trick.

    Ingredients :

    397g can of condensed milk. I haven’t ever tried the low fat version but I suspect it might not work too well.

    150g milk – if you have full cream milk that’s great, but we have skimmed and that works fine.

    225g dark brown sugar (or light brown sugar or demerara if that’s what you have)

    225g caster sugar

    100g butter

    large pinch of sea salt flakes

    1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste.

    Before you start cooking line a 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper. Most recipes will tell you to grease the tin first, but I’ve never found that necessary. Get out a large mixing bowl – the fudge goes into this to stop it cooking and you don’t want to be digging about for one once the fudge has cooked.

    Method :

    Put all of the ingredients apart from the butter and vanilla bean paste into the saucepan. Place over a low heat until all of the sugar has dissolved, stirring frequently.

    Once the mixture is smooth raise the heat to medium and bring the mixture to the boil, again stirring frequently. As soon as the mixture comes to the boil reduce the heat so that the mixture is gently simmering. Put the sugar thermometer into the pan and cook until the mixture reaches 114-116 degrees C / 237 – 240 degrees F (It’s much easier to read the temperature on the Fahrenheit side of your thermometer)

    As soon as the fudge reaches the required temperature tip the mixture into the mixing bowl. Add the butter and vanilla paste. leave for a moment then stir a couple of times to combine.

    Leave the fudge alone without stirring it for 5 minutes – this allows it to start cooling. While this is happening, boil a kettle full of water, tip it into your fudge pan and put the pan over a low heat – this will make cleaning up a lot easier.

    After 5 minutes, beat the fudge (a wooden spoon is easiest for this) until it thickens, stops looking shiny and starts to become grainy. Pour into the prepared tin, level it and leave to go cold before cutting.