Making fudge can be a bit of a faff but it is worth it. This recipe uses thickened cream instead of condensed milk giving the fudge a lovely texture and creamy taste. To make this recipe you will need a thermometer to measure the temperature of the mixture as it cooks and cools. Follow the temperature advice; I did not do this the first time I made fudge and ended up with a soft toffee which was OK but not fudge.
400ml double cream
450g caster sugar or light brown sugar
1 dessertspoon liquid glucose
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
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Grease and line the base of either a square 20cm cake tin or 20cm round loose bottom cake tin.
Into a saucepan over a medium heat, combine all of the ingredients and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Put the thermometer into the mixture and increase the heat to high to bring it to the boiling point. Keep the mixture on a rolling boil, stirring occasionally to stop the mixture catching on the base of the pan, until the temperature reaches 116 degrees C. This is referred to as the "balling stage" because if you drop a small amount of fudge into cold water it will form a ball. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool to a temperature reading of 110 degrees C which takes about 5 minutes.
Now beat the mixture with a wooden spoon keeping the thermometer in the pan until the mixture reaches 60 degrees C. You will feel the mixture change texture as it cools because it stiffens and looses the glossy sheen.
Remove the thermometer and beat the fudge for a few minutes and then pour into the prepared tin. The beating stage creates small sugar crystals in the fudge which give it the smooth creamy texture. Leave to cool. Do not be tempted to rush the cooling phase by using the fridge, the fudge will not set properly and remain sticky. Once set, slice and serve.
If you want to add chocolate or nuts or dried fruit to your fudge do so once the mixture reached the 60 degrees C point.