Sunday, December 11, 2011

Salted caramel fudge: russian fudge's creamy cousin


Fudge, it seems, is rather difficult to fudge up.

They used to let us tackle it as kids to keep us occupied: just throw everything in a dish, microwave and stir, and voila you have fudge!

Making a grown up version however, proved a tad more challenging.  I seriously stuffed the recipe up.  I zapped it on too high a heat, didn't keep track of how long I microwaved it for, and generally didn't pay enough attention to the recipe.  At one point I had laid out my just-starting-to-set fudge into the pan, then turned around to see the white chocolate that was supposed to go into it, still sitting on the chopping board.  Then the white chocolate seized.  This fudge really could've been an utter disaster, but miraculously, I still ended up with a delicious creamy fudge.  Go figure.

A Nessie proof fudge is a fool proof fudge.



I've tried many a different types of fudge in my day: chocolate, peanut butter, russian, creme brulee even, but I'm not actually a big fudge fan.  Sure, I'll eat a piece if offered, but I always find it crumbly, gritty and tooth-achingly sweet.  Akin to eating a cube of sugar.

I wasn't a big fan that is, until I had some Russian Fudge the med students' association gave out when I was buying my ball tickets earlier this year.

It was a fudge revelation.

It was creamy, caramelly, not gritty or crumbly, not too sweet and so so moreish.  It was fudgetastic.

So I set out to re-create that fabulous fudge experience so I could give them out as edible Christmas pressies this year and came up with: Salted Caramel Fudge.  Like Russian Fudge but creamier and with an irresistible salty sweet combo.


The recipe really isn't terribly difficult.  All it requires is putting everything in a bowl, microwaving and stirring.  Perhaps that's why it stumped me, it was almost too easy.

I used a candy thermometer to get the mixture to a firm ball stage (like when you make caramels).  The original recipe didn't require you to do that but I wanted my fudge to be like a cross between a fudge and a caramel.  It did not disappoint.


Salted Caramel Fudge

recipe adapted from Taste.com.au

makes around 48 pieces

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
125g salted butter, chopped in to cubes
200g white chocolate, chopped finely
1 x 395g sweetened condensed milk
3 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 Tbsp golden syrup (I'm going to try and replace this with all corn syrup next time to mellow it out a bit)
1/2 - 3/4 tsp normal salt (or 1 1/2 tsp sea salt)
optional: extra sea salt to sprinkle on top (don't use normal salt though!).

1. Line a 22cm x 16cm rectangle dish with wax paper making sure it goes right up the sides with some overhang.

2.  In a large microwave safe bowl, place brown sugar,  butter, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup, golden syrup and salt and stir to combine.  Microwave uncovered on Medium-High (our microwave is 1200W) in 2 minute bursts whisking in between each bursts for a total of around 8-10 minutes until the mixture comes to a bubbling boil.  I lost track of how many times I put it back in the microwave but I did make sure the mixture went over 244oF to a firm ball stage using a candy thermometer.  If you don't have a candy thermometer, heat until you can drop some of the mixture into cold water and form a firm ball with it. Taste and add more salt if required - remember you'll be adding white chocolate so it can afford to be on the salty side.

3. Then, microwave uncovered on Medium-High in 1 minute bursts, stirring with a wooden spoon in between each burst for another 5-6 minutes.  The mixture will thicken up and go a lovely golden colour.  I made sure it reached 244oF again before I stopped microwaving.

4. Place the bowl on a heatproof surface and wait for the mixture to stop bubbling. Add the white chocolate and stir until smooth.  Pour into your prepared pan and smooth the top.  Let it set at room temperature for at least 3 hours.  Lift the set mixture on to a chopping board. Cut into around 2cm cubes with a sharp knife, cleaning the knife between each cut (heating the knife would help with a cleaner cut too). Keep wrapped in wax paper in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 month.

15 comments:

  1. I don't like fudge for those exact same reason! Gritty, crumbly and oh so very very sweet. I've tasted fudge so sweet that all I could taste was the sugar - no flavour. Your salted caramel fudge intrigues me! Might just have to give it a go...

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  2. As usual, your recipe struck me at just the right time: I, too, am gifting edibles this year. I made a batch of this today and it is fabulous. The texture is just right. The taste isn't as salty as I was expecting. (You have been on a caramel kick lately, haven't you?)

    Interestingly this is the first time I've made fudge in the microwave. In the US it is made on the stovetop using marshmallow fluff instead of condensed milk. Here in NZ I have only made it once, not long ago, using a River Cottage recipe, again on the stovetop. That didn't go well; it turned out grainy. Your fudge was perfect even when I said "stuff this; I've been microwaving for ages and it's caramelly and thick, but it's not at 244 °F yet" and proceeded with the recipe. Way to go...now I'll have to adapt a chocolate version...

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  3. Sugar and Spice: I can't stand the normal stuff either!! This is def more a cross between fudge and caramel. The very best of both sweets :)

    Kelly: YAY! Awesome that you like the recipe! I'm making more this weekend (had to replace the batch I scoffed). I seem to be going through a caramel and mint & chocolate obsession lately...omg imaging something minty caramelly AND chocolately. It took ages to get to 244oF but I was so worried it wouldn't set...soooo not bothering next time!! Mmmmm chocolate would be soooo goooooooood...

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  4. oo looks good! i've never made fudge before so this looks like an easyish recipe to follow, thanks :)

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  5. I am so there!!! I always make that microwave russian fudge recipe, and have wondered about flavour variations. this looks amazing!

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  6. Hi again Nessie - I did make a few more batches of this. Replaced white choc with Whittakers 72%, plus 1/4 cup of Bailey's, and that one was YUMMY. Also did one with some 72% and some Signature Range dark choc buttons (ran out of the Whittakers stuff), no Bailey's. That batch was a bit more crumbly but still smooth. Neither were quite as unctuous as the caramel batch, though. Let yourself go wild; this recipe adapts really well. :)

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  7. This recipe looks great! I just made Russian Fudge (stove top -Edmonds Cookbook recipe) in the weekend, which was much harder to make than I remembered!

    Where do you get your corn syrup from?

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  8. Katie: Thanks Katie! I haven't made fudge in years and years and managed to not stuff this one up so I reckon it must be fool-proof!

    timeforalittlesomething: Hi fiiive for microwave fudge making! I am so on the band wagon too!

    Kelly: Mmmmmmmm your variations sound amazing Kelly! I am a total sucker for Baileys! Can't wait to try out your variations x

    Grace Cakes: I literally hadn't made fudge since primary school and stuffed up this recipe soooo much as I was making it but it still ended up delicious! A very forgiving and patient recipe this is :) I buy my corn syrup (and my icing tips) from the very lovely Sandra of www.kiwicakes.co.nz :)

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  9. hey gorgeous where do you get corn syrup? xxx

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  10. anya: hello lovely! I get mine from the lovely Sandra at kiwicakes.co.nz :)

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  11. Heya! Thanks for the awesome recipe. I Bought some salted caramel flavour fudge from Camden market the other day and was in love, so I randomly tried to find a recipe. The last time I made fudge, it was more like burnt toffee than anything. Your recipe worked a treat - id never have imagined making fudge in the microwave.

    It's a little crumblier than i'd like, but it's got the taste, smell and look of fudge, so I'm more than happy.

    Thanks again!! How easy do you think it'd be to make peanut butter chocolate fudge using the microwave method?

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    Replies
    1. We were in London in Camden in Oct 2013, and also had the salted caramel..... could not forget. Got them to ship some to Norway. Fantastic

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  12. Just wondering how long should these last if wrapped up? Im doing a christmas hamper for Christmas and would love to pop these homemade treats in. Thanks

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  13. Hi I want to try your recipe but need some clearity. is golden syrup the darker version of clear corn syrup?

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  14. Marshmallow Fluff? Yuck! We've always used this recipe for a rich, firm fudge that is not at all grainy or crumbly :

    Ingredients

    3 cups (18 oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
    Dash salt
    1/2 to 1 cups chopped nuts (optional)
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    MICROWAVE METHOD
    LINE 8- or 9-inch square pan with foil, extending foil over edges of pan. COMBINE chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk and salt in 1-quart glass measure. Cook on HIGH (100% power) 3 minutes or until chips are melted, stirring after 1 1/2 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Spread evenly into prepared pan. CHILL 2 hours or until firm. Remove from pan by lifting edges of foil. Cut into squares.

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