Stressful week over.
The last few hours were aided by one of the most powerful sugar hits around. Good news is that it keeps for at least 3 weeks in an airtight container- I know, I found some lurking in my desk drawer.
Fudge/Tablet is one of those things that is difficult to get continuous results from. I’ve made this recipe on 3-4 different hobs and the results ranged from burnt black, to creamy fudge, to butter tablet.
The difference? Beating time.
Beat for a short amount of time, and you get caramel, beat for a bit longer you get fudge and beat until you’re about to drop and you get butter tablet. You can’t eat any of these in large portions, so it’s probably a good thing.
My rule for fudge making- don’t be dissappointed. Work with what you’ve got- I’ll give you some ideas that I’ve had in making the most of what others would call failures.
For this recipe I wear a long shirt, sometimes use a sugar thermometer and often swear. Find your favourite swear word, it’s fudge making time!
For those using electric hobs, I suggest having two rings on to do this recipe, as you need it to boil, but you also want to control the temperature. So have one on the maximum heat setting on one on a middle-heat for when it gets quite vigorous.
Gas Hobbers- be aware that your hob may be uneven and that the mixture may burn to any slight dent. Just keep stirring. If it begins to burn, change pans.
This recipe comes straight off a tin of Nestles condensed milk, but I always forget to write it down before I recycle the tin. Not this time! Only after writing it, did I find it on their website, so check that out for yet more tasty treats to be made with Condensed milk (http://www.carnation.co.uk/Default.aspx).
Note, mine never turns out like that in the picture, hence why I’ve called it butter tablet/fudge/caramel.
397g (1 Can) condensed milk
150ml Milk (Whole or semi-skimmed)
450g Demerara sugar
Grease and line a square tin. An oven tray is not suitable for this as you are going to want the tablet in large chunks rather than sheets. You can get away with using cling-film without it melting, so the choice is up to you. I use a brownie tin.
Put all the ingredients into a pan (My trusty IKEA one for me, though a thick base would probably work better) and begin heating on a low heat until the sugar is dissolved. This took me about 5 minutes.
Are your arm muscles ready for a work out?
Bump up the heat so that the mixture is boiling, so look for plenty of bubbles, then turn it down a notch. Keep stirring the mixture for 10-15 minutes as it simmers away.
It will begin to change colour, and become a more golden brown, and will well up and begin to thicken a little. This is a good sign.
You’re looking for the mixture to hit between 116-118C on the sugar thermometer.
It’s probably not going to do it in that time, so turn it down a bit lower and keep pushing on, unless your mixture starts to
burn to the base, then change your saucepan. Stir like there’s no tomorrow!
If you’re fed up just take it off now. The result will be a softer, creamier fudge.
If you’re not sure, split your mixture into two pans and cook one for longer.
Remove the pan from the heat and beat the fudge for another 10 minutes, until it becomes tough going. It’ll begin to stick to the sides, and you’ll be able to tell what result you’re getting from the bits stuck round the edges.
This is the time to add any dried fruits or nuts that you want to. Chocolate chips will still melt at this stage, so maybe sprinkle them on top of a setting mixture.
If it’s soft and crumbly you’ve got a pot of tablet. If it’s not, you might have fudge, or it might not have set at all. Keep beating until it’s impossible to stir.
If you’ve cooked it for long enough you’ll notice it’ll be beginning to set, and chances are you’ve got tablet.
Pour this into the pan. If you’re going for a fudge, smooth it out, or if you’re going for tablet, do you best to try and control it as it sets as you pour.
Leave to set, then chop into squares.
Any butter tablet crumbs can be bagged and used as an ice-cream sprinkle!
I had a batch that looked like it had set, until I had to pull a knife through it. It had the texture of the caramel out of Mars bars underneath the more toffee-like surface.
If you’ve got it on baking paper, scrape it off into a bowl and add 200g melted chocolate to it. Mix it in and you’ll notice that you’ll essentially get a very rough chocolate fudge, that will set! Dollop it back into another lined tin and leave for a while to set.
Sugar rush over!