Give and Bake - Rum and Raisin Fudge
Baked presents are a wonderfully decadent break from the norm and miles better than the usual gift vouchers and bath salts
I remember the feelings I had on entering a fudge shop for the first time as if it were yesterday – it was like Fudge Narnia!
I was at a theme park (where you lose all sense with your money) and was overwhelmed by the huge array of choices and the quantities of fudge on offer.
They sold every flavour imaginable – and some that I'd never heard of – and I had the freedom to choose whatever I liked.
I asked for countless different types but, disappointingly, many of them tasted similar, except for rum and raisin. This flavour has remained a firm favourite of mine to this day.
Makes 24 squares.
YOU WILL NEED
50ml dark rum
100g raisins, roughly chopped
100g butter, plus extra for greasing
397g can sweetened condensed milk
450g demerara sugar
Pour the dark rum into a bowl and add the chopped raisins. Set aside to soak.
Grease a 20cm (8in) square cake tin and line it with non-stick baking paper.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
Remove the sugar crystals that have become stuck to the inside of the pan, above the bubbling solution.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring constantly, until it reaches 116°C (240°F), which is known as the softball stage.
Remove the saucepan from the heat. Allow the temperature of the mixture to drop to 110°C (230°F) before beating it with a wooden spoon for around 10 minutes until the mixture is very thick and almost has the consistency and look of smooth peanut butter.
This step is vital for thickening the fudge, so ensure that you beat the mixture until it is very thick and stiff.
Next, stir in the raisins and the rum, then pour the mixture into the prepared tin and set aside for about 3 hours, allowing everything to cool.
When the fudge has completely cooled, cut it into 24 small squares using a sharp knife.
Photograph by Yuki Sugiura. Recipe from 'The Vintage Sweets Book' by Angel Adoree, published by Mitchell Beazley. octopusbooks.co.uk