Did you think I had gone for good? Not yet. Hello! Happy Middle of January everybody! I have lots of lovely photos of things to share but I haven’t got round to writing the posts. I look at the photos and then I look at the keyboard, and my back hurts and I can just think of other things I would rather be doing than blogging, but this one was just begging to be written so here goes with one of those recipe posts with asides designed to let you into the cluttered (clotted?) thought processes of my mind. I think there must be a name for this type of post. Food Confessional? Bridget Jones Does Food? or the ‘OK it is a recipe post but really I am lonely and want you to love me by leaving me lots of comments sort of a post’ ? I am not sure, but they are fun to write anyway.
Clotted Cream Vanilla Fudge with Glacė Cherries
Do you have food stuffs like this in your home? I am sure you don’t, but every time I have opened the fridge since Christmas this tub of Roddas finest clotted cream has waved at me.
“Yoo, hoo”, it says, “What are you going to do with me????” And today it was waving slightly frantically and whispering in an out of date sort of way,
“Surely, you are not going to chuck me, just because of a date, no-ooo-ooo!!!”
Why didn’t we just eat it as it was? All will be revealed…
We don’t eat cream out of the carton on account of the asthma thing plus I am not good at eating fresh cream, it makes my tum gurgle and roil, but if it is boiled up and turned into fudge then suddenly it does neither of these things. Oh dear, this is turning into one of those 7 not very interesting facts you never really wanted to know about me sort of posts, get a grip Joanna – right now. OK here goes…. (pdf for recipe without all the asides click here)
- 227 g carton out of date but perfectly good Roddas clotted cream (meant for Mother-in-Law at Christmas who couldn’t come due to an outbreak of winter virus at her nursing home, well you did wonder I am sure, and you see that bag in the first picture, it’s going to her today)
- 275 g of organic unrefined granulated sugar (Billingtons must have had an offer on when I bought this)
- 50 g golden syrup (do you like those new bottles they sell this in? they sort of crackle don’t they? I find them very unnerving)
- 50 g Danish (probably Swedish, see Misky’s comment) light syrup (another lost soul in the pullout purchased circa 2008 as I had squeezed all I could from the golden syrup bottle)
- pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of homemade vanilla essence (I have a litre of this made circa 2009)
- a teaspoon of glucose syrup (bb 2007, unopened)
- 120 g of glacė cherries (2012 Yay!) cut up with scissors for speed (meant for a Christmas cake that didn’t happen, not the natural ones, but the bright red ones that my husband considers to be ‘proper cherries’)
- Have a glass of cold water near your hob.
- Line an 18 cm square tin, bottom and sides, with baking parchment.
- Put the extra halves of cherries in the pan, which should appear on the top when you eventually turn the fudge out. (This was an afterthought, I freely admit, I am big on afterthoughts)
- Put everything except the cherries, in a deep heavy bottomed pan.
- Gently heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved and everything is well mixed
- Increase heat and put your sugar thermometer in the pan.
- When the mixture reaches the soft ball mark (116° C) lift pan off heat and drop a blob from your wooden spoon into the glass of cold water. it should form a nice soft but distinct mass, if it just dissolves into a cloud, it is not hot enough. I get little blobs with tails usually.You should most definitely taste to confirm the evidence of your eyes and the thermometer of course. You could do it again to double check if you happen to be fasting on the day you make this. (I am a mad impetuous fool).
- If you add the cherries about halfway through the next stage or as close to the end of the beating part as you can, then they won’t break up as much as mine did.Though ours went a delightful – some people might mutter ‘lurid’ under their breaths – shade of pink (hidden benefits).
- Find someone who likes beating a pan vigorously with a spoon for about five to ten minutes and offer them some inducement to do the hard bit, which is to beat the fudge until it goes thick and starts to seize up, the colour also changes from super shiny, through to a matt look. Or do it yourself if you are firm of arm and enjoy such activities.
- Pour and scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and leave to cool completely or even over night.
- Turn out, peel the parchment away, and cut into small squares with a heavy knife and swiftly dispense to everyone who likes it. If you have any left, then keep it in the fridge and it will get more grainy and less creamy over time. If one small and delectable square happens to find its way into your mouth, forgive yourself. Life is short and there will be more steamed vegetables tomorrow. Steamed broccoli fudge doesn’t have quite the same ring to it though, does it?
- Do you have any exotic leftovers from Christmas in your fridge that you need to use up?
PS For a much more detailed and serious discussion on getting your fudge just right do read Celia’s great post here. Life is a learning curve.