Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Vanilla fudge with raisins

Aww, Christmas is now officially over! I always reluctantly get back to everyday life again. The best time of the year is over. It's done. It's gone. It needs some time to get used to again. Then again, it only takes one glance at my homework to feel like it's miles away. Nooooo! Don't leave me!!


So let's just enjoy Christmas one last time in this recipe: Vanilla fudge with raisins! Nothing says "special occasion" to me like fudge does. No, that's not true.. There's a lot of things that scream special occasion to me: like gluhwein, home made panforte, a bag of candied apple and roasted almonds, Greek dark chocolate with almonds. But fudge is definitely on that list of "things-that-instantly-make-anything-special". Add a few raisins and a bit rum or whiskey and tadaa~ definitely special occasion worthy.

Vanilla fudge with raisins
25 by 15cm brownie tin (10/6inch) - original from Lakeland

100 grams raisins
3 teaspoons rum/whiskey (optional)
400 ml (sweetened) condensed milk
150 ml (whole) milk
450 grams cane sugar
115 grams butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1. Put the raisins in a bowl and sprinkle the alcohol over them. Cover and leave to soak.
2. Add all the ingredients (apart from the raisins) into a pan. Set on high heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture starts to boil.
3. Leave to boil on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Keep stirring until a sugar thermometer reaches 115 degrees Celsius or 240 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don't have a thermometer, do not stir the mixture but instead wait until it bubbles and boils uncontrollably and rises up high in the pan. Leave on high heat, while stirring, for another minute.
4. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the raisins. Keep stirring for about 5-10 minutes till the fudge has noticeably thickened.
5. Pour into a brownie-pan or other tin and leave to cool.
6. Cut them into fudge-sized pieces. The fudge can be kept in an airtight container for several weeks. (Which makes them perfect to send to far-away or not-so-far-away friends and family for Christmas.)

If you like a really prominent taste of rum or whiskey or anything else you'd like to add, there's a few things you can do:
    1) Leave to soak overnight. Preferably in a bit more whiskey, so the raisins really get to soak
    everything up and you'll get hit with a boost of flavour every time you bite into one.
    2) Add a spoon or two of whiskey or essence at step 4: after you take the fudge off the heat and
    you'll be stirring for a while.
    3) Add more whiskey.
The whiskey here is just an example, because you can add literally anything here. From different alcohols to juices. I'm not sure if anything with a lot of acids might work, like lemon juice, because it might kill the milk. But if you know/find anything that works please let me know!

Okay, I'll be the first to admit the pictures don't look great, but I gave them away as presents!
So taking pictures had to happen quickquickquick!
To my surprise, this recipe was a huge success. It was the first time that making fudge actually turned out as it should for me (probably thanks to my new thermometer!), but I still hadn't expected to get so many compliments about it. I didn't leave my raisins to soak for very long, so the taste of whiskey was probably non-existent unless you knew it was there. People liked it! And I was totally excited about them.

Did you have anything that turned out to be a huge success this year? Anything that rocked your Christmas dinner? Please let me know! Just because I'm a horribly curious person.

8 comments:

  1. Yeah the homework is the worst part :--(
    But this fudge looks so good that I'm sure it makes up for it, right? haha xx

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    1. Yup, it totally is. I remember telling myself before the vacation "I will do lots of work in the Christmas vacation so I can go easy after". I don't think I've so much as looked at it in all that time >.<
      But wait! it get's worse.. The fudge is already GONE! Nope, it's time to face it. Christmas is over.. Unless of course, you bake me a batch of cookies with your new cookie-cutter! :D

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  2. Fudge with raisins soaked in whiskey? And, even more whiskey in the fudge itself? I am SO there! And, yes...thermometers (both candy and oven) as well as scales for measuring ingredients, ROCK. So glad that everyone enjoyed the generous homemade gift of Christmas fudge. It looks scrumptious! Where's my box? ;) xo

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    1. Ehh.. I think.. ahmm... yes, your box got lost in the post. That's it. Totally sent you one! It's a pitty really. You'll be missing out on all this delicious, tasty, wonderfully, amazing, mouth-watering and super-good fudge. You know it! :P
      On a side note, I never actually realized how much I needed a thermometer until I actually got one! Im still figuring out how to use it, but recipes suddenly seem to work out finely, so I must be doing something right ;)

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  3. I love fudge too and adding raisins is a great idea! I agree that it is sad the holidays are over, but I'm looking forward to nicer weather. I'm also going to check out your panforte recipe - I've always wanted to make it!

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    1. You should! You really and totally should taste panforte! (in my humble opinion: panforte > fudge. That says something right?)
      Now all the holidays are over I'm looking forward to the warmer weather as well. Best time of the year for cooking with fresh ingredients ;)

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  4. Your fudge looks and sounds amazing. Fudge makes an occasion special in my humble opinion. Oh, and my house is still a bomb site and it's almost mid-January! I just say we're having an extended festive season.

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    1. Thank you so much - and I know the feeling, even with the decorations gone it still looks chaos in our house. I like to call it cosy ;)

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