Walnut, maple and milk chocolate fudge

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 40 people

"Anyone who works in my kitchen at Flour and Stone will tell you that my track record with fudge is disastrous," says Nadine Ingram. "I have tried over and over again to make it the same as they do at the fudge shop in my husband's home town of York, with varying levels of failure. I was determined not to be beaten and refuse to make fudge using condensed milk, since there is always that niggling feeling that I'm cheating. After reading up a little about the science of fudge-making I'm thrilled to be able to share this recipe and the secrets I learnt on my arduous journey. A heatproof spatula is the best thing to use for fudge. I know it may seem more comfortable using a wooden spoon, but they have little impurities inside the wood and you may risk this crystallising your fudge. I found a lot of recipes say not to stir the sugar at all because it will crystallise but this only happens if you stir it after it has started to boil." Start this recipe a day ahead to set the fudge.

  • 500 ml (2 cups) each pouring cream and heavy cream (40%-45% fat)
  • 140 ml maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp liquid glucose
  • 2 tbsp vanilla bean paste or scraped seeds of 2 vanilla beans
  • 100 gm butter
  • 1.2 kg caster sugar
  • 300 gm couverture milk chocolate buttons or couverture chocolate, finely chopped
  • 160 gm walnuts
01   Heat creams, maple syrup, glucose, vanilla and butter gently in a large saucepan over low heat then, when the liquid begins to boil, shower sugar into the saucepan, and stir gently and calmly until incorporated. Bring to the boil, then leave it alone and brush down sides of pan with a clean pastry brush dipped in boiling water to remove crystals. Increase heat to medium and occasionally push a heatproof rubber spatula along the bottom of the pan in a criss-cross pattern to prevent fudge catching on the bottom. Boil until mixture reaches 116C on a sugar thermometer (15-20 minutes). Remove from heat and cool for 5 minutes without stirring.
02   Melt chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water (3 minutes) and line a 20cm x 30cm slice tin with greased baking paper.
03   Stir fudge slowly until it starts to thicken. As soon as the spatula starts to leave a trail, add chocolate and fold a few times until smooth and combined. Pour into prepared tin, press walnuts into the top and leave overnight at room temperature to set. Cut into 5cm x 3cm pieces or into bars of your desired size for friends and family to enjoy at Easter. Fudge will keep stored in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
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