Just the word makes me feel all happy. Unless I’m using the word as a replacement for another ‘f’ word when I hurt myself. But generally, when I say fudge, I’m talking about this….
My favourite of allll the fudges is most definitely crème brûlée fudge, which is available from a few places around here. Unfortunately it’s around $5.50 per 100g, and even a few hundred grams sure doesn’t go very far in our house. My aunty bought me a culinary torch a while back that I hadn’t had a chance to
burn myself with use yet, so I decided to give this fudge thing a crack, and then scorch the top into crispy caramelly goodness.
I think people fall into two camps, crumbly fudge lovers or smooth fudge lovers. Since the whole point of crème brulee is the silky smooth custard with crunchy caramel on top, this crème brulee fudge needs to be smooth and melt in your mouth. And it is.
I actually hadn’t made fudge before, and the whole process kinda freaked me out. Especially since I’m a ridiculous perfectionist and I was worried I would cry if it turned out all grainy. Some perusing of the internet and the fabulous book Sugar Baby provided me with three important things to remember…
- Make absolutely sure all of the sugar has dissolved before you bring the syrup to a boil.
- Make absolutely sure you do not stir the mixture until the temperature has dropped below 140°F/60°C. The range given in Sugar Baby is between 43°C-60°C (110°F-140°F). I split the difference and started beating it when it reached about 52°C.
- If the worst happens and your fudge turns out crumbly, you can either learn to love crumbly fudge, or put the whole thing back in the pot with a few tablespoons of cream and start again, reheating it back to 114°C/237°F and following the steps to cool and beat it again.
You can beat the fudge by hand, but as soon as I read that it could take up to 20 minutes for the fudge to thicken, I got out my lazy girl’s best friend (aka my KitchenAid mixer).
When you start mixing it will look pretty slimy and gross. Since you’ve remembered not to stir it at all yet, all the butter (and vanilla) is sitting on the top.
Then after a few minutes mixing it will look a bit like shiny cake batter.
When it loses its shine and looks more like soft cookie dough then it’s done.
What you’re aiming for to keep your fudge smooth is to create the smallest possible sugar crystals. Adding the corn syrup or liquid glucose helps to stop the sugar crystallising before you want it to. The recipe I used first called for 1/4 cup of corn syrup, and I had trouble getting it to set, I’m guessing because all that corn syrup was preventing enough crystals from forming to help it set. So I ended up reducing the corn syrup and tinkering with the amount of butter, and it set perfectly. Not too soft, not too firm, lovely and creamy.
To caramelise the top you’ll need a culinary/brûlée torch. Simply sprinkle the top of the fudge with more caster sugar and heat it with the torch until the sugar melts, bubbles and browns. Look Mum, fire (actually she knew, she was holding the torch for me while I snapped a pic.)
Y’know what excited me the most when I made this? That I didn’t accidentally set myself on fire. That, followed by eating the end product… yep, I class that as a good day.