The Sweet Swap Fudge
Some posts are destined never to be written but I am determined that this is not one of them. It has been deleted numerous times and thwarted by over zealous tradesman that cut off the internet and then there was the lack of access to a working kitchen. Thankfully I love a good challenge. I also love receiving gifts in the mail so when I heard about “The Sweet Swap” I just had to join in. The idea is you make a sweet treat to be mailed to three other Australian food bloggers and in return you receive three parcels. I signed up to the Sweet Swap prior to getting a date for the kitchen renovation and of course the two collided. So when it came to deciding what to make it had to be something simple that could be made on a camp stove.
Fudge was my answer. I have fond memories of buying fudge as a souvenir from my childhood holidays. For many years we traveled the four hours south from Leicester to the south coast of England and the seaside town of Swanage. The first week of July was spent by the sea. Beach hut for the oldies and Punch and Judy for the kids (look it up, it’s a British institution). Once we had shouted “He’s behind you” enough times, made a few sandcastles and jumped the odd ‘wave’ we would wander round the souvenir shops spending Grandad’s pennies.
I’m not sure about the authenticity of the fudge. It was the 80′s and I have vivid memories of strong coloured pinwheels. Orange and brown for chocolate orange, green for mint, pink – yes pink – I have no idea what that flavour was. I don’t think there was much attention to the more authentic clotted cream fudge of the south west of England, but regardless of how it was made it makes me think fondly of my childhood.
I wasn’t prepared to add artificial colours and flavours to my fudge so I decided to stick to a more traditional flavour of rum and raisin. I also couldn’t resist adding in some chocolate. I also made some traditional fudge from this recipe, with the addition of some vanilla bean paste. I then adapted the recipe as follows below.
Once made the fudge was packaged up and sent to three fellow food bloggers. Not only was this an exciting way of receiving mail it was also a good way of discovering new food blogs.
My tasty treats arrived on three consecutive days extending the anticipation and excitement. First to arrive was some Hokey Pokey Honeycomb from Confessions of a Glutton.
Next to arrive was some Raspberry Coconut Ice from The Culinary Library.
Finally came some Salted Butter Caramels from Love Swah.
None of the treats lasted very long and all added a little bit extra to my waistline, (in a good way). And of course someone had to eat the leftover fudge. Back to the healthy eating next week.
If you’re not following a healthy diet these do make for a great after dinner treat.
Chocolate Rum and Raisin Fudge
50ml dark rum
395g can of condensed milk
100g butter, cubed
500g brown sugar
pinch of salt
100g good quality dark chocolate, broken into squares
Start by soaking the raisins in the rum for at least an hour so that they rehydrate and take on the flavour of the rum. Line a 20cm square baking tin with greaseproof paper.
Put the condensed milk, milk, butter, sugar and salt in a heavy based pan. Heat gently and stir until the sugar has dissolved (camp stove is optional). Once the sugar has dissolved increase the heat and bring the mixture to the boil.
I probably should have mentioned this earlier but you will need a sugar thermometer for this recipe. The mixture needs to boil until it reaches 118C. This will take about 15 minutes and you have to keep stirring so that the sugar doesn’t crystallize. Please be careful when you do this as the mixture is very hot and will leave a nasty burn if you get any on your skin.
Once it has reached 118C take the pan off the heat. Add the chocolate, rum and raisins and stir continuously for 10 minutes to allow the fudge to thicken and cool.
Spoon the cooled mixture into the lined tin. It will be pretty thick by now so you may need to press it into the corners with the back of the spoon. Try to press firmly so you get an even layer that sticks together.
Once cooled cut into small cubes. The fudge is very sweet so the smaller you can cut the cubes the better. Store in an airtight container. They will last for 3-4 weeks (in theory).