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Recipes! Get fudge on the menu

Fudge is a drier version of fondant that is usually found in confectionery, like peppermint thins.

Chefs at Capsicum Culinary Studio, South Africa’s leading culinary school, get to grips with fudge.

In the late 17th century, the word fudge meant to fit together or adjust. By 1800 it meant a ‘hoax or cheat’ and by mid-century the use of the term “oh, fudge!” was used as a kid-friendly expletive when something was messed up.
It is believed the first batch of fudge was created when someone was trying to make caramel, didn’t get it right and exclaimed, ‘Oh, fudge’. The name stuck.

The earliest mention of fudge dates to 1888. An American, Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, wrote a letter describing her introduction to the sweet treat through a friend’s cousin.

While the Americans claim fudge as their own invention, some think it is an offshoot of a confectionery from Scotland called a tablet. The tablet is made with sugar, condensed milk and butter. It was first noted in The Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie in the early 18th century.

The record for the largest slab of fudge in the world weighed over 2,600kg. It was made at the Northwest Fudge Factory in Canada in 2010 and took a week to make.

A tiny island in Michigan in the US considers itself the fudge capital of the world. There are over a dozen fudge shops on Mackinac Island which is just 7km², with a population of around 500. The oldest fudge shop on the island – Murdick’s Candy Kitchen – opened in 1887.

During peak season, Mackinac Island churns out over 4 535kg of fudge daily. Every August, the island hosts the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival, complete with events like Fudge on the Rocks where local bartenders craft fudge cocktails and festivalgoers referred to as ‘fudgies’.

Mamie Eisenhower, the wife of the 34th US President Ike Eisenhower (1953-61), was a huge fudge fan and crafted her own recipe, Mamie’s Million-Dollar Fudge, which included chopped nuts and marshmallow crème.

Good fudge is about sugar crystals. Big sugar crystals make fudge taste grainy, while very tiny sugar crystals result in a creamy, sweet fudge.

Amarula Fudge – for the grown-ups only!
1 cup white sugar
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
80ml Amarula*
2 cups white chocolate chips
10 large marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grease a 20cm x 20cm tin and set aside. Using a large saucepan, combine the sugar and condensed milk and cook on medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Stir in the white chocolate chips until melted. Stir in the Amarula and marshmallows. After the marshmallows have completely melted, add the vanilla extract and beat vigorously for a minute. Pour the fudge mixture into the tin and allow to cool (about 1 hour) before cutting into squares.
(* You can also use Baileys, Kahlua, Tia Maria etc.)

Carrot Cake Fudge
680g white chocolate chips
1 tin condensed milk
2½ tablespoons pureed carrot (use baby food)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Grease a 20cm x 20cm tin and set aside. Using a large saucepan, melt the white chocolate chips and condensed milk over medium heat until smooth and combined, stirring often. Add the carrot baby food, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir continuously, making sure the mixture does not burn. After the fudge thickens and large bubbles start to appear, remove from the heart and vigorously beat in the vanilla extract for about 1 minute. Pour into the tin and let it cool for at least an hour before cutting it into squares.

Chilli Fudge (also one for the adults only!)
1 tin condensed milk
120g unsalted butter
250g light brown sugar
270g white chocolate
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp chilli flakes (use less or more depending on your palate)
½ tsp of vanilla essence
On low heat, stir the condensed milk, butter and sugar until melted. Turn the heat to medium-high and continue stirring until it bubbles and thickens. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate, salt, vanilla and chilli flakes and stir until thoroughly combined and smooth.
Pour into a greased 22cm x 20cm tin and chill in the fridge for at least four hours before cutting into squares.


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