CLOTTED CREAM & CHOCOLATE RIPPLE FUDGE
Cream is definitely in my top five favourite foods. I’ll happily eat straight cream – clotted, single, double, extra thick, whipping, I’m not fussy - unadulterated by any actual pudding and I really don’t care if anyone’s watching. As a child, when we had the classic seventies treat of canned peaches and Carnation milk I can vividly remember sneaking into the fridge afterwards to drink the leftover evaporated milk straight from the two little holes punctured in the can. So the combination of evaporated milk and clotted cream, swirled together with chocolate, makes my dream fudge.
The base recipe for this is Good Housekeeping’s Clotted Cream Fudge. I use Trewithen clotted cream (it has the best crust that melts without leaving any lumps) and Green & Black’s organic milk chocolate with 37% cocoa. A sugar thermometer makes this much, much easier – pretty much foolproof – but if you haven’t got one you can use the soft-ball method. Just drop a splodge of mixture into cold water, if it stays together and makes a soft, coherent ball when squeezed, it’s ready.
Makes about 50 small pieces.
50g unsalted butter
450g granulated sugar
114g carton clotted cream
170g can evaporated milk
1/2tsp vanilla extract
75g milk chocolate, grated
1. Line a shallow tin, between 18 and 21cm square (or equivalent), with baking paper. Use a few smears of butter to make sure the paper is well anchored to the tin.
2. Put the butter, sugar, cream and evaporated milk into a deep, heavy-based saucepan (which has plenty of room for the mixture to bubble up with vigour when boiling) and heat gently to dissolve the sugar.
3. Bring up to a steady boil, stirring constantly, for around 10 minutes. The mixture will seize any opportunity to catch on the bottom of the pan and scorch, so don’t even think about stopping stirring or you’ll end up with burnt speckles in your fudge. When the mixture reaches 116°C on the thermometer, or comes together in a soft ball in water, take the pan off the heat and briefly plunge the base into cold water to stop further cooking.
4. Pour around a third of the mixture into a bowl, add the grated chocolate and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted. Add the vanilla to the remaining mixture and beat for a couple of minutes until it thickens and loses some gloss. The beating breaks down the sugar crystals and gives you a smooth texture. You have to be quite quick here to make sure both mixtures stay hot.
5. Dollop alternating spoonfuls of the two mixtures into the tin (they’ll be quite stiff by now), then gently swirl them together with a skewer to create a rippled effect. Chill for at least three hours before cutting.
6. I’ve decorated mine with some edible glitter and chocolatey drizzles to make a special present. You can leave yours plain or customise as you fancy. To make really lovely fudge slabs for gifts you could press chocolate drops into the surface while the rippled mixture is warm or splatter with white and milk chocolate before cutting into chunks.