Throughout my primary school ‘career’ my mother made chocolate and caramel fudge for my school fetes. She specialised. None of this branching out into coconut ice or toffees and the like. No, she remained true to her talent and my brother and I would lug ice cream containers FULL of fudge into school during fete season.
Many of my friends LOVED my mother’s fudge. I wish I could claim a long-held family recipe handed down from generation to generation, but… on a visit to my hometown this weekend we ‘delved’ into our family’s history to ascertain the origins of the aforementioned fudge.
And… would you believe it – my most favourite fudge – her ‘Russian Caramel’ actually came from a now disintegrating Good Housekeeping lift out?! And we think the just-as-loved chocolate fudge recipe evolved from a recipe book which accompanied her first Sunbeam mixmaster (circa late 1960s).
On this particular visit I played the ‘daughter’ card and begged asked my mother nicely if there was any way she would consider making a batch of russian caramel fudge for, well,… for me. And yes… emotional manipulation still DOES work when you’re over 4o years old it seems!
So, compliments of Good Housekeeping 1958, I present to you, my mother’s very-delicious caramel fudge; and having watched and (again) participated in the preparation I’m thinking that even I could make this.
Melt 1lb (2 cups) sugar in 1/4 pint (1/2 cup) milk in a saucepan on the stovetop.
Add 1 tablespoon golden syrup and 2 oz (6o grams) butter and stir until the sugar granules have disappeared.
Increase heat until the mixture boils and allow to bubble away for about 2 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 tin of condensed milk (we used light condensed milk and it was fine).
Allow to boil again. Stir. Stir more. And stir more again.
Once boiling allow to simmer as the mixture thickens and darkens (this takes about 20 minutes, but continue to stir during this time).
Test thickness by stopping spoonfuls of liquid into icy cold water.
When the mixture is firm – but still soft, remove from the heat.
Allow to sit for a few minutes to cool, then beat (by hand if you still live in the 1970s as my mother does and have a groovy handbeater – providing fun for the whole family as everyone gets a go to beat the bejesus out of the mixture).
Once the mixture starts setting slice into small squares. Turn out when cool.
Eat as desired, but exercise caution as (I know from experience that) projectile vomiting may ensue if entire pounds of fudge are eaten at once.
I took my inspiration from an Ernie and Bert milk and cookies sketch last night as it cooled.
SUPPOSEDLY one tray was for me (me, me, me. Yes, it’s all about me!) and the other was for my niece (ie. for my brother to transport home to his almost-16 year old). To make sure it all remained even I kept taking equal amounts out of both trays… cos that’s the kind of considerate girl (and aunt) I am. I mean, I’d hate my niece to miss out at all.
I swear that this caramel fudge is delicious another than the subjective judgement bits required at the end, it’s bloody easy to make. Plus (take it from me) the icy water tasting testing stage is fun for the whole family. Not to mention the licking of the beater and pot. Etcetera.