I’m turning 30 in less than one month! I’m trying not to dwell on this scary thought, so I’m distracting myself with Christmas baking and this maple cream fudge. Of course, I had no idea how difficult fudge-making was when I started pulling together my ingredients. I can make caramel without the slightest worry. I don’t stir, and instead I just let the sugar boil until its caramel, brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Easy. Somehow fudge was more difficult to make. I guess I just lacked practice.
In my first attempt at maple cream fudge, I don’t think I was careful/vigilant enough with my stirring, so the fudge was overcooked on the bottom of the pan, and when I stirred it, I ended up with a moka-colored fudge, which was not what I was going for. Luckily enough, the texture was not bad (perhaps a touch drier than it should be), and the extra-caramelized flavor of the fudge was actually quite pleasant, though the flavor of the white chocolate was hidden.
My second attempt yielded a much creamier, more maple-y fudge. I stirred it carefully, focusing on the saucepan and never once leaving it to do something else. The texture was lovely, worth the non-stop stirring. And even though I had some trouble with my candy thermometer which was water-logged inside its glass case, I’m happy to say, I finally achieved fudge-success.
Here are some tips on how to successfully make fudge (though, even a mild screw-up ends up pretty tasty too, so don’t worry!):
- Get yourself a proper candy thermometer! I have one like this, but I think I need to upgrade since mine is now waterlogged. Many bloggers and bakers recommend this one.
- There are two important temperatures to fudge-making: 115°C (240°F), the temperature you heat the fudge to, and 43°C (110°F), the temperature you cool the fudge to before beating it. They are essential to perfect fudge.
- Beat it, but only when the fudge has reached 43°C, and, if you’re using an electric beater (or a stand mixer), beat just until the fudge mixture has thickened and lost some of its luster. This takes only a couple minutes.
- Don’t just buy a candy thermometer and toss it in a drawer, untouched, use it.
- The saucepan I used was a 3-quart (2.8L) stainless steel pot with a diameter of about 18 cm and a height of about 12 cm. This is just right for this fudge recipe, any smaller and it would’ve erupted out of the pot and been a disaster. So, choose your saucepan wisely, please!
“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.“
To make this fudge, I followed some of the tips from Ricardo magazine and I adapted the recipe from Olive magazine. This fudge combines the flavor of white chocolate with Coureur des Bois maple cream liqueur. The smooth, creamy texture and sweet, maple-y flavor of this fudge are fantastic. If you can’t get Coureur des Bois maple cream liqueur in your area, try Baileys irish cream liqueur. It won’t be maple-y, but it will be delicious.
Fudge-making is not easy, but neither is turning 30. At least I can practice making fudge to distract me as I count down the days to the big 3-0.
Maple cream and white chocolate fudge
- 500 grams granulated sugar
- 500 mL whipping cream 35% fat
- 150 grams white chocolate finely chopped
- 50 mL <a href="http://coureur-des-bois.com/cream">Coureur des Bois</a> maple cream or <a href="http://www.baileys.com/Gateway/">Baileys</a> irish cream
- Line an 8×8-inch pan with parchment paper, leaving overhangs over two sides. Grease the other two sides with a little vegetable oil or oil spray. Set aside for later.
- Measure out/prepare all your ingredients. Set aside.
- Set a large stainless steel bowl of room temperature water in your sink. This is to cool your fudge later on so the bowl needs to be big enough to hold your saucepan.
- In a medium-large heavy-bottomed saucepan (3 quart or 2.8 L), on medium-low heat, stir together the granulated sugar and the cream until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Raise the setting of the stove to medium when the sugar has dissolved. Clip your candy thermometer to the side of the pan and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Be sure to work your spoon into all the edges and grooves of the pan. Please don’t sample the mixture at this point, you risk seriously burning your fingers and your lips in the process.
- Patiently stir the mixture non-stop until your candy thermometer reads 115°C (240°F).
- Immediately remove the pan from the heat, add in the chopped white chocolate, continuing to stir constantly, and also add the maple liqueur (don’t be alarmed if the mixture boils up a little when you add the alcohol. It’s normal, just keep stirring, carefully).
- When the white chocolate is dissolved, place the saucepan in the large boil of tap water , and let the fudge mixture cool, untouched, until the thermometer reads 43°C (110°F).
- Quickly transfer the mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer equipped with the paddle attachment, and beat for about 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth, a little thickened and not as shiny.
- Transfer the fudge to the prepared 8×8 pan and let it set for about an hour at room temperature, then in the fridge (covered with plastic wrap) for several more hours. Cut and serve.