I love fudge. In fact I would go so far as to say I am obsessed with fudge. But not just any fudge, South African fudge! This fudge doesn’t taste anything like the fudge you get in the UK/US, it is sweet and soft and granule-y in texture. It has a beautiful hint of condensed milk, and demands that you eat at least two pieces in a sitting. (I’ve been known to eat 6 at a time, but don’t tell my mom…)
My South African colleague brought in a small tub of fudge last week, purchased at his local South African store. Once I realised there were only 4 pieces in the tub, and 13 people in the office, I ran around trying to steal fudge out of people’s hands. Which is when he issued the challange: South African fudge is impossible to make unless you are over 45. Now normally I would agree with him, because fudge is generally tricky to make unless you’ve seen it been done before and actually know what they mean when they say “the soft-ball stage”, but this time I decided to challenge it as I am into challenges lately!
After googling many recipes for South African fudge, I settled on one that claims to be foolproof. And I am very happy to report, it is exactly that. Without knowing what to expect, I managed to make a delicious batch of the fudge I remember from my childhood.
The recipe I used is from Lynda at Food, Fun & Farm life in East Africa. (http://foodfunfarm.blogspot.com). It is a little different to any other recipe I’ve found, but it’s those differences that make it so delicious.
Foolproof South African Fudge
1,5 kg Sugar
45 ml golden syrup
1 x 390ml tin condensed milk
1 x tin water (refill the empty condensed milk tin with water to measure)
100 g margarine
1 ½ tsp vanilla essence
1 ½ tsp cream of tartar
250 ml flour
Mix the flour and sugar together. Melt syrup, condensed milk, water and margarine in a large (preferably non-stick) saucepan. Add the flour/sugar mixture to this, stirring continuously. As soon as the mixture starts to bubble, add the cream of tartare and stir quickly to blend. Turn the gas down to medium and allow to simmer gently for 20 minutes. (It is important that the mixture simmers constantly for the full 20 minutes.) Remove from the stove, pour into a clean bowl and add the vanilla essence, stirring to blend. Now beat the mixture with a wooden spoon for about 10 – 15 minutes and it will start to thicken as it cools. Once it begins to thicken (to the consistency of thick porridge) pour it immediately into a greased baking tray and allow to cool and set before cutting into squares.
This fudge is great as a little gift – just pop a few pieces in a cellophane bag and tie with a pretty ribbon. I have chosen to just scoff the whole lot myself! (Frank has stated that it’s too sweet for his Australian taste, so more for me…)