It's time to bring on those Christmas recipes. I am a very mangalorean gal at heart and I can't think of Kuswar without kulkuls and the usual . That being said, I'm thinking of experimenting a bit this year. I'm thinking of giving the kulkuls a miss this year, (the first time in the 6 years I've been married) not that I've gotten tired of them or anything, God knows that will never happen, ( and I can feast on the ones my mum and aunts make anyway) but I'm looking for a bit new something. I looked at many recipes, and came across this one in the Hummingbird Bakery's book " Home Sweet Home". Now it's hard to ignore a recipe that needs just 4 ingredients and promise you vanilla fudge.
Now, ideally this recipe requires a sugar thermometer, but I don't got no sugar thermometer and I'm sure hundreds of people, have made vanilla fudge, without ever feeling the need for one and I'm one of them. For the fudge to set, you need to boil the mixture till it comes to a soft ball stage. To check if the sugar mixture has reached a soft ball stage, you let the mixture boil for a while till it sort of comes together in the pan. You can test if the mixture is ready by taking a spoon of the mixture and dropping it into a bowl of cold water. If you can bring the mixture together with your fingers to make a soft ball, the mixture is ready. You can watch this video that gives a quick explanation of the same.when you're cooking this. Also remember, the mixture gets very hot as it boils, so be careful and specially cautious if you got kids running around in the kitchen. Frankly, it really is pretty simple, or like my grandma used to say " you'll just know" when it is ready and boy was she right.
So apart from the little precision you'll need to know for when to stop heating the mixture, this recipe is just about mix and stir. Keep a bowl of cold water and a greased tray ready before you start cooking. Once the mixture is at the soft ball stage, you just want to quickly do the needful and get it into a pan and let it set. Let the fudge completely set before you cut it, even if it means you have to let it sit for a couple of hours.
If in the rare case, the milk splits while cooking the fudge, worry not. Continue with the recipe and after adding the vanilla, whisk the mixture vigorously till it comes together, and it will. This is tried and tested. A whisk is a magical instrument, specially while cooking puddings and custards.
This quick and easy vanilla fudge makes a lovely addition to Kuswar and is a perfect treat, for both adults and kids. I've reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe and found this to be the right amount of sweetness for me and wouldn't mind even a tiny bit lesser. This fudge has a lovely creamy and soft texture with delicious vanilla flavour for company. It's all yours.
Vanilla Fudge :
300 ml milk
300 caster sugar
100 gms butter plus extra for greasing
1 tsp vanilla extract.
1. Start by greasing a 7 inch square tin with butter. Alternatively you can line it with butter paper that overhangs on the sides, which will make it easier to lift the fudge once it has set.
2. In a non stick pan, bring the butter, milk and sugar to boil, stirring continuously. Continue to let it cook, till it gets to a soft ball stage, making sure to stir throughout, so it doesn't catch on the bottom of the pan, . This will take about 20 minutes.
3. When it reaches the soft ball stage, take it off the heat and let it cool for about 5 minutes, (without stirring) till a skin forms on the top. Then stir in the vanilla and beat with a spoon for about another 5 minutes.
4. Pour the fudge into the prepared tin and let it cool completely. Do not refrigerate.
5. Cut into pieces after the fudge has completely set.