As a kid, I always chose candy, chocolate and fudge over cookies. If I were given candy even today, I would be very happy. So it is only right to have my pecan fudge as the first sweet treat on my cookie list. It keeps for awhile and can be made ahead of time, however, I doubt it will last any longer than a couple of days. Enjoy a piece or two and and not the entire tub in one go – all the best with that!
This is the only recipe of all the 12 that calls for a thermometer, and honestly it will make your life a lot easier if you invest in one, but I do have a few tips if you are making this without one. I am told that to master the art of making candy/fudge takes years of experience and practice and can only be achieved by professionals with fancy equipment. Well, I love a good culinary challenge, and this recipe can be made by anyone who wants to learn something new and eat something delicious.
Finally, let’s talk ingredients. I love pecans, but you could just as well use walnuts, peanuts or a mixture of nuts. The important point here is that the measurement of the nuts should be followed as per the recipe. I was inspired by Anna Olson’s fudge recipe, but I made a few tweaks based my personal preferences.
Makes: 40 pieces
- 115g pecans
- 115g caster sugar
- 115g light brown sugar
- 60ml whipping cream
- 2 tbsp full-fat milk
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground ginger (optional)
- 1 pinch table salt
- In a large pan on medium heat, toast the pecans until their aroma hits the air. This should take just a few minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium saucepan, add all the ingredients except for the nuts and let them melt together until combined. Bring the mixture to 230°C, then add the pecans into the mixture and stir. Bring the mixture to 237°C while stirring.
- Take off the heat and let sit on the kitchen counter until the mixture reaches 212°C. At this point, make sure you DO NOT TOUCH the mixture as it will be scalding.
- Using a wooden spoon, once it reaches the desired temperature, vigorously stir the mixture until it comes together again.
- Drop spoonfuls onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and oil. Leave to set and cool for at least 30 minutes before storing in an airtight container.
- To make this without using a thermometer, add all the ingredients into the saucepan, including the pecans, and cook until bubbling. Using a teaspoon, drop a tiny bit of the mixture into cold water. If you can form the mixture into a ball once removed from the water, you are good to go. If it gets too hard, this means it’s overcooked, so add a little more cream and cook the mixture again until combined. If it’s too soft, cook some more.
- Toasting the nuts is essential as this accentuates their flavour. Whatever nuts you use, this step is a must and cannot be skipped.
- The spices can be added or subtracted as per your taste preferences.
- The mixture gets dry and sets fast, so you need to move quickly once it is ready to be spooned.
- The fudge will last for up to one month stored in an airtight container.
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