Monday, 17 December 2012

Christmassy Food Waste (Friday) - Fudging it!

Food Waste Friday got swallowed up in Christmas preparations and parties this weekend. 

Fudginess aside there wasn't much food waste though, so it's forgivable. A teeny amount of left over sausage casserole that was too teeny to be of any use to even the least hungry chicken or human, got chucked out, and that was about it.

Runny fudge steadfastly refusing to set.

Apart from the fudge...

The archetypal handmade Christmas seems to involve fudge, so I thought I'd give it a go, what with our successful peppermint creams earlier this year. Not much to go wrong surely? Especially as I chose a simple vanilla fudge recipe because I'm well aware that things like fudge-making don't always go smoothly here.

It seems that maybe I'm not cut out for things involving food thermometers. I'm good at runny jam, runny yogurt, runny chutney and now I've added runny fudge to my runny repertoire. 

The good news is that it made really yummy caramel for millionaires' shortbread, three boxes of which have already left the house as gifts for neighbours and friends. Ironically once the runny fudge was spread (or rather, splatted unglamorously) onto warm shortbread, it set rather nicely. Don't ask me why.

No pictures of the shortbread unfortunately as it always seems to be too dark for photos at the moment, but here's one of last week's 4.30pm winter Wiltshire sunsets instead, viewed from our landing window. Two of the boxes of chocolaty fudgy shortbread headed off to homes that lie in the direction of that sunset, so there is a tenuous link.

And here's the recipe for:

Unrunny chocolate caramel or millionaires' shortbread (from How to feed your whole family a healthy, balanced diet (!) with very little money, by Gill Holcombe)

175g butter
100g sugar
300g plain flour

2 x 450g tins of condensed milk
100g butter
4 tbsp golden syrup

300g plain chocolate (I used Dr Oetker plain chocolate cake covering).

To make the shortbread, cream the butter and sugar, and add the flour. Press into the greased oven tray and bake at Gas Mark 4, 180 deg C for approx 15 mins, until golden.

To make the caramel, melt the butter and add the condensed milk and syrup. Turn up the heat and boil for 5 - 10 mins until you have a light brown caramel.

Let it cool slightly, then pour and spread over the shortbread. Leave to cool completely for half an hour.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Stir in the cream (if using), and spred over the caramel and shortbread. When the chocolate is starting to set, mark into squares, and when cool, cut completely.

Food Waste Friday was dreamt up by, to encourage people to use up food instead of waste it. 


  1. Fudge is one of those things that is really hard to make unless you get the temperature of the sugar mixture just right. After I learned to make fudge with marshmallow cream in it, I've never gone back to the old way. With marshmallow cream in it, it always turns out well. Never too runny or grainy.

    Beautiful sunset.

  2. I was going to make fudge for Christmas presents, but I don't think I'll be needing it now. I did find a good simple recipe though, from Nigella Lawson, that was just melted chocolate, condensed milk and nuts. And you didn't need a candy thermometer either, you just melted the chocolate. I may give it a go anyway, for a dessert :)

  3. I've found a marshmallow recipe on another blog, so next time I shall give that a go, or Nigella's!

  4. The only fudge I've ever been able to make involves marshmallows or marshmallow fluff, evaporated milk and chocolate chips, and butter. It always sets perfectly. I live in US and quantities are given in cups, tsps, etc., so I don't know how to convert it. If you want to try it, it should be available on line or on a package of marshmallows.

    1. Thanks Magatha! I'm definitely going to give a marshmallow version a go!