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How to make fudge

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Fudge is a simple and tasty treat, great to make for gifts at Christmas or for birthdays. You can flavour fudge with many things such as coffee, liqueurs, peanut butter etc. The possibilities are endless. Vanilla is the most classic and this is shown here. Takes around 25 minutes to make plus cooling time Makes around 30 pieces depending on the size you cut!
What you'll need: 
butter or oil for greasing
300ml of milk (full fat is best for this)
350g caster sugar
100g butter
1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
18 inch square tray or cake tin with quite deep sides
a sugar thermometer
1: 
Grease the tin you are going to use liberally with butter or oil.
2: 
Put the butter, sugar, and milk into a deep, heavy bottomed saucepan, at least 3 times the volume of your liquid
3: 
On a very low heat let all the ingredients melt together, stirring often to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. The sugar must dissolve completely, otherwise your finished fudge will be grainy.
4: 
Bring to a gentle boil, keeping the heat low. Stirring all the time keep cooking for 20-25 minutes, when the temperature on the sugar thermometer reaches 115 degrees centigrade remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla (this is the time you can add a different flavour if you like, such as orange extract or a teaspoon of coffee essence) leave to cool for 5 minutes
5: 
With a wooden spoon beat the mixture until its smooth, thick and the shine has gone, it will now look the colour of toffee
6: 
Tip into the greased tray and smooth down with the spoon
7: 
Leave to cool until set, NOT IN THE FRIDGE as this can make your fudge grainy and set unevenly
8: 
Cut into pieces and store in an airtight container
9: 
Or eat!
Conclusion: 
A simple treat worth the effort and fun to make as gifts, once you have mastered it you will want to make so many different flavours, my personal favourite is peanut butter
Tips: 
Never boil on a high heat, keep it low and be patient
Be careful and don't get any on your skin, its very hot and sugar burns are nasty
Keep in an airtight container and not in the fridge for nice separate peices
Experiment with flavours but don't add too much liquid, a table spoon or less otherwise it won't set
Fabulous mixed into vanilla ice cream in small peices
Warnings: 
Boil too vigorously and it will burn easily
Be patient, if all the sugar doesn't melt your fudge will be grainy
It's addictive, don't make too often or your diet will be out of the window :)

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