It has been many years since I first discovered The Fudge Kitchen. It was the Windsor branch and we happened to be passing while on a visit to Windsor Castle. We were offered a free sample and from that moment I was hooked! Recently, they’ve started widening their product offering, and one of the things they now sell is a kit allowing you to make their trademark creamy fudge at home. I used to make fudge a lot, but I’d never been able to achieve the incredible texture for which The Fudge Kitchen is famous. Until now! Using this great little kit, which I got for my birthday earlier this year, I’ve successfully replicated Fudge Kitchen fudge in my very own kitchen. In this post, with the help of some rather poor photography (apologies), I’m going to show you how it works.
This pack makes three batches of fudge, and contains the specialist bits of kit you need, such as the thermometer. All you need to buy is whipping cream, and you actually need very little of this (just two tablespoons).
The first step is to prep everything you need. Put a pastry brush, wooden spoon and the thermometer into a jug of cold water, ready for use.
You’ll get three packs of wet ingredients and three of dry – one of each for toffee, one of each for plain and one of each for chocolate. On this occasion I am using the ‘plain’ flavour with a view to making vanilla-flavoured fudge. I’m not sure what the wet ingredients contain, but the dry sachet is basically just sugar. Add the corresponding wet and dry pack to a saucepan, along with two tablespoons of cream and two tablespoons of water. Mix them together, then put it on a gentle heat, stirring occasionally until it starts to boil.
Use the wet pastry brush to brush round the edge of the saucepan so that all the sugar granules are included in the mixture and get dissolved.
Once the mixture starts to boil, remove your wooden spoon and attach the thermometer to the edge of the saucepan. Watch it like a hawk until it reaches 237 degrees, which happens fairly swiftly so you have to keep a constant watch over it. When this temperature is reached, take it immediately off the heat.
Then immediately start pouring it very slowly onto a clean worktop. It’s very runny and very hot, so be careful. At this stage it looks as though it will run straight off the worktop, but if you pour slowly enough it won’t.
At this stage I added a dash of vanilla essence to give it a vanilla flavour. In the instructions it said to add a bit of vanilla pod/seeds, but I didn’t have one. The vanilla essence worked fine.
Wait a few moments for it to cool. Using a knife, keep making a mark down the middle of the mixture. When it takes four seconds for it to join back up, the fudge is ready to be creamed.
‘Creaming’ the fudge involves mixing it on the worktop using the spatulas provided. This takes quite a while, and it’s very sticky round the edges. Start by working round the edges and moving the mixture into the middle. Then continue doing this until it thickens and starts to look paler in colour.
When this happens, form it into a roughly rectangular shape. Now imagine that there’s a line down the middle. Using the spatulas, move the edges of the fudge into the middle. Repeat several times until the fudge has completely set. It doesn’t need to look perfect – it’s the taste and texture that counts!
Leave it for a few moments and then slice, wiping down the knife in between each slice. I was impatient and sliced this batch slightly too soon, so it hasn’t formed particularly neat slices. It tastes amazing though!
This was the last batch I made – the toffee fudge batch – which sliced more neatly.
If you’ve been to the Fudge Kitchen before and seen the size of the batches they make there, don’t expect this to produce the same quantity! The end result was a lot smaller than I was expecting, and you won’t get the 10-12 slices they say you should aim for in the instructions. However, this is a good size batch for one or two people to have plenty, or for three to four people to have what I would call a smallish quantity each. It won’t last long, especially after I nabbed quite a bit for myself as I was slicing it!!
Another thing worth noting about this kit is that you can flavour the fudge as you desire. The instructions contain lots of flavour suggestions, and you can invent your own. I like my fudge nice and traditional, but you could let your imagination run wild.
Finally, the creaming process leaves a great deal of sticky sugary mess on the worktop. I found that pouring a little bit of boiling water over it did the trick nicely, taking the stickiness away with ease.
Buy your home fudge kit (or refill packs) via the Fudge Kitchen website.