Last week’s muffins had no sugar in them. Not a granule. So it seems right, restorative of balance and true to (my) nature to supply you this week with sugar unlimited. I speak of fudge.
The worst piece of dieting advice I ever encountered was this: if you’re craving chocolate, go and sniff a bar. Joy-sapping, freaky, unlikely . . .? And yet I admit that unlatching the lid of a jar of this dark and devilish fudge provides a bona fide sugar hit. Let me be clear: your hand should absolutely follow. What kind of person goes around just sniffing confectionary?
Eat this fudge and it will make your tastebuds sing, your butt blossom and your lovers melt. Every now and then I come across a recipe which stops me seeking further recipes of that type. This homemade fudge recipe is the end of the road for fudge recipes. There need be no more. It is magnificent. And – often a dealmaker – easy. You don’t even need to unearth the sugar thermometer from the pile of idle kitchen equipment at the back of the drawer. You do have to put some muscle into the stirring to bash out a really smooth-textured fudge, but it’s oh-so worth it.
Sophie Dahl devised this brilliant recipe. I thank her from the bottom of my heart for sending it into the world for me to find and make for ever.
White Chocolate and Cardamom Fudge
Barely adapted (quantity halved) from Sophie Dahl’s peanut butter fudge recipe on BBC Food
Makes around 24 pieces
70g unsalted butter
250g soft dark brown sugar
100g white chocolate, broken up into chunks
15 cardamom pods, seeds extracted and finely ground
150g icing sugar
Line a loaf tin (mine is 25cm x 11cm) with baking parchment.
Get a big, heavy-bottomed pan and melt the butter gently till all liquid.
Add the soft dark brown sugar and milk and stir well.
Turn the heat up to medium and let the mixture bubble for three minutes. Eyes on, hands off; don’t stir.
Turn off the heat and stir vigorously again. When the bubbles have subsided and therefore the temperature dropped slightly, add the white chocolate and cardamom and stir again.
Measure the icing sugar into a heatproof bowl. Pour the molten sugar, chocolate and butter mixture into the bowl and beat with all your might until smooth and doughy.
Press firmly into the loaf tin with the back of a metal spoon.
Allow to cool in the tin, then refrigerate until set – around two hours.
Turn out onto a board and cut into squares with a sharp knife.
P.S. If you like this, you'll love the peanut butter version (see attractively posed fudge stack below): replace the white chocolate and cardamom with 125g peanut butter and 1 tsp vanilla extract (or the seeds scraped from one vanilla pod) and go through the same motions.