Chocolate orange maple fudge

Peter Flynn

Vegan chocolate fudge

This makes one of the best fudges I’ve ever come across. The basic recipe is adapted from the one in the Marks & Spencers chocolate cookery book by adding more milk and sugar to counterbalance the added chocolate, and making better use of the orange.

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Serves 20. Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes.


Makes about 2lb


Ingredients

  • 1 orange | washed to remove the carnauba wax
  • 450 g light muscovado sugar (or a mix of caster and light Muscovado sugar)
  • 1 × 250 ml can evaporated milk
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 120 ml maple syrup (see tip)
  • 150 g dark chocolate [70% cocoa solids or above, and not too sweet: avoid Cadbury’s Bournville as it has way too much sugar]

Method

  1. Pick a large saucepan with a heavy solid bottom so that it won’t scorch.

  2. Use a zester or microplane to scrape the zest off the orange into the pan as finely as possible, then use a sharp metal edge to squeeze any orange oil out of the pale layer of skin beneath. Do this with care and you should get about half a teaspoonful of oil to add to the zest.

  3. Add all other ingredients and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved and the chocolate has melted.

  4. Turn up the heat as high as the pan will stand without burning the contents. This varies widely (and wildly) from pan to pan and from stove to stove, so I’m afraid only you can tell by experience how your own equipment behaves. A good estimate is about 75% of your hob’s setting.

  5. Boil until it reaches 240°F (116°C), the so-called ‘soft ball’ stage.

    I’ve never managed to make any fudge go into soft balls in cold water as a test for this, so I eventually found a good, reliable candy thermometer (in a late-nite supermarket in Lowell, MA, of all places, thanks to the perseverance of Brendan Quinn in driving me around at 11pm the night before I was due to fly home!).

  6. While it cooks, grease a tin to put it in.

  7. Turn off the heat and stir vigorously until it begins to change from glossy to dull. This is the point just before it starts to crystallise, and you want it to crystallise in the tin, not the saucepan.

    This point (supposedly 110°F (43°C) but I’ve never dared let it go that cold) is when the saturated solution of sugar starts to crystallize the excess back out again, giving it that smooth but slightly grainy texture of true fudge. Only experience is any good here: a lot depends on the weather (pressure and humdiddity). If you've neve made fudge before, you’ll probably have to sacrifice a batch or two as toffee before you get it right.

  8. Quickly scrape it all into the greased tin before it solidifies irretrievably. Once it has started to solidify, cut into squares with a very thin, sharp knife.


Remove from the presence of children, dogs, unwanted relatives, partners, neighbours, helpers, ‘friends’ etc.


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