It’s the thought that counts

It’s been quite a long week. And I’ve spent far too much of it in airport lounges, on trains, in hotel rooms, on the phone and in long, drawn out meetings. But I was at home today, so had some time to wind down and get on with some of the more enjoyable things on my to-do list, like catching up with my studies, playing with the dog and doing a bit of cooking.

It’s my mum’s birthday tomorrow, and I’m off down to the southern tip of Somerset in the morning to meet up with her and my siblings. Being me, I had of course completely forgotten to do anything in the way of getting her a present, so decided this evening that I’d make her some white chocolate fudge.

I’ve made it a few times before, and she always seems to like it – or, at least, is too polite to say that it tastes like glue – and it seems nice to make something as a gift rather than just go out and buy her a book (which is, I must admit, my usual strategy). And if I may say so myself, it turned out fairly well.

White Chocolate Fudge
White Chocolate Fudge

For anyone who’s interested, it’s actually quite easy to make. Tip 500g of golden caster sugar, 250ml of double cream and 250ml of milk into a big saucepan and heat it gently on the hob, while stirring lightly, until the sugar has dissolved. Then heat more vigorously and stir periodically until it reaches about 116 degrees celsius (called ‘soft ball’ stage – use a jam thermometer).

Take the saucepan off the hob and stir the mixture like a lunatic for five minutes. Avoid the temptation to stick your finger in the mixture, because this will be very, very painful. Then add 140g of broken-up white chocolate and stir a couple of times to swirl the chocolate in a bit. Pour it into a greased 20cm tin of some kind and leave to harden.

I find it useful to etch lines in the mixture, in an eight by eight grid, before it hardens completely. When it has cooled, tip the tin upside down over a chopping board or big plate, and your fudge will fall out in handy bit-size chunks. Yummy. Don’t eat more than three at once, though.

It’s not the healthiest snack in the world, but you do burn off a good few calories with all the stirring. And it makes a great present. Or, at least, I hope it does. I’d better take a bunch of flowers and a bottle of wine, too, just in case…

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