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Maple pecan fudge
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I love the slightly smoky, butterscotch taste the maple syrup brings to this. I prefer fudge to be creamy, but if youare of the grainy persuasion, you may need to work a little harder when it comes to beating the cooled fudge to achieve the desired texture. Annie Rigg
Makes: about 40 pieces
Sunflower oil for greasing 150g caster sugar
300g maple syrup
2 tablespoons golden syrup
150ml double cream
75ml full-cream milk
2 tablespoons bourbon or Jack Daniels
1 teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon sea salt
25g unsalted butter
100g pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
900g loaf tin (or 17cm square tin)
This fudge will keep for up to 2 weeks in an airtight box between layers of non-stick or waxed paper
1. Grease the base and sides of the loaf tin with sunflower oil and line with non-stick baking parchment. Half fill the sink with cold water.
2. Combine all the ingredients apart from the butter and pecans in a large (2½ litre), heavy-based saucepan. Cook gently over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring frequently.
3. Pop the sugar thermometer into the pan, bring to the boil and continue to steadily cook the syrup at a gentle boil until it reaches 114°C/236°F. You will need to stir the mixture frequently to prevent it catching on the bottom of the pan. (The syrup will take about 15 minutes to reach the correct temperature, but do not be tempted to walk away from the task in hand – the moment you turn your back to do something else the syrup will go above the correct temperature and you’ll end up with toffee rather than fudge.)
4. Take the pan off the heat, remove the sugar thermometer and plunge the bottom of the pan into the sink of cold water to stop the mixture cooking any further. Add the butter, give the fudge a gentle stir and scoop it into a large mixing bowl. Leave undisturbed to cool to room temperature for about 15–20 minutes, without being tempted to stir or taste the cooling fudge.
5. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, beat the fudge for 3–4 minutes until the mixture thickens, starts to lose its shine and begins to turn slightly grainy. Add three quarters of the chopped pecans and spoon the fudge into the prepared tin, spreading it into an even layer with a palette knife. Scatter the remaining pecans over the top, pressing them into the fudge.
6. Leave to set overnight before cutting into squares to serve.