This week at Tswalu — after months away from home soil — I felt like a child again. To have headed out into the veld on horseback in the early morning and to have discovered all those little curiosities you find out in the open took me back to a time when everything felt new. And so, the child in me had a craving for a good, creamy fudge! The kind my mother used to make. But this fudge is a deeply decadent treat. Every moment you spend making it — from letting the butter, sugar and milk dissolve into each other to melting the chocolate into the mixture before tempering it like an old-fashioned confectioner — should be savoured. And let every morsel take you back to a carefree time when everything was just right!
for the chocolate fudge
2 x 380 g tins evaporated milk
900 g (1070 ml) caster sugar
280 g (305 ml) butter, cut into blocks
10 ml vanilla essence
100 g 70 % chocolate, chopped
for the finishing touch
100 g 70 % chocolate
100 g shelled pistachio nuts, finely chopped
Pour the evaporated milk, caster sugar and butter into a saucepan. Heat the mixture on medium stirring constantly until the sugar has dissolved and the butter has melted.
When it starts bubbling, cook at exactly that heat for around 45 minutes, stirring constantly.
When the fudge turns thick, glossy and golden brown, turn off the heat. Test with a sugar thermometer – it should be 116 °C.
TIP: If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, use a metal spoon and drizzle a little fudge in a cup of ice water. If it forms a soft, pliable ball, it’s done.
Take off the heat and add the chopped chocolate and vanilla. Stir until mixed cool for 5 minutes. Beat the mixture with an electric mixer for 10 minutes until it thickens.
Pour the mixture onto a cool work surface, like a Caesarstone surface, and use a dough scraper to spread and fold your fudge until it’s thick and smooth.
Divide the mixture. Place a large piece of cling film on your work surface and pour the mixture onto it. Forming a cylindrical shape, roll the fudge tightly.
Place in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
Melt the chocolate for the garnish. Slice the fudge into slices and dip one side into the chocolate and then into the chopped pistachio nuts. Place on baking paper until the chocolate has hardened.