Reasons to make this fudge: Because I don't celebrate Christmas. Because I love candy. Because I am Québécoise. Because this is my favorite thing in the world to eat. Because I've never made it before. Because I like to be challenged. Because edible gifts are the best kind of gifts. Because I have a new thermometer.
Because I wanted to.
This fudge is a traditional Quebecois recipe that I've been wanting to attempt for quite some time. Unfortunately, I've always been intimidated by any recipe that calls for a thermometer, as I've had a few caramel disasters in the past. (Caramel melting the bowl to the bottom of the microwave, caramel burning to the pot, caramel burning my hand, caramel burning my tongue, caramel burning...)
Leaving the past in the past, I now feel confident enough in the kitchen to consider myself somewhere between novice and expert, and definitely ready for a challenge. And when my challenge is presented in a way that makes it look easy, well I just have to take it on.
Just before slipping into a food coma from all of my holiday indulgences, I watched as Chuck Hughes came on television and demonstrated just how simple this traditional fudge is to make. Texting myself the ingredients as I listened (because, you know, paper and pens are sooo 2005), I knew I had to rush home and make this stuff. As soon as humanly possible.
And then again a second time.
You know, for gifts.
(French Canadian Maple Fudge)
recipe adapted from the Food Network's Chuck Hughes
note: the original recipe calls for one tbsp of butter. I found my fudge to be a little on the greasy side and believe that it should be done with less. I also omitted the pecans, as I wanted a more traditional variety.
what you'll need
1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 cup 35% cream
½ cup sugar
½ cup maple syrup
½ tsp butter
Pinch sea salt
how to do it
Line an 8'' x 8''square pan with plastic wrap and lightly oil.
In a saucepan, combine the brown sugar, cream, sugar, maple syrup, butter and salt and bring to a boil, stirring with a heatproof spatula. Simmer over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 237 degrees F (114 degrees C). Add the vanilla extract without stirring.
Prepare a bowl large enough to fit the saucepan into. Fill with cold water and ice.
Once the candy reaches 237 degrees, place the pan immediately into a cold water bath. Cool, without stirring, until the thermometer reads 113 degrees F (45 degrees C), about 15 to 20 minutes.
Remove the pan from the water bath. Using an electric mixer or a wooden spoon, stir vigorously until the mixture begins to lighten in color and become creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. Do not over-whip, as the sugar and cream mixture will harden before you have time to pour it into the pan.