White Chocolate and Vanilla Fudge

Fudge for Let’s Make Christmas Gift Swap:

Earlier this year, Vanessa, fresh back from a trip to Uganda asked us all if we’d like to take part in a gift swap for Ndali Vanilla.  She’d been learning about vanilla and specifically about the Ndali estate in Uganda.  And, to raise awareness of Fair Trade and the issues facing the Ugandan farmers she set up a vanilla gift swap, sent us all samples to use and asked us to blog.

I went off to Sicily and while I was there, was invited to go to Milan.  Without checking my diary and in my excitement I said yes…and then realised I’d double booked myself and should actually have been at Vanessa’s event.

ndali vanilla

So, this is a VERY belated short piece about Fair Trade and the Ndali Vanilla, as well as my entry for this year’s Let Make Christmas Gift Swap.  The issue that Fair Trade tries to address is exploitation of third world workers.  By guaranteeing a fair price for products, direct to farmers, they ensure that the farmers are able to build their own businesses rather than relying on charity.  It’s not exactly rocket science – but, of course it does mean the price to us, the consumer is likely to be a little bit higher.

I think everyone would agree it’s a price worth paying.  I can’t believe anyone would endorse exploitation of work -directly or indirectly.  But, for some reason, while we might be incensed at it happening in the UK, it seems easy to forget when buying goods made thousands of miles away.

For that reason, we should all look for the Fairtrade sign on goods we buy (or ensure that they are produced ethically).  And, if it costs a little bit more, accept that actually all we are doing is paying a fair price.

fudge close up

My White Chocolate and Vanilla fudge is a flavour combination I have been keen to try.  And, when I started to research the ingredients I discovered that by adding grated chocolate at the end of the process, the texture of the fudge would potentially be improved (and the likelihood of burning the chocolate minimised).

White Chocolate and Vanilla Fudge

Serves 18 squares
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 25 minutes
Allergy Milk
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Snack
Misc Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 300ml Milk
  • 350g Caster Sugar
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Vanilla Pod (I used Ndali fairtrade vanilla)
  • 70g Good Quality White Chocolate (grated or chopped very finely)

Directions

Step 1 Line a small baking tray with silicon paper. Put the milk, sugar and butter in a large, heavy pan and heat gently till the sugar is dissolved and the butter melted. Stir all the time
Step 2 Bring the mixture to a fast boil and continue to stir.
Step 3 Once the mix has reached soft ball stage , remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. If you want an easy way to check, invest in a sugar thermometer, soft ball stage is 115C, but, you can also test by taking a tiny drop onto a saucer and checking if you can form it into a ball. My earlier recipe for plain vanilla fudge has some photos of each stage that may help if this is your first attempt at fudge!
Step 4 Remove the seeds from the vanilla pod by splitting and scraping down the middle (keep the used pod to go into sugar and make vanilla sugar!)
Step 5 Start to beat the sugar mixture and after a minute or two add the chocolate and the vanilla. It's important to allow the mixture to cool just a little before you add these ingredients to retain the maximum flavour
Step 6 You should find that as the chocolate melts into the sugar, it starts to crystallise. Pour it quickly into a prepared baking tin (I use my brownie pan).
Step 7 Allow the mix to cool for a few minutes, before marking out squares with a round bladed knife
Step 8 Once fully cooled, break into squares and store in an airtight tin till ready to eat! This fudge has little black specks in it from the vanilla but the flavour is a lot stronger and purer than using essence.

So that is what I have done here.  Adding the chocolate at the end makes the fudge crystallise really quickly and does give a wonderful flavour and texture.  And, using a fresh vanilla pod creates a wonderfully intense scented sweet. If you don’t like the little black flecks, then of course you can use essence – just remember to add it AFTER the fudge has cooked to keep the aroma strong.

If I’ve got time I might just try another flavour too, otherwise, this will be my entry for Vanessa’s Let’s Make Christmas 2012 Event

 

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Comments

  1. It looks like Christmas on a plate! I bet this is quite the holiday treat. Thanks for the recipe, Fiona!

  2. I think this looks like a fudge I would enjoy Fiona. That Ndali vanilla does have the most incredible taste and smell. Looking forward to seeing this and meeting you tomorrow :-)x

  3. My Dad always makes fudge at Christmas so it’s become part of the tradition now. I think he uses condensed milk but has never shared the recipe!

    • I personally don’t like condensed milk fudge because you can taste the condensed milk and I think it makes the finished result too sickly. But, it’s easier to make…and home made fudge is in a different league. My mum used to make coffee and walnut fudge each year, same thing, christmas tradition

  4. Mmmmmm! What a delicious fudge and I’m a great fan of Ndali vanilla. We missed you at the Fairtrade event, so it will be super to see you tomorrow.

  5. OMG, this looks wonderful. I must try this recipe today…I could use a little comfort food :)

  6. I can’t say I’m a real fudge person (unlike my husband) but I caught myself fantasising how this vanilla one would smell :D
    I just love how the little black dots of vanilla pod look in white foods!
    Happy Christmas, Fiona! :)

    • I’m not a real ‘white chocolate’ person, but actually the combination of the two sweets is a good one, the fudge isn’t quite as sickly as it can be and the white chocolate loses its waxiness.

      That Ndali vanilla is very special isn’t it

      Happy christmas to you too, hope to see you again in the new year xx

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