Friday, December 7, 2012

Blue Ribbon Maple Syrup Fudge

I have been meaning to make this since last year, when I bought the maple syrup.   But, last year, I didn't have any reason to make it. A couple of weeks ago,  Bob suggested having a holiday open    house.  Yahoo, an opportunity to make all kinds of stuff.   So one afternoon, I got to work. I was a demon candy maker as a child. Unfortunately, none of it turned out as it was supposed to. I remember sinister looking lakes of  gravelly fudge, non hardening taffy that refused to solidify so it could be pulled.  I do remember being told that my fudge was gravelly because I used granulated sugar rather than confectioners' sugar, so I was relieved that this fudge contained no sugar at all.
I was also  proud that I was in possession of a candy thermometer, rather an expensive candy thermometer at that, since the directions required  boiling the mixture until it reached 234 degrees Fahrenheit. I poured the maple syrup, corn syrup   and cream into a saucepan, lit the burner and turned to the drawer where the thermometer lay. When the candy mixture boiled,  I put the thermometer in the pot and pressed the on  button. Nothing.  Since I wanted to make the candy then and not after going out in search of new  batteries, I  pressed ahead. The recipe said " Boil until a small amount of the mixture forms a soft ball in cold water."  Okay,. I put three ice cubes into a cup of water and  poured a tablespoonful of boiling candy into the ice water. It formed a scummy foam on top of the cup.
The fudge continued to boil. I poured again. Scum again. After 20 minutes, the boiling candy finally coalesced in the bottom of the cup, forming, yes! a soft  ball of candy!.I poured it into a buttered pan. Here's a piece of advice. The recipe says a 8  by 8 by 2 inch pan. I would use a slightly smaller pan for thicker fudge.  Also,greasing the pan, which I did do, does not necessarily keep the fudge from sticking. I would try something I just discovered, If You  Care Silicone Coated Parchment Baking Paper. I bought it  because  some recipe called for  baking paper. It  is the greatest thing for rolling out dough. Nothing sticks to it.
You will not read too many commercial plugs in this column, but this stuff is great. If you plan to make cookies, or  pie, or anything that needs not to stick to the pan, the counter, the rolling pin or you, buy this stuff! This is excellent, non-grainy fudge.

Blue Ribbon Maple Syrup Fudge     

2 cups maple syrup
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
3/4  cup light cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 coarsely chopped walnuts or butternuts

1. Combine the maple syrup,  corn syrup and cream in a heavy saucepan. 
2. Place over moderate heat. (On my gas stove, I figured that was a bout 4.) and stir until mixture begins to boil. Continue boiling, without stirring, until a small amount of the mixture forms a soft ball in cold water (234 degrees on a candy thermometer.)
3. Remove pan from heat and let cool, without stirring, until lukewarm (120 to 110 degrees). Beat the mixture until it thickens and loses its gloss.
4. Add the vanilla and nuts and pour into a  buttered 8-by-8- by-2 inch   pan. When cool, cut into squares. Makes a bout twenty-five one-and-one-half-inch squares.



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