Orange and Cranberry Chocolate Fudge

Homemade fudge is one of my favourite things at christmas, especially one packed full of christmassy flavours! I had always thought fudge was quite a difficult thing to make but this recipe for chocolate fudge is so so easy to make. I made this fudge for my friends for Christmas as it makes a fabulous presents when packed in cellophane bags and ribbon. Feel free to make these as extravagant as you like, adding different chocolate and decorations.

Ingredients

400g dark chocolate

397g can of sweetened condensed milk

100g dried cranberries

zest of ½ an orange

200g golden icing sugar, sifted

1tsp vanilla extract

decorative chocolate/ sugar stars (optional)

Method

  1. Line a baking tray roughly 30cm x 20cm (don’t worry if you don’t have one that size, just roughly will do) make sure the baking parchment covers the corners and sides.
  2. Break the chocolate in small chunks and place in a heatproof bowl along with the condensed milk. Place the bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t the bowl.
  3. Heat gently until all of the chocolate has melted then remove from the heat and stir in the cranberries and orange zest. Then the icing sugar and vanilla extract until evenly combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the tin and level the surface the best you can using the back of the spoon. Sprinkle with the stars or any other decorations you may be using. Chill for at least 2 hours in the fridge until the fudge is firm.
  5. Life out of the tray and then, using a sharp knife, cut into as many squares as you desire.

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Cherry, Almond and Chocolate Nougat

This week’s bake is cherry, almond and chocolate nougat, I know it’s not really a bake but is something I was dying to try out. I was really pleased with the results and thought it tasted delightful so I’m going to share it with you all. I recently watched the Hope and Greenwood series on sweets so was inspired to try out nougat for myself. This recipe was fairly difficult as I don’t have a standing food mixer (it’s currently on my large list of things to buy) and parts of the recipe require you to be using a hand mix and monitoring the temperature in the pan. To overcome this I used my brilliant assistant (mother) however I am sure you could achieve this on your own.

Ingredients for 20 pieces

200g whole almonds

2 large egg whites

400g caster sugar

100ml runny honey

210ml liquid glucose

2tbsp water

200g glacé cherries

1tsp vanilla extract

25g plain chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/ Gas 6. Line a smallish baking tin 4cm deep and about 20cm square (or with an area of about 400cm) with rice paper.
  2. Place the almonds on a tin lined with baking paper and put in the preheated oven to roast for about 5 mins until golden brown. Be careful not to burn them as they will not taste at all nice.
  3. In a large bowl, place the egg whites and use a food mixer to whisk until it forms stiff peaks.
  4. Place the sugar, honey, glucose and water into a large pan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Then place a sugar thermometer in the mixture and bring it to the boil until it reaches 125ºC.
  5. Then while the food mixer is running, pour half of the honey mixture into the egg white and leave the mixer running.
  6. Return the pan to the heat quickly, increasing the heat slightly bringing the temperature to 157º where it will become a dark caramel colour.  Pour the rest of the mixture into the large bowl (be careful as it will be very hot and become rather frothy) and mix for a full 10 minutes on a moderate speed.
  7. After mixing, work quickly, folding in the almonds, cherries and vanilla essence and pour the nougat into the lined baking tray then sprinkle with chocolate chips, I used approx. 25g but feel free to use as many as you like!
  8. Leave the nougat to set overnight as it will be very sticky. Once it is set, cut into small squares.

I found this really fun and different to make, however it was very very sticky so you must work quickly to avoid getting a large amount of the mixture stuck to the bowl and utensils!