Fun Facts for Fudge Day!

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In honour of International Fudge Day, which is celebrated on Friday, June 16, here are some fun fudge facts as well as three very different fudge recipes from the chefs at Capsicum Culinary Studio, South Africa’s leading culinary school.

  • In the late 17th century, the word fudge meant to fit together or adjust. By 1800 it meant a “hoax or cheat” and by mid-century the use of the term “Oh, fudge!” was used as a kid-friendly expletive especially when something had been messed up. It’s believed that the first batch of fudge was created when someone was trying to make caramel, didn’t get it right and exclaimed, “Oh, fudge.” The name stuck.
  • The earliest mention of fudge dates to 1888 when American, Emelyn Battersby Hartridge wrote a letter describing her introduction to the sweet treat through a friend’s cousin.
  • While the Americans claim fudge as their invention, some think it is an offshoot of a confectionary from Scotland called tablet. Tablet, which is made with sugar, condensed milk and butter was first noted in The Household Book of Lady Grisell Baillie in the early 18th century.
  • The record for the largest slab of fudge in the world weighed over 2,600 kilograms and was made at the Northwest Fudge Factory in Canada in 2010 and took a full week to make.
  • Fudge is a drier version of fondant that is usually found in confectionery like peppermint thins.
  • A tiny island in Michigan in the US considers itself the fudge capital of the world. There are over a dozen fudge shops on Mackinac Island which is just seven square kilometres in size with a population of around 500. The oldest fudge shop on the island – Murdick’s Candy Kitchen – opened in 1887.
  • During peak season, Mackinac Island churns out over 4,535 kilograms of fudge daily. Every August, the island hosts the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival, complete with events like Fudge on the Rocks where local bartenders craft fudge cocktails and festivalgoers are referred to as “fudgies.”
  • Mamie Eisenhower, the wife of the 34th US President Ike Eienshower (1953-61) was a huge fudge fan and crafted her own recipe named Mamie’s Million-Dollar Fudge which included chopped nuts and marshmallow crème.

Amarula Fudge (for the grown-ups only!)

1 cup white sugar
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
80ml Amarula*
2 cups white chocolate chips
10 large marshmallows
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease a 20cm x 20cm tin and set aside. Using a large saucepan, combine the sugar and condensed milk and cook on medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Stir in the white chocolate chips until melted. Stir in the Amarula and marshmallows. After the marshmallows have completely melted, add the vanilla extract and beat vigorously for a minute. Pour the fudge mixture into the tin and allow to cool (approx. 1 hour) before cutting into squares. (* You can also use Baileys, Kahlua, Tia Maria etc.)

Carrot Cake Fudge
680g white chocolate chips 
1 tin condensed milk
2½ tablespoons pureed carrot (use baby food)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Grease a 20cm x 20cm tin and set aside. Using a large saucepan, melt the white chocolate chips and condensed milk over medium heat until smooth and combined, stirring often. Add the carrot baby food, cinnamon and nutmeg and stir continuously making sure the mixture does not burn. After the fudge thickens and large bubbles start to appear, remove from heat and vigorously beat in the vanilla extract for about 1 minute. Pour into the tin and let it cool for at least an hour before cutting it into squares.

Chilli Fudge (another one for the adults!)

1 tin condensed milk
120g unsalted butter
250g light brown sugar
270g white chocolate
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp chilli flakes (use less or more depending on your palate)
½ tsp of vanilla essence

On low heat, stir the condensed milk, butter and sugar until melted. Turn the heat up to medium-high and continue stirring until it bubbles and thickens. Turn off the heat and add the chocolate, salt, vanilla and chilli flakes and stir until thoroughly combined and smooth. Pour into a greased 22cm x 20cm tin and chill in the fridge for at least four hours before cutting into squares.

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