Creamy, velvety smooth sweetness interrupted only by the crunch of fresh-picked walnuts. (oven toasted to intensify the crisp nuttiness)
Not only is this the best tasting fudge, there's all those other elements that come into play.
Fudge screams old-fashioned, home sweet home to us. Definitively so.
Nostalgia in every bite. Who doesn't remember watching as your Mom drip-dropped molten sugary syrup, off the wooden spoon, into a measuring cup of ice-cold water to test if the fudge was ready yet? Watching and wondering if you'd get to savour that little ball of almost-fudge or if your Mom had to taste it to 'make sure'.
For me, and I think I can speak for you too, fudge remains high up on the ultimate treat list to this day. But it's got to be homemade. And it's got to be worth every damn calorie!!
Over the years I've found some amazingly good fudge recipes. Some remained my old standbys that I would make every Christmas for quite a few years. But it wasn't until just before Christmas last year that I hit fudge paydirt. Oh yes!
Last Christmas I was on a mission to make-the-best-in-the-world cookies and candies I could. For gifts. My exhaustive search for these knock-your-socks-off recipes reaped the rewards. Boy do I have some fantastic cookie recipes to share with you soon. And some caramels too. Wow caramels!
But, I digress.....back to the fudge, and me scooting about online to find the recipe of recipes. Google, google. Click, click......for hours, days, nights. Then, eureka!! Thibeault's Table - a rather scrumptious food blog out of the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. After just one try, Ann Thibeault's fudge recipes gave me the boasting rights to say, "I make the best fudge in the world".
Ann lists 3 different fudge recipes - Chocolate, Maple Cream and Walnut and White Chocolate. I've made 'em all, I've mixed and combined them a bit. Every single batch of fudge has been to die for. Thanks Ann!
I've only slightly altered this recipe from the original, because after making them all, I knew what I wanted and how to get it.
So here it is. And I will add that EVERYONE that has tried this fudge and the chocolate version of as well - I'll post that soon, I promise - proclaims, "this is the best fudge I've ever had". Cool, eh?
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Here we go...........you want to roast/toast your walnuts ahead of time - about 10-15 minutes at 325F. just until they're softly golden. I was so lucky this autumn to be gifted one big bag and one big basket of fresh picked Okanagan walnuts. There's nothing like them! Thanks Rob and Garth & Pam!
MAPLE WALNUT FUDGE
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon sea or Kosher salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 1/2 cups chopped Callebaut or other good quality white chocolate
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped and toasted
2 teaspoons vanilla
Add the two sugars, cream, butter, salt and maple syrup to large-ish pot over medium heat. Stir while bringing to a boil. Lower the heat and continue to stir slowly while the mixture cooks. After about 7 minutes, test by pouring a small amount into cold water. You want it to form a soft ball. Or use candy thermometer to 235F - 238F - soft ball stage. When it reaches the soft ball stage remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
After 10-15 minutes add the white chocolate and vanilla and stir until chocolate melts. You will notice the fudge start to thicken immediately. Stir another couple of minutes until the fudge starts to lose it's shine. Quickly add the walnuts and pour into a buttered double loaf pan or dish. Let cool at room temperature. Chill.
Best served chilled. Now you have the best fudge recipe in the world.