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Method Prep:5min › Cook:20min › Ready in:25min
Put a very tall and very large pan on the hob over a medium heat. Add the butter and wait for it to melt.
When all the butter is melted, add the sugar and evaporated milk. Fill up the milk tin halfway with water, then add to the pan. Stir with a wooden spoon.
Once the sugar has dissolved, stand a sugar thermometer in the pan. Increase the heat to high and bring to a rolling boil. Stir constantly so the mixture doesn't burn. It will start to bubble around the edges and eventually once boiling, a thick froth will start to form at the top.
When the froth has formed, stir only occasionally so it doesn't burn on the bottom. Continue cooking for 6 to 10 minutes so that the mixture is at a constant boil, but decrease the heat slightly if the mixture starts to froth and threatens to boil over.
Stop cooking when the mixture has reached 'soft ball' stage on the thermometer. The mixture should have thickened substantially. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
Pour into a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Leave to set, then cut into squares.
No sugar thermometer?
If you don't have a sugar thermometer, you can tell if the fudge is ready by using the 'soft ball test'. When the fudge is boiling and you notice the bubbles go from large, airy bubbles to smaller, tighter ones, start testing. Dip a metal spoon in the boiling fudge and drizzle the mixture into a glass of well chilled ice water. If it forms a soft, pliable ball, then it's done.
Caster or granulated sugar. The first time this recipe made more of a fudge sauce than fudge. The second time I cut out 20ml butter and 60 ml evaporated milk from the recipe and boiled 12/17 minutes instead of 6/10 and it turned out much better. - 29 Jul 2015