Portion/Yield:Makes about 48
I love making fudge and as I made some again yesterday to serve as part of our sweet treats selection, I thought I would don my ‘Christmas hat’ and give my fudge a little festive twist.
I also have a special place in my tummy for mince pies, so in this case the two go perfectly hand in hand. We have over 80 people booked in on Christmas day and I volunteered this year to make the mince pies and fudge for afters.
The mincemeat was made months ago and to be honest I have two very specials jars left from last season’s blend, which I will keep for those really special moments. I cannot wait to open the jars and have a secret taste, as I know it’s going to be super delicious and extra matured.
For these little fudge drops, I used a small half moon-shaped flexible rubber mould, you can buy it from the infusions4chefs website, they are pretty good and will deliver quickly. It’s inexpensive and you can use it for plenty of other great ideas afterwards. http://www.infusions4chefs.co.uk/shop/apparatus/silicon-mould-hemisphere-mini-x-24s.html.
If you do not want to buy these moulds, then I suggest you shape the fudge into long thin logs, wrap in cling film and chill until set, then cut into bite-sized mini logs and roll them in cocoa powder – they’ll be just as good.
You can make these drops up to 2 weeks in advance and keep them chilled in the fridge until needed. They make a delicious after dinner treat or they can be served instead of mince pies. They also make the perfect Christmas gift – simply pile a few into cellophane bags, tie with pretty ribbon or raffia and give as homemade gifts over the festive season. Enjoy! I did.
Ingredients & Method
- 225ml double cream
- 250g caster sugar
- 50g unsalted butter, diced small and chilled
- 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways and seeds scraped out
- 200g ready-made mince pies (preferably homemade!), crushed very finely (separate and reserve some of the pastry to crush and use as decoration)
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, to decorate
First place the moulds on a baking tray in the fridge to chill.
Put the cream and sugar into a small saucepan over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar, and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat slightly (you need the mixture to boil, but not too fast as it catches very quickly). Place a sugar thermometer in the mixture and keep it boiling, stirring regularly to prevent catching, for about 10–12 minutes or until it reaches a temperature of 115°C – the colour will change slightly to a very light caramel. Once the temperature is reached, remove the pan from the heat and remove the sugar thermometer.
Stir in the chilled butter, vanilla seeds and crushed mince pies (remember to reserve some of the pastry to crush and use as decoration). Stir vigorously for 5 minutes until the butter is whipped into the mixture and the fudge is smooth. At this stage, I leave the mixture to cool for about 15 minutes at room temperature as it’s too runny and too hot to handle. As it’s cooling, stir it often to prevent a skin forming.
Once the mixture has chilled to a soft dropping consistency, transfer it to a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle (if you are using a disposable piping bag, cut off a small tip at the bottom) and pipe into the chilled moulds. Place the moulds in the fridge and leave to set and chill for about 3 hours.
Once chilled, pop the fudge drops out of the moulds, dip one half of each in the reserved crushed pastry crumbs and then dip the other half in the cocoa powder. They are now ready to serve.