Just Fudge It

Bad news, team. I’m about to get pompous. Yea, lo, even to the point of posting a picture about it.
Here’s what happened. I decided to make fudge for friends this Christmas. Nothing extravagant in that – pretty run of the mill I’d say. But the reason I decided on fudge is that they don’t have the same Christmas fudge traditions over here in this old and jolly country. They have something they call fudge . . . . and no doubt to them it IS fudge. But it doesn’t necessarily involve chocolate – and I’ve heard from those who know these things that it can even come in strawberry flavor. And no, it’s not that brown sugar fudge stuff (which I always think is a disappointment to be
perfectly honest) – it’s more like a soft toffee with lots of cream in it that you can cut into squares. It’s awfully good and I could eat way too much of that stuff. But as far as festive food goes . . . they eat mince pies here at all of the moments where we Americans would just say it with fudge.

Then I happened to see in the grocery store a jar of “marshmallow fluff” (don’t blame me – that’s what it was called) and I thought to myself, “Self: You should make some fudge to give out as Christmas treats.” There are all of the plain old reasons that you always give fudge at Christmas – it’s good and it’s fattening. But this time there was the added bonus that I would be giving something unusual – a feature that doesn’t usually show up when you’re giving fudge.

That’s what set me out on this ridiculous journey.

I went back to the grocery store and the marshmallow fluff had vanished without a trace – and 3 separate employees claimed to never have heard of it. I went to a different grocery – same story. I was given very odd looks as I tried to describe that back home in America we call it marshmallow cream but I think that here it might be called marshmallow fluff . . . . no luck whatsoever. At this point I was firmly resolved not to give up. I was feeling quite strongly that if I wanted to make fudge with marshmallow cream then I ought to be allowed to do it – England or no England. And yes, I know there are ways to make fudge without marshmallow cream – better fudge too no doubt. But I wanted marshmallow cream purely and simply for the principle of the thing.

So it came down the obvious fact that I was going to have to make my own marshmallow cream. But there was another kink in the hose – they don’t have corn syrup here either. And all of my googling resulted only in recipes for marshmallow cream that involved corn syrup. I decided to substitute golden syrup (do we even have that in the States?) and see how it worked out.

Strange to say, it worked brilliantly. Especially strange since I didn’t have a candy thermometer and was trying to cook this substance to the firm ball stage based on how it looked when I dripped it in a cup of water. All very mysterious and dodgy – but for whatever reason it decided to cooperate and I was left with an enormous vat of marshmallow cream. (I had doubled the recipe just in case.)

Time to make the fudge now. So I measured out my marshmallow cream and decided I had enough to quadruple the fudge recipe. I fired up my stockpot with 12 cups of sugar and whatnot and cooked it to the soft ball stage based once again on the mysterious water dripping ritual. And it worked again! I had really been expecting the whole thing to flop at this point – but it behaved very well. I had myself about 15 pounds of fudge and it was time to pour it into pans.

That’s when the bad news hit me. I have no pans. (My kitchen is still somewhat thinly stocked – although the big newsflash is that I now own a can opener.) The best I could muster was 2 small cake pans and that was going to get me absolutely nowhere. I racked my brain and suddenly had what can only be described as flash of brilliance. I pulled out the top drawer of my Welsh dresser (which I bought on ebay for 6 pounds!) and lined it with tin foil. I then dumped the entirety of my huge pot of fudge into it and let it cool on the windowsill (which is deep enough to accommodate the top drawer of a Welsh dresser.)

Needless to say, I was extensively pleased with myself for my resourcefulness and ingenuity. So much so that I have now wasted a huge amount of my mother’s blog space purely to show off about it! And yes, here come the pictures.

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19 thoughts on “Just Fudge It

  1. OK – those pictures are huge. There’s no reason in the world to have a lifesize picture of marshmallow fluff when the twins showed up as tiny thumbnails. I think it’s time for Liz to post some newer and bigger twins now.

  2. This story reminds me of my pursuit of a good donut when I was living in Turkey. It had never occurred to me while in the States that I would want to make donuts. But a person comes to the point of desperation. I did have American friends that would make marshmallows there. Just this afternoon I’ll be making some marshmallow creme fudge for the kids’ teachers. Should take me about 15 minutes. 🙂

  3. Great story! Especially the Welsh dresser drawer. I hope all the recipients enjoy the treats.

    I made your mom’s hot fudge sauce and poured them into pint jars to give away to friends and neighbors.

    Your stories of an American in jolly old England are delightful.

  4. Heroic.

    We’ve got fluff on the east coast…must be a regional name thing. If you don’t know fluff, could it be that you don’t know fluffernutter sandwiches? And if you do know peanut butter and marshmallow creme sandwiches, what on earth do you call them that could be as wonderful as “fluffernutter”?

  5. Well, my daughter, you may use up as much blog space as you want anytime, especially when posting such a fantastic, not-to-be-missed episode in the Merkles Go Abroad story!

  6. Having sampled American fudge, made with marshmallow cream, for the first time yesterday, I’d say that it is the best fudge I’ve ever tasted. So I suppose I had better ask Bekah to teach me how to make said marshmallow cream as I live in little ol’ England. I promise to teach her how to make mint sauce in return!

  7. I live in New England, and here it is called Marshmellow Fluff as well. I guess some of Old England has imparted her ways here in the New.

  8. Oh my goodness, that is awesome! The scale measures in kg and all!! Of course if I was living in England I would be the type that would adopt all things English, fake accent and all. I am such an Anglophile. I wonder if the Lord would be so pleased as to provide the opportunity for me to go there one day.

    Hey Rebekah have you ever read “84 Charing Cross Road” by Helene Hanff? It is a terrific little read. You would get such a kick out of it. Your mom would too.

    Hope your drawer survived the fudge okay.

  9. Good job in innovation! I make fudge regularly for lunches, and I’ve poured it into different things (because I only just got my first 9×13 pan, not sure how I managed a kitchen over 2 years without one). Laying foil on the table and pouring it all unevenly out is nice, if you can keep small fingers away from it.

  10. I was longing for some golden syrup this summer (treacle tart for the Harry Potter release), but I had to use corn syrup instead. Cruel, cruel fate.

    It’s so fun when circumstances make you think of making something that you take for granted as coming in a can (or glass jar, as the case may be).

    I’ve always thought of it as marshmallow fluff, but the jars say cream. :^)

  11. Speaking of mince pies, Starbucks in England has the very best! Try them if you get a chance, I dont think you’ll be disapointed. Did you use Cadbury Cocoa in your fudge? It all sounds and looks yummy. I bet you are blessing the socks off your British friends. Hey, can you believe what they use for stuffing there?Sue Field, please do not take offense (and if you do I am sure you have alot of ammo to shoot back at us Americans.
    Merry Christmas

  12. I just made marshmallows this morning. I used corn syrup, but I bet that golden syrup would taste much better. I think I’ll use that next time.

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