Packed with Christmas flavours of cranberries, cinnamon, mixed spice and orange, this delicious Christmas fudge is finished with festive sprinkles, to make a pretty and edible homemade gift for loved ones.
In recent years come December, it seems as though I've been on a bit of a fudge fest in the Only Crumbs Remain kitchen. Our Traditional Vanilla and Whisky Fudge which is loved by friends and family so much that they ask us to make more. More! Unlike poor Oliver, who was shouted down by Mr Bumble with a bellowing "More!!!", I obliged and donned our apron to stir another batch or two of hot molten sugar.
Now, if you're anything like me, your mind will wander whilst constantly stirring the contents of a pan! Perhaps the act of stirring, stirring and stirring some more is partially hypnotic, who knows!
During one such time, I found myself me dreaming up different flavour combinations which could be introduced into this sweet confectionery. Amongst those flavours was this Christmas fudge.
This fudge recipe sings out 'Christmas' loud and clear not only is it spiced with warming cinnamon and mixed spice, studded with cranberries and other mixed fruits, and contains a hint of orange extract, but the fudge pieces are topped with pretty festive sprinkles!
Ive used a mixture of tiny holly sprinkles and some red and green sugar balls. Placing the holly randomly over the slab of fudge and then sprinkling over the sugar balls. You could use just the sugar balls or just holly sprinkles placing one carefully in the centre of each piece of fudge.
Now even though these festive sprinkles bring nothing in terms of flavour, having been made merely of sugar and colours, they really finish off this delicious fudge a treat and the sugar balls do give a little delightful extra crunch.
The fudge is topped with a thin layer of white chocolate ganache, which brings a slight colour contrast to the top of the fudge and extra flavour (not that this fudge needs it!) but also allows the sprinkles to sit securely to the fudge.
The use of the chocolate ganache does mean that this treat must be stored in an airtight container in the fridge where it will remain good with the fudge for up to 3 weeks, assuming it lasts that long!
Festive foodie gift
These homemade fudge pieces would be wonderful packaged up as a thank you to your children's teachers, or to friends and family. That gift of homemade confectionery could be made even more special if boxed with a selection of flavours.
There's no denying that homemade fudge does require a little effort, though it's nothing too taxing. Around half an hour of constant stirring followed by some vigerous beating, produces a batch of fudge which can be easily sliced into about 49 generous pieces ( I usually cut it into 7x7 pieces).
In fact, by making your own homemade fudge gifts you'll save a small fortune. During a recent visit to a local supermarket I spotted a box of just 8 fudge pieces for £5, yet for a similar amount you could purchase the cream, butter, sugar and flavourings to lovingly make your own batch of fudge which can be divided into bundles and shared with loved ones!
How to make Christmas Fudge step by step!
- large heavy based pan which holds a volume of at least 3l (5pts)
- sugar thermometer
- 20cm (8in) square cake tin
- baking parchment
For the fudge
- 400 ml (14floz) double cream (heavy cream)
- 150 ml (¼ pt) milk
- 150 g (5oz) butter
- 250 g (9oz) light muscovado sugar (soft brown sugar)
- 350 g (12oz) golden caster sugar
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon mixed spice
- 50 g (2oz) dried mixed fruit (ensure the fruits aren’t clumped together)
- 50 g (2oz) dried cranberries (ensure the fruits aren’t clumped together)
- ½ teaspoon orange extract
For the White chocolate ganache (optional)
- 75 ml (3floz) double cream (heavy cream)
- 75 g (3oz) white chocolate, chopped
- festive cake sprinkles
- Lightly grease and line a 20cm (8in) square shallow cake tin.
- Place 400ml (14floz) double cream, 150ml (¼ pt) milk, 150g (5oz) butter, 250g, (9oz) light muscovado sugar and 350g (12oz) golden caster into a large heavy based pan. Place over a low heat to heat gently stirring constantly until combined and all the sugar has dissolved.
- Increase the heat and while still continuing to stir constantly bring to the boil then boil until the mixture reaches 116℃ / 241℉ (soft ball stage).
- Once the required temperature has been reached, remove the pan from the heat and leave it undisturbed to cool down to 110℃ / 230℉. This will only take a couple of minutes.
- Next beat the mixture with the wooden spoon vigorously until no longer shiny.
- Add 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ¾ teaspoon mixed spice, beat well to combine. Then add 50g (2oz) dried mixed fruit, 50g (2oz) dried cranberries and ½ teaspoon orange extract and mix well .
- Pour the hot flavoured fudge into the prepared tin. Smooth the mixture into the corners. Set aside on a cooling rack.
- Meanwhile make the white chocolate ganache. Pour 75ml (3floz) double cream into a small pan. Set it over a low heat until the cream begins to bubble gently around the edge of the pan. Remove from the heat and add 75g (3oz) chopped white chocolate. Stir well until the chocolate has completely melted into the cream to produce a shiny and smooth ganache. Set it aside for 5 or 10 minutes to cool.
- Pour the ganache over the top of the fudge and spread to completely coat the top of the fudge. Set aside for 30 minutes to firm up a little. Decorate with festive sprinkles.
- Once the ganache and fudge has cooled to room temperature place the tin into the fridge for 1-2 hours to allow the ganache and fudge to completely firm up before cutting into bite sized pieces.
- Remember, this is incredibly hot! Do stir the syrup carefully so as to avoid splashing yourself.
- When heating the mixture and waiting for it to reach 116℃ / 241℉ it will feel as though the temperature is stuck around 104℃ / 220℉ for a long while, but have patience as eventually, it will move and soon reach the desired temperature.