I picked up my copy of the River Cottage Family Cookbook when I was last in Memphis. Sure it’s a cookbook aimed towards children, but in true Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall fashion, it’s a hefty tome of culinary secrets. When I was thumbing through the section on sugar & honey, a picture of fudge caught my eye.
The description is what really sold me on the idea of honey fudge: “This is a lovely recipe because it shows that the choice between honey and sugar isn’t always an “either,or.” In this case it’s a “both,and.”
It starts very simply with 4 cups of sugar, a 12oz can of evaporated milk (Whittinstall calls for a 13 oz can, but they don’t sell them like that in the US), and ½ cup of water being put into a pan.
Once all that had dissolved, it was time to add a few more ingredients.
¼ cup of honey and a pinch of salt are added to the pot. I used honey from Lamar, MS. It’s always nice to use something local.
With the bigger pan, it was just keeping an eye on the candy thermometer and stirring every half minute or so.
When I saw the picture of the fudge, I was expecting it to come out like the book, a nice light brown.
By the time it had reached 241 and had a chance to cook, it was a rich, but very dark brown.
Next, I added 7 tablespoons of butter to the mix.
The idea is to stir vigorously and the butter will mix into the syrup.
I greatly overestimated how much fudge this would make, but when I tried to spread the fudge, it began to form clumps. I decided to leave well enough alone and cut squares anyway.
Regardless of the odd appearance, this was a delicious dessert. I was expecting the honey to be completely masked by the overabundance of sugar but it shone through brilliantly. I shouldn’t be surprised. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall does amazing work with his cookbooks, and his recipes almost always perform flawlessly. I’ll have to cook from his books more often.