Irish Caramel and Vanilla Fudge

Today is the first of my St. Patrick’s Day posts. I want to bring some things to you that you might not have come across before or would not have thought that they were actually Irish in nature. I am sure that the first thing you think of is Green Beer and Corned Beef and Cabbage. While those certainly are a big part of St. Patrick’s Day festivities I want to highlight some of the less American perceived Irish Meals. Don’t worry I have some cute fun Americanized things planned also!

More recipes @ pandpkitchen.com

This fudge is probably the best candy that I have ever made. You will not miss the Chocolate for one second! It does require a candy thermometer but don’t let that scare you. This is really easy to pull together and I bet that you have all the ingredients in your pantry right now! It just melts in your mouth and you get this blast of rich caramel followed by the mellowing vanilla that just finishes this tiny piece of joy off!

So what makes this fudge Irish you ask? Well other than the bed of clovers that it is pictured on, fudge is most often served at the end of every supper {we call it dinner} as petit four. The two most common flavors for fudge in Ireland? Well as you would guess coffee and then this Vanilla. They would probably not call this fudge caramel like I have and just called it Vanilla. This really does have a rich dark caramel color and that caramel flavor is very prominent. You don’t need a very large piece. A small bit goes a long way this is so rich and so delectable!

For once I was smart and did not take this to my work {I still just eat it all there} and sent this with my Hubby to his work. He came home and said all the guys want you to make them treats like that every week! Well guess what? I’m a food blogger and I can seriously handle that! Wait till they get my cupcakes next week!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cups brown sugar not packed
  • 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract (try not use artificial but real extract)
  • Candy Thermometer {if you don’t have a thermometer boil 10-15 min and test by pouring a spoon full into a small bowl with water and if strands that can be cracked appear it is ready}

Instructions

  • grease an 8×8 pan very well set aside
  • in a heavy sauce pan {Dutch oven would be best}
  • melt the butter over a low heat
  • add the brown sugar and stir on low heat till completely melted
  • then raise the heat to medium high and bring to a boil
  • continue boiling until the thermometer reads HARD CRACK 336 degrees
  • this takes about 10-15 min keep an eye on the sugar and still often during this stage
  • {if you don’t have a thermometer boil 10-15 min and test by pouring a spoon full into a small bowl with water and if strands that can be cracked appear it is ready}
  • once it reads hard crack remove from the heat and pour in the condensed milk and whisk
  • this may be hard to whisk at first but the heat will melt the milk and it will become easier to whisk
  • then place back on the stove at medium heat and cook for a few min to really let that milk incorporate
  • remove and add the vanilla mix in
  • pour into prepared pan and let cool
  • cut into squares and serve
  • Enjoy!
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