Chocolate Marshmallow Fudge

Currently reading The Shuttle by Frances Hodgson Burnett. If you’ve read My Last Duchess by Daisy Goodwin, you will love this novel. It’s certainly got a very feminist slant and I was quite surprised to see some of the more controversial issues (especially for that period in history) being covered in the book.

Accompanying my reading, damn good chocolate fudge.

Yum.

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Fudge making doesn’t seem to be all that easy, I have to admit. I tend to either cook it too long so it goes grainy, or not long enough so it’s squidgy instead of set. The first batch didn’t go well, but second time lucky worked a charm and I had a beautifully array of dark brown, slightly squidgy smooth squares which got the flatmate seal of approval!

Now, I didn’t want to first failed batch to go to waste, so I thought I would do a spot of experimentation. I crumbled it up, and heated it all in a big pan with a bit of extra evaporated milk until it was smooth and liquid again. If i tipped the mixture out into a tin at this stage, I found that it would set to the consistency of a soft caramel. On the other hand, boiling the mixture for a couple of minutes longer at a high temperature, plus the addition of a few more squares of grated chocolate produced fudge again, hooray! It was firmer than the good batch, and a bit darker thanks to the extra chocolate, but it set with a beautiful glossy sheen, and tasted, dare I say it – even better! You just can’t go wrong with extra chocolate, can you? 🙂

Chocolate Fudge (adapted from BBC Food)

  • 70g butter
  • 300g light brown sugar
  • 225g evaporated milk
  • 225g marshmallows
  • 300g milk chocolate, chopped
  • 75g dark chocolate, chopped

Grease and line a 20cm cake tin.

Melt the butter, sugar and milk together in a pan over a low heat. Once the sugar has dissolved, add the marshmallows and turn the heat up, boiling the fudge for 5-6 minutes. Take the pan off the heat as this point and add the chocolate. Leave for a minute to melt, and then stir the mixture together which is hard work! Quickly pour the mixture into the tin and leave to set for a couple of hours, then chop up into yummy squares.

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Scones

Anyone who knows me well will know that I love scones. I had a strong hankering after some today, and being rainy, it seemed like the perfect baking weather. I wanted to try out Dan Lepard’s recipe for his Everyday Scones, which changes the original method to mix together natural yoghurt, a small amount of sugar and some cream in with flour and raising agent. I didn’t have the exact ingredients available, so I used self-raising flour instead of adding bicarbonate and cream of tartar – and single cream was on offer so I used that instead of the double cream Dan Lepard states in his recipe.

I also made some fruit scones by adding a handful of sultanas to my go-to scone recipe. I used single cream here as I was trying to use it up but personally I would stick to milk as cream imparts too rich a flavour which is slightly sickening.

Although it is not essential to eggwash the tops of the scones before baking, they do go a beautiful golden colour which makes them look infinitely more tempting. The Dan Lepard scones came out looking a bit neater, but I think the lopsided nature of the fruited scones may have been thanks to the presence of the sultanas, which I imagine have have a distorting effect on the rise.

I managed to go for a run this morning. It was very difficult getting myself going, I was horribly congested, and I think a lot of passersby looked at me like I was mad, but I did it! Woohoo. Felt fine afterwards, no worse, but no better than before. I think being in a steamy kitchen baking helped a lot though! 😀

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Autumnal Weekend

After a very busy and stressful week, it was nice to sit back and take some time out at the weekend. 🙂 I made the most of the Autumn sunshine, and headed out for a lovely 18km run on Saturday. It was surprisingly quite dry, and I only got a little bit muddy, which is always good 🙂

On Sunday I was feeling a bit stiff, so I stretched my legs out and went for a nice long ramble in the morning, and a relaxing swim in the afternoon. There was just-baked crumble waiting for me when I got back – made with the windfall apples and some foraged blackberries – yum! It made a great post-workout snack with some Yeo Valley yoghurt. Shame I forgot to take a photo!

I still feel a bit stiff today after my long run at the weekend, and I decided to cut my workout short with  6.5km run instead, which was just about manageable! I’m hoping that it isn’t too wet in the following week as I do want to get a fair amount of running in, though I do wonder whether it would be worthwhile doing more of the other forms of exercise I also enjoy. I guess I prefer running because it’s much easier than having to travel to the gym 😀

I really feel like Autumn has arrived now – there’s a definite chill to the air and my coat is staying firmly on when I venture outdoors. I feel like the seasons have changed astonishingly quickly this year, I swear it was only moments ago that it was August and I was swelteringly hot – phew.

Scandi Cinnamon and Cardamom Twists

Lately I’ve been on a yeasty baking spree, all inspired by the wonderful writings of Signe Johansen on her Scandinavian baking blog. There seems to be something wonderfully simple, functional, yet deliciously stylish about the Scandinavian aesthetic in general, and baking is certainly no exception.

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I do love a good cinnamon bun, so I jumped at the opportunity to make these at the weekend. They turned out so beautifully that I knew I had to try the recipe on Signe’s blog for cardamom twists. I’ve never tried cardamom in my baking before. As I was grinding up the pods, I was rather doubtful whether I would like the taste as I inhaled a rather medicinal scent wafting up to my nostrils.

Never fear. The twists were fantastic. Due to my doubts, I only made half the quantity of cardamom twists, and substituted cinnamon for the remaining half. I have to say, they were all absolutely phenomenal. The cinnamon were still my favourite, but the cardamom had a really unique flavour that became really quite addictive! As with all things homemade, these are at their best fresh out of the oven, but they are still great after a gentle reheating in the microwave or the oven on a low heat. 🙂