I visited my aunt in Georgia last weekend and while the goal of the trip was so that my little one could meet some of his cousins, I also was very determined to have her teach me how to make Guyanese fudge. See my aunt is an old student of the Carnegie School of Home Economics in Guyana, which recently celebrated its 80th anniversary! She seriously knows how to make any and everything Guyanese. While teaching me to make fudge my aunt shared little stories of how she and her colleagues made fudge to sell to little school children every day, when she lived in Guyana. She has made this fudge so often she knew exactly when it was ready, without checking the thermometer. But she checked and tested the fudge in water just for my satisfaction.
Now here’s the thing, I have tried countless times to make fudge from a recipe and couldn’t figure out when the fudge was done, or when it got to a “soft ball.” So I made toffee and caramel on countless occasions and most recently made English toffee as I decided to add salt at the end. Don’t ask.
So when I got home from Georgia, yesterday, I decided to try making the fudge on my own. After all, I couldn’t share this post and not actually know if I could make fudge just by following this recipe. And what do you know… I made fudge, me, toffee girl. I made delicious fudge. Fudge that my husband said tasted like the kind he got in the school yard when he was in primary school. Now I must say that it was not as soft and “melty” as my aunt’s, but hey she’s been doing this for many, many years. But the fact still remains that I MADE FUDGE!
I was so excited about this fudge making that I forgot to take pics of the final steps. Here are two pics from when I made fudge yesterday, to test out the recipe. My fudge is much darker than my aunt’s (guessing the quality of the brown sugar contributed to this), but you can still get the idea.
Once fudge becomes thick, pour into a greased pan and let cool. When almost cooled, cut into squares.
Guyanese Vanilla Fudge (Makes about 16 pieces)
1 can evaporated milk (12 oz)
1 can condensed milk (14 oz)
2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine evaporated milk, condensed milk, brown sugar and water in a large saucepan and mix together until all the sugar has melted. Place on medium heat and bring to a slow boil. Do not stir before the mixture boils. Stir continuously in a figure 8 going around the sides and down the middle. Boil mixture until it forms a soft ball or come to 235 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove mixture from heat and add butter and vanilla extract. Let cool for 5 minutes then beat until mixture becomes thick. Pour into a greased square baking dish and let cool. Cut into squares when mixture is almost cool.
Tips and Ramblings:
1. Fudge is a labor of love. The stirring and beating will definitely help your arm muscles.
2. When testing to see if the fudge is a soft ball mixture, taste the pieces of fudge in the water. If it tastes smooth like toffee you still have a little way to go.
3. My aunt told me the fudge is ready when you stir it and can see the sugar crystallizing at the bottom.
4. If the fudge begins to burn but it is still not up to temp, reduce the heat.
5. If it takes you more that on try to get it right, don’t get discouraged, the trick is figuring out when it is a soft ball. In the past I would give up before it got to this stage and always made toffee. :-)