The scent of cocoa and boiling sugar wafting from my stove summons memories from my childhood so vivid that I can almost feel myself shrinking back to six-year-old size with long brown pigtails and a Minnie Mouse printed t-shirt sticking to my back in the summer heat. My Mum is standing at the stove stirring a batch of sweet, sugary fudge that will become a Christmas present for my teacher. She talks me carefully through the process, telling me that I am too small to make the fudge at the moment but one day I can do this for myself. I wait for her to pour the batch into the lined loaf tin, and then she hands me the spoon to lick. A sticky film of fudge clings to the curves of our special spoon. Mum waits for the saucepan to cool a little before she scrapes off the fudge that didn’t make it to the setting pan and we pick at the shards of sugar crystals while the larger batch cools and sets.
This tradition was repeated at many Christmas times, and other moments in between. This fudge to me has always summoned a feeling of comfort from my Mum, an echo from childhood, and also a feeling of competition with Dad – his sweet tooth knows no bounds and you have to be quick to secure your piece before all the rest ‘mysteriously disappears’.
One of my favourite memories of this fudge is when I had my wisdom teeth out. Apart from the aesthetic suffering of looking like a chipmunk who had been in a bar fight (oh, this pasty white face bruises really easily apparently), I was unable to eat as I couldn’t open my mouth very far and chewing sounded like an instrument of torture. Mum had made a batch of this fudge, and in my desperate state, I found that I could slice it very thinly and push pieces into my mouth where they could melt and pool in cocoa and sugar goodness. Not that I told my orthodontist that I was living on fudge for two weeks when I went back to have my stitches pulled out….
So we came to this Friday evening, our inaugural winter M*A*S*H* marathon, and what better sweet treat to have by our sides than a batch of this fudge. Make it now, or save the recipe for the night when only the sweetest of treats will do.
Sugary Chocolate Fudge
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Line a 9 x 5 inch loaf tin with baking paper and set aside.
- Combine sugar, cocoa powder and milk in a saucepan and set over medium heat.
- Bring mixture to the boil for 3 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and add butter. Beat until sugary, which should take about 4 -5 minutes.
- Add vanilla essence and stir, then pour mixture into prepared tin and allow to cool.
- Once fudge has set cut into small squares.
Sadly, there was no fudge left in our house after morning tea on Saturday. Only sticky sweet memories remain…