Top tips: Do use a LARGE Pyrex (oven-proof glass) bowl for this...a plastic bowl will melt at the temperature the sugar reaches, and the mixture will bubble up a lot as it boils. The glass bowl and fudge mixture will be EXTREMELY HOT, so please do use oven gloves when you take the bowl in an out of the microwave.
- 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
- 8oz/200g caster sugar
- 4oz/100g butter, softened
- 2 tbsp golden syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1oz/25g flaked almonds
- 3oz/75g glace cherries, halved
Microwave for 2 minutes on medium. Stir and repeat, until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.
Heat on high for approximately 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so, until the mixture changes to a dark golden-brown colour, thickens and starts setting a little at the sides of the bowl (see the middle image below).
If you have a sugar thermometer, you need to reach 120C/235F, alternatively, drop a little of the hot mixture into a cold cup of water. It should form a soft ball.
Remove from the microwave and allow to cool, without stirring for 5 minutes.
Mix in the vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until you can feel the mixture starting to thicken and set. If you find that the fudge isn't setting at all, reboil for a further couple of minutes.
Add the cherries and almonds and stir in.
Pour into a greased and lined 7"/20cm square tray and smooth out with the back of a spoon. Allow to cool for an hour or so, before marking into pieces.
Cool fully before removing from the tin.
Store layered between sheets of grease-proof paper, in an air-tight box (in the fridge), until you are ready to bag it up for gifts.
Keeps for 2-3 weeks (if you haven't eaten it all within a couple of days!).
Alternatives: Omit the vanilla, cherries and almonds and change the flavourings to make different fudges: try rum & raisin or coffee & walnut for example.
To make hot fudge sauce for ice cream or profiteroles, add 125 ml/½ cup of evaporated milk to the above ingredients. Melt as above and then boil the mixture for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until you have a smooth, golden sauce. Add the vanilla but omit the cherries and almonds. Pour into sterilised jam jars, seal and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks. Re-heat to serve.