I can't claim to have come up with this idea - the boy fancied some and I happily accepted my mission. And by golly did it turn out tasty. You see, much like pineapple and ham, or salt and caramel, these two crazy cats are somewhat made for each other. The sweet, stodginess of the fudge is an ideal match for the earthy, zingy, hops flavour the beer brings to the table.
The quantities of beer I've settled on (60-80ml) result in a fudge that isn't overpoweringly beery, but don't be scared to adjust the amount of beer you use if you want a boozier treat! If you put less in, the fudge is slightly crumblier. If you add more for a fuller beer flavour, the fudge will end up softer.
Makes enough to fill three small gift boxes, or two lunchbox-sized tupperware pots.
You will need:
- 420g demerara sugar
- 115ml milk
- 120g butter
- 1 tin (397g) of condensed milk
- 60-80ml beer of your choice (I used Stella, because it's The Boy's beer of choice, but pick and choose an ale or lager of your choice.)
- Put everything except the beer into a saucepan over a low heat. Wait for the sugar to dissolve.
- Gently bring the mixture to the boil and simmer it for 10-15 mins, stirring frequently to stop it sticking to the pan. (Beware: this is the bit where the mixture - or lava, as it should be called - can spit at you if you stir it too vigorously.)
- If you have a sugar thermometer, brill. Just dip it in and wait for it to reach 118 degrees celsius. If you're not as much of a geek as me: have no fear. After 10 mins or so of simmering, get a glass of ice cold water and plop a little blob of mixture into it. If it forms a nice soft ball, you're done.
- Take the fudge off the heat and beat it like crazy, adding a healthy splash of beer every few seconds. It will take roughly 5-10 mins for it to go all thick and firm. Don't be afraid to lift the spoon up nice and high as you beat and let the fudge cascade back into the pan - the more oxygen that gets to it, the quicker it will set.
- Pour the mix into a greaseproof-lined tin. Let it cool for about half an hour (it will set in around 60-90 minutes so be careful not to let it get too hard!) and then cut into squares.
- Try not to eat it all at once.