I am a BIG fan of fudge.
But I stopped making fudge for a long time. I got tired of trying out recipe after recipe and never having an end result that resembled what you’d find in candy stores or ice cream shops.
This was mostly because every recipe that I tried called for condensed milk. And each and every one of those recipes left me with a fudge that was mushy and half-melted at room temperature. Which – to me – isn’t really fudge.
Recently I decided to tackle this particular dessert again. I tried some different combinations of ingredients and some different methods of cooking. There were successes. And there were failures. What I’m posting today was not only a success but a hit.
And I’ll be sharing more fudge recipes soon, but today, let’s just start with this Vanilla Fairy Fudge.
Well, when I was doing Letter F Day with my girls, I wanted to make a snack that started with the letter F. I was enchanted by the pictures of Fairy Bread that I found on the internet (it’s an Australian treat – not something we see over here in the U.S.), but I decided to go one step further and add another “F” to make it better fit my alphabet theme. Thus, Fairy Fudge.
The fudge I made that day, however, was a bit of a failure. Not completely – I mean, we did eat it…..
But it was yet another condensed milk recipe.
Turns out you can use regular milk (and some cream, too) and come up with something even better. Which is what we have here. And it’s surprisingly easy, too, once you know the steps to take.
Originally this was just Vanilla Fudge, which was – don’t get me wrong – great, but I just couldn’t stop thinking about my Letter F recipe. So I added some sprinkles to the next batch. Great became awesome.
Because sprinkles just make life better.
The ingredients are pretty basic: butter, milk, sugar, etc.
Heavy whipping cream is pretty much the only think here that I’d have to remember to actually pick up at the store ahead of time.
Everything except the vanilla and sprinkles gets mixed together and brought to a boil.
Once you reach a boil, you turn it down and simmer it for 15 minutes or so.
There is NO stirring. You just watch to make sure it’s still bubbling, but that it never boils over. Especially on stoves like mine. My stove seems to change its temperature when it feels like it.
The important thing is that your fudge reach a temperature of 235 degrees Fahrenheit.
Even if it takes more that 15 minutes. This step is important.
Then you mix in the vanilla and stir it over a bowl of ice to cool it down quickly.
When stirring it over the ice, it’ll thicken noticeably.
Then it’s ready to go into your prepared pan. I like to coat the pan with foil first, to make it easier to remove the fudge once it’s set, but you also need something to grease it with.
Butter works well as long as you don’t overdo it. I sometimes use nonstick cooking spray. My favorite is coconut oil spray.
Cover the top with sprinkles (all the way to the edges) right away.
It’s better to put too much than too little. After it’s set, just tilt it to allow the extras to fall away.
The fudge should set quickly. I might let it sit for an hour just to be extra certain, but it usually sets in just a few minutes.
Then you take it out of the pan and turn it over VERY gently onto a large plate (retro plate optional).
But even if you’re like me and you sometimes stop paying attention to what you’re doing and you manage to break the fudge into two or three chunks, that’s okay. You can always cut the pieces diagonally.
And this recipe is meant to produce small pieces. Not gigantic thick hunks of candy. If you want it thicker, though, it’s easy enough to double the recipe or just put it in a smaller pan to set. Your choice.
I then leave those little pieces out overnight, or for a few hours, to make extra, extra certain that they’re fully set all the way around. I don’t like mushy edges.
Because the best part is biting into the crisp edges of the fudge piece and discovering the smooth, soft melt-in-your mouth center.
Mmmmmmm…… I think I need to go make some more fudge…….
Above is a photo of what the fudge looks like without the sprinkles.
Still delicious. Just not as colorful.
And, honestly, I love the texture that the sprinkles add to it. But it’s a choice that’s up to you. I promise I won’t judge your fudge. (As long as you don’t judge my rhymes.)
Vanilla Fairy Fudge
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ cups sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Prepare an 8×8-inch baking dish with foil and a light coating of butter or cooking spray.
Whisk together the milk, cream, butter, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer it without stirring. This is important: do NOT stir the mixture! After 15 minutes, test the temperature with a thermometer. Once it reaches 235°F or soft ball stage, remove from heat. Do NOT stop simmering until it reaches this temperature, or it will not set. It will be noticeably thicker at this point, but still slightly runny.
Let it sit for a minute and then stir in the vanilla extract.
Fill a large bowl with ice and place the saucepan into the bowl on top of the ice. Stir the fudge for a few minutes until it is very thick. Then (making sure not to let any of the melted ice get into your fudge) pour it into the prepared baking dish, spreading it smooth. Immediately cover the top with nonpareil sprinkles. This is an optional step, but it adds a nice texture.
Place baking dish on a wire rack and allow to completely set. This may take a half hour or a little longer, depending on the temperature and humidity of your home. Then carefully remove the fudge from the dish by pulling out the foil. Carefully invert it on a flat plate or platter and allow the bottom to dry. Again, this may only take a few minutes.
Cut into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife and allow the pieces to sit for a while without touching. I usually leave them out overnight to make sure each piece is fully set and has a nice solidity all the way around the smooth interior. Makes about 4 dozen very small pieces, depending on how you cut it.
[Note: the recipe can be doubled or put in a smaller pan if you like thicker pieces.]
Click for the free printable PDF of the recipe:
And if you love fudge, then you absolutely HAVE to check out my Chocolate Fudge recipe: