Maple Cream Fudge
One of my favorite things about living in New England is all the maple syrup we produce here. Sugaring season runs from late winter to early spring. And one of my favorite things to do with local maple syrup is to turn it into fudge.
This fudge is a smooth, creamy cousin to pure maple sugar candy. Made with maple syrup infused with heavy cream, it’s a fabulous way to enjoy maple syrup.
Here at The Mouse House, we love dark amber syrup, but use any kind you like.
If you like penuche, a fudge-y treat made with brown sugar and cream, chances are that you’ll love this.
Tips for making candy
In general, clear, cool days are best for making candy. Humidity and heat can mess with your sugar-y mojo and keep your candy from setting up properly.
If you know me, you know that I’m usually fairly anti-thermometer, but for some things, they can make your life a lot easier. Candymaking is one of them. Get yourself a good candy or deep-frying thermometer. They’re inexpensive and take the guesswork out of boiling sugar.
Maple Cream Fudge
2 cups maple syrup
1 Tbls. light corn syrup
3/4 cups heavy cream
butter, for pan
optional: 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
Makes about 1 lb. of fudge.
Maple Cream Fudge: Combine the syrups and cream
Clip your candy thermometer on the inside of 3-quart, heavy-bottomed pot. Be sure that it’s not touching the bottom of the pot. (If it touches the bottom of the pot, it can give you a false reading.)
Add the maple syrup and corn syrup.
Pour in the cream.
Whisk well to combine.
Your mixture should be a uniform, caramel color, like this:
Set the pot on the stove over medium heat. Whisk it constantly until it comes to a boil.
Maple Cream Fudge: Boil the mixture until it hits soft-ball stage
When it starts to boil, stop whisking. You won’t stir it again until the mixture has cooked completely and then cooled. That’s just fine.
When it first starts to boil, it will bubble up dramatically, then subside.
Boil like this, without stirring, until the mixture reaches soft-ball stage on your thermometer. (This is called “soft-ball stage” because, at this temperature, a small amount of syrup will form a ball when dropped into cold water�but will flatten when picked up.)
Mine looked about like this at this point:
Maple Cream Fudge: Cool to lukewarm without stirring
When the mixture reaches soft-ball stage, take it off the heat. Set it aside to cool in the pot. Cool it to lukewarm (about 120 degrees or so) without stirring. This took me roughly 40 minutes.
While you’re waiting for the mixture to cool, butter a standard one-pound loaf pan. Set it aside.
As the mixture cools, it may get a slight skin. That’s just fine.
Maple Cream Fudge: Beat the mixture when cool
When the mixture cools to about 120 degrees, transfer it to the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl, if you’re using a hand-held mixer.)
Beat for 7-10 minutes on medium speed.
As you beat it, it will lose its gloss, thicken, and become opaque.
After about 10 minutes, my fudge looked like this:
It should be considerably stiffer and more solid.
If you’re adding them, toss in the vanilla and nuts. Beat to incorporate.
With a wooden spoon, scrape the fudge out of the bowl. It will be stuck to the sides of the bowl. That’s just fine.
Transfer the fudge to your buttered loaf pan.
It should be moist but not overly sticky.
Using the back of a wooden spoon (or your hands), press the fudge flat.
You want it to look about like this:
Cool it completely before cutting. This will help it firm up a little more.
Maple Cream Fudge: Cool completely and enjoy!
When your fudge is completely cool, cut into squares.
Store your fudge well wrapped in a cool place.