Saturday Special: Vanilla Fudge

Fudge! The idea of fudge has intrigued and haunted me for years. The discovery that we actually do own a sugar thermometer and all the necessary ingredients for this simple vanilla fudge cemented my decision to try it out! The recipe is taken from Hummingbird Bakery’s Home Sweet Home book and is the first recipe I have made from the book!

Vanilla Fudge


300ml full fat milk

350g caster sugar

100g butter

1 tsp vanilla essence


  1. Lightly grease one 17.5cm square tin. (I only had a circular one!)
  2. In a medium pan, bring the milk, sugar and butter to the boil, stirring to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil for approximately 20 minutes, stirring constantly. The mixture must reach the soft ball stage – 115 oC (239 oF) on a sugar thermometer. You will need to stir quite vigorously towards the end as the fudge can catch on the bottom of the pan easily.
  3. Once it has reached the correct temperature, remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool for 5 minutes, then mix in the vanilla extract. The fudge might soufflĂ© up in the pan – this is normal. Beat with a spoon until the fudge has thickened and lost its glossy appearance.
  4. Carefully pour the fudge into the prepared tin and leave to set completely. Don’t put in the fridge.
  5. Turn out the fudge onto a chopping board and cut into the desired portion sizes.

I had two minor issues when first making this. 1) It took a long time to reach the soft ball stage because I didn’t have the hob on a high enough temperature and I used too small a saucepan so had to transfer mid-way through! 2) When cutting my fudge up I found that a lot of pieces tended to crack. I don’t know why but it didn’t affect the taste just made the pieces very uneven!

I hope your fudge turns out as tasty as mine – but in better shape!

S x


Saturday Special: Banana Loaf

The first time I made this was when I was at uni and my reasons were simple: I had overripe bananas and wasn’t prepared to waste them. (Yes, I went on to buy a loaf tin and so spent more money than I would’ve “wasted” throwing the bananas away but it was an INVESTMENT!) My reasons for making a banana loaf this week were… exactly the same. I do love banana loaf but it is best made with overripe bananas and you don’t tend to buy them that ripe unless you plan that well. I don’t. But anyway, the recipe was from ‘The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook’:

Screen shot 2013-10-12 at 08.18.32

I had a few issues with greasing the side of the tin (an older tin that my brand new uni bought tin) so one of the sides didn’t come out particularly cleanly and I’m still getting used to our fan-asssited oven so the loaf took a fair bit longer to cook… I don’t blame the recipe for this, I’m sure it’s my fault.

banana loaf

Good luck with baking!

S x