Keeping small-town tourism alive one nibble at a time, and populating charming little farmers’ markets across the land, thick slabs of maple fudge are enchantingly rural. Really, you can’t get more Canadian than this.
The recipe is a bit trickier than most, and through the ups and downs of developing it, I discovered that a hand mixer and a candy thermometer are worth their weight in golden maple fudge. Use the best dark maple syrup you can get your hands on. And if you’re not a nut-free household, adding 1 cup chopped walnuts is the perfect counterpart to this smooth and sugary delight.
- Yield: 64 (1-inch) pieces
- Spray a large mixing bowl and an 8-inch square baking dish (a loaf pan would do in a pinch) with canola oil.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar, Sucanat, coconut milk, butter, maple syrup, and baking soda. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until the mixture hits the soft ball stage on a candy thermometer (about 230°F). If you don’t have a candy thermometer, test that the fudge is ready by spooning a bit of the boiling mixture into a bowl of ice water. If the mixture comes together into a soft, pliable ball, it’s ready. If it stays liquid, you need to boil it longer, and if it seems pretty hard, you may have boiled it too long and will have to start over.
- When the mixture has hit the soft ball stage, immediately pour it into the prepared mixing bowl, but resist the urge to scrape down the sides or the bottom of the pan this can lead to sandy-feeling fudge. Add the vanilla. Using a hand mixer on low speed, gently beat the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes, until it has lost its super-glossy sheen and is much thicker. If you are adding walnuts, now’s the time.
- Using a spatula, scrape the thickened mixture into the prepared baking dish. Let cool at room temperature for at least 4 hours, and up to overnight, until set. Using a sharp knife, slice the fudge into 1-inch squares and store in an airtight container.