Gather round, let me tell you a story. A Christmas story about your Aunty Jenni who tried to make fudge.
Well, you see, on Sunday morning Jenni made the gingerbread dough. The same recipe that she uses every year because of it being tried and true and everything. After work on Monday Jenni thought she’d make up some of the cookies. She’d roll out the dough and cut out little shapes and it’d be great. Then she thought again and she remembered that she didn’t really *need* the cookies for a few more days. She could leave the dough a bit longer and make the cookies another night.
“What other tasty Christmas treats could I make?” She thought to herself. “What about fudge? Everybody loves fudge!” She picked up her trusty Edmond’s cookbook and found the Russian Fudge recipe and saw that she had all the ingredients in her kitchen. “Everybody will love to eat fudge that I make” thought Jenni and she set out into the kitchen, found a saucepan and started to make it.
The slow dissolving of sugar into milk took ages. Now, you know Aunty Jenni and she’s a little impatient. She got bored of stirring continuously and turned the heat up a little higher than she maybe should have in the effort to get the sugar to melt a little faster.
Soon Aunty Jenni thought to herself “That’ll do, the sugar is dissolved-ish” and she went on to add the condensed milk, butter and golden syrup to the white goo. “Goodness this is full of refined fats!” Aunty Jenni thought to herself. “Why are there no healthy Christmas treats? Not to worry, all things in moderation and besides: Everybody loves fudge!”
After the butter had melted Aunty Jenni gave the mixture a really good stir and some strange dark brown shapes rose to the surface from the depths. “Uh-oh” thought Aunty Jenni, “that doesn’t seem good.” The dark shapes didn’t go away and the more she stirred the more rose to the top. “Maybe that’s how Russian fudge gets its dark colour?” She reasoned and turned the heat up to make the stuff boil.
Soon it was bubbling away like a Rotorua hotpool and Aunty Jenni was stirring only occassionally to keep it from burning. The problem was that with every stir more and more dark bits rose up to the surface. Now Aunty Jenni was fairly sure this was burning sugar pieces rising up, and usually fudge wasn’t made of burnt sugar, she started to get a little frantic.
She skimmed the bubbling surface for the burnt sugar and carried it across the kitchen to the sink, went back and stirred again, more burnt sugar. Aunty Jenni skimmed and removed the burnt sugar and stirred up more and skimmed it and stirred and removed. By this time, Aunty Jenni was getting a little annoyed. It seems the fudge mixture was getting annoyed too because the next time she went to stir it: “Fzzzt!” The misture spat a burning hot splash at Aunty Jenni. It hit her forearm and burned her!
Now Aunty Jenni was really mad. Her fudge was burning itself and her too! And her arm really hurt! She stuck it under running cold water for as long as she could trust the fudge alone before it burnt itself again. She had to keep stirring it and testing drops of it in a bowl of cold water to check if it was done or not.
The stirring spoon was getting hotter and hotter and the steam kept getting in her face and her poor burnt arm throbbed and hurt…until finally, Aunty Jenni saw that the drop of fudge mix had formed a soft ball in the water (or close enough) and she could take the cursed fudge off the heat. This she did and sighed a huge sigh of relief.
She let it cool for a while and then after cleaning up the mess it had made spitting on the hob, she beat the wretched mixture with a vengence. She beat it hard and long, until it was thickened, and she could pour it into the buttered pan that was waiting for it.
….and that’s where that fudge mixture is right now. Aunty Jenni doesn’t know if it will taste any good, but she’s going to eat it all the same, she’s going to make sure it pays for how it treated her. Oh yes, it will pay. After all, Everybody loves fudge right?