Making Fudge with Fudge Kitchen Windsor

A few years ago when we went to Bath on a getaway and stumbled upon the Fudge Kitchen, and we saw a couple taking part in a Fudge making experience. It looked like great fun, and so we tried ever since to get in and do one whenever we've been close to one, not having a branch in Brighton. Finally, last week we managed it.

We nearly didn't! Don't ask why that British Gas man is in this shot, suffice to say he saved our bacon fudge. The very fine gentleman in the very fine hat is Jimmy, from what we saw most often found enticing people into the store. The word I think is "a character". 

I'm not a big fan of fudge, that is what you often get as fudge. You know, the stuff that crumbles, comes in neat little cubes. Mr O is a fan thou, so he'll often get some and I might nibble, Fudge Kitchen make theirs in what we were told is the traditional method that originates in the US, but more on that later.

As part of the experience you get to nibble samples of the fudge. I think its normally 6 types but we got more because of the gas hiccup  and pretty much tried every flavour they had in the store at time time. Apparently they makes hundreds of flavours, but that day we had (as well as toffee, vanilla and variants of chocolate) chocolate rum brownie, eton mess, apple crumble, lemon poppy seed, rum and raisin and sea salt caramel. This is me, so we decided to try making chocolate fudge. 

The fudge is made in this massive fudge cauldron. I have decided that if that isn't its name it should be, but anyway the sugar, cream and whatever else is flavouring the fudge are put in it and heated over a low heat. Barry, our Fudge Ambassador explained to us that sugar sets at the temperature you cook it too  so caramel and jam for instance are heated hotter and set harder than fudge. So a low heat is applied to melt down the ingredients together. Stirring it as you do of course, and the hat is mandatory.

The fudge is made kinda like ice cream - sugar crystallizes, and the more you work it the smaller the crystals. So, like you will churn the ice cream mix as it freezes to make the ice crystals smaller, you do the same with the fudge. Only with the fudge, it first needs to cool down and set a bit.

Jimmy and Barry pouring the fudge onto the marble table. Look at that steam!!

Once its set (confirming its at the right stage with a smiley face is also mandatory), then comes the stirring. That is HARD WORK, that fudge we were shifting was 10kg! There are specific tools and method to the "working of the fudge", and it took a fair while, constantly moving it around until it was creamy and starting to set. At that point it is shaped into loaves ready to cut.

Me and Mr O decided on a competition, so the 10kg was halved for the shaping. Results of that are fixed ambiguos, Mr O's in the front had a smoother shape, but mine a better loaf. Not bad really considering I'm a total weakling and that fudge is really hard to move when its nearly set. 

We also had a competition with the slicing, and that one was an out and out draw - both of us exactly 3g off the magic amount of 175g of fudge to a slice. I maintain he cheated.

All in all it was a FAB experience. As part of it, as well as more fudge samples than we could eat, we also got some slices to take home. One of which (the fab Chocolate Rum Brownie) I am munching as I type, and it is as creamy as I would expect from all that work. I also picked up a "make it at home" kit from them (at a £5 discount because of the experience) so we can make some smaller batches of three different fudges at home. That is going to be fun. 

Moneywise it is not cheap. We paid £50 for the both of us, which covered the making and all the fudge we ate and brought home. All in all not exactly cheap, but it was a nice jolly and you know how I love these types of things so it was worth it for us. Not least because of the omg massive amounts of fudge we took away with us. I seriously think I broke my sweet tooth.

How do you like my slices? Or are you not fudge fans??

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