One of my favourite parts of my money-saving challenge was forcing myself to only use what I had in my cupboards. It's all far too easy to just pop to the shops and pick up some extra groceries all because you were missing the 2 drops of vanilla essence from a recipe... and seeing as money is going to be tighter than ever, when the baking bug hit recently I decided to make something using only what I already had... the result:
Homemade Rum and Raisin Fudge
It all started when I found a rather ridiculous stash of muscovado sugar at the back of my cupboard - all of which were already open and part used in the way of these things. Muscovado sugar has a deep flavour, and is great at high temperatures... so I got creative:
- 900gms Muscovado sugar (I used a mix of dark and light - the molasses flavour ended up quite strong so if you're not a fan I stick more towards the light end)
- 250gms butter
- 1 can of evaporated milk (again lurking at the back of my baking cupboard)
- 200ml water
- Rum flavouring (3-4 tsp)
- Handful of rum-soaked raisins - I'd been making my Christmas Cake, so I had some fruits already soaking, but if you don't have any to hand pour a small amount of rum over your raisins and leave to soak overnight.
- Using some of your butter grease a Swiss roll tin or similar - I used a a square silicone tray.
- Melt the remaining butter in a large saucepan. Once melted stir in the evaporated milk, 200ml water, and rum flavouring.
- Stir in all the sugar (I found it best to use a whisk to stop the sugar getting too 'clumpy' ) until it has all melted into the buttery liquid.
- Now you need simmer vigorously for about 50 minutes, stirring with your whisk every few minutes, to turn it from this:
Once you're at this stage rapidly cool the mixture by plunging the base of the saucepan into cold water and stir like there is no tomorrow... As you keep stirring and the mixture cools, sprinkle in your raisins. Once the mixture has thickened, become almost grainy in texture and isn't quite so shiny, pour it into the prepared tin and leave to cool completely.
Once cool chop into bite-size pieces!
I have to say, this fudge went down a storm in our offices, but it is really really sweet... personally the next time I make it, I think I might top it with some bitter dark chocolate to try to cut through the sweetness... but hey, I think it was a success - not only have our colleagues been treated to some rather scrummy fudge, but that is three boxes of sugar that won't have to make the move with us!