A delicious fudge flavored with maple syrup, walnuts, and a pinch of salt
Maple and walnuts are a wonderful combination and this creamy and smooth fudge is one of the best among the many wonderful variations in which this candy is made. Fudge is not complicated to make and results are always great, especially if one has a reliable candy thermometer and a few precautions are followed.
The recipe I made comes from a wonderful book on candy-making published in 1917 and written by Alice Bradley. The result is a candy with a smooth and sugary texture, to which the crunchy walnuts provide just the right counterpart. The sweetness is nicely balanced by a good sprinkle of salt, which really should not be omitted.
From the original recipe by Alice Bradley
In: “The Candy Cookbook”, 1917—USA
1 tbsp(15 g) butter
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1/2 cup (161 g) maple syrup
1/3 cup (80 g) cream
1 cup (100 g) chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
Melt the butter in heavy-bottomed saucepan (preferably cast iron) , add the sugar, maple syrup, and cream, stirring on low heat until sugar is dissolved.
It is important that the sugar dissolves completely, or the final results will be grainy rather than smooth. Using a small brush dipped in water wash off any sugar crystals clinging to the sides of the pan and to the wooden spoon you use to stir the mixture.
Once the mixture is completely smooth and blended, bring it to the boil, insert a candy thermometer and let cook, without stirring, until it reaches 238°F (114.44 C°) or soft ball stage.
Remove from the heat , and let stand undisturbed until cool (110F)—place the pan on a trivet so that air can circulate around the bottom. The candy will initially be gooey but later will set perfectly. Add walnuts and salt, and beat with a wooden spoon until candy begins to get creamy. Place in a 8×8-in (20×20 cm) square pan lined with aluminum foil well greased with butter or almond oil and press with a spatula to distribute the candy evenly. Mark in squares before the candy sets. Cut along lines and serve.
Notes: for perfect results, it is necessary to make sure that the sugar is completely melted before the mixture is boiled. Candy thermometer must be always read at eye level, or false readings will cause candy that is either under-or over-cooked, both of which will end up in disappointing results. Beating too long or not long enough after the mixture has cooled is also a potential source of problems. Practice is as usual the best teacher.