Peanut Butter Fudge

This is a quick recipe for a very indulgent treat.

PB Fudge4

This is just a small batch, but the recipe can easily be doubled. The fudge is super creamy, buttery and delicious, but very rich!

It’s perfect for cutting into squares and filling little bags, tied with ribbon for a gift.

The fudge gets incredibly hot, so it goes without saying that no children should come anywhere near when making it and there can be absolutely no sampling until it has cooled down!

PB Fudge

Ingredients:
450g caster sugar
60g butter
120ml/½ cup whole milk
One 397g tin of condensed milk
180g/around ¾ cup of smooth peanut butter

Method:
Line a 20cm/8 inch square baking tray with greaseproof paper or foil, leaving an overhang in order to pull the fudge out.

PB Fudge3

Put the milk and sugar in a heavy-based pan over a medium heat with a candy thermometer and keep stirring until all the sugar has melted. You need the sugar to fully dissolve into the milk or it could burn on the bottom of the pan. Don’t rush this stage, just let the sugar gently melt, stirring all the time, before progressing to the next stage.

When the sugar and milk are ready, stir in the butter and let it melt, before increasing the heat and bringing it up to a full boil.

Turn the heat down and stir in the condensed milk.

Turn the heat back up and bring the temperature up to the soft ball stage – 116°C/240°F. It will now be a lovely caramel colour.

Once you have reached this stage, remove from the heat and add it to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the peanut butter and beat it thoroughly until it has thickened (about 5 minutes). You can also do this with a wooden spoon.

Pile it into the waiting tray and use a spatula to flatten it down and into all the corners.

PB Fudge2

If disaster happens and you get a few black, burnt sugar particles come up from the bottom when you are stirring, all is not lost! Very carefully, use a metal sieve and filter them out when you transfer the fudge to the bowl for beating.

You have to do this fairly quickly, while the fudge is still molten, but if you only have a few burnt particles, the fudge shouldn’t taste burnt. The best way of avoiding burnt fudge is to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved right at the start.

PB Fudge1

Once the fudge has set, lift it out of the tray and cut into squares with a sharp knife.

Bonfire Toffee

This is old fashioned and traditional treacle toffee that is seasonal for this time of year. As loved by children and adults alike, this is perfect for bonfire night parties!

Bonfire Toffee2

I use a candy thermometer to make this, but it is possible to make using a bowl of water to test when the toffee is ready. Just drop a small ball into the water and if it separates into firm threads (not brittle), it’s ready.

I make sure the children are well out of the way when making this as the toffee gets phenomenally hot!

Ingredients:
300g light brown sugar
150g golden syrup
150g black treacle
150g butter
¼ tsp cream of tartar
Vegetable oil for greasing

Method:
Prepare your tin by lining with non-stick baking parchment and oiling, or you could use foil and oil that. An oiled silicone mould would work well too. I used one that was 15cm square.

Place the ingredients into a deep, heavy based pan and heat on medium, stirring occasionally until everything is completely melted.

Place a candy thermometer in the pan and turn up the heat. You need to boil this until it reaches 140°C/284°F. Then, very carefully, pour the molten toffee into your prepared tin and leave to cool at room temperature.

Bonfire Toffee

If you want to cut the toffee into individual pieces, wait until the toffee has cooled enough to handle but is still soft and pliable – around 15 minutes. Use an oiled knife to cut into pieces and wrap in small squares of parchment paper, twisting up the sides. Alternatively, use a toffee hammer and break into irregular shards once it has cooled completely.

This must be stored in an airtight container and separated with layers of baking parchment. Once it has cooled and exposed to the air, it will become really sticky and all the pieces will get stuck together.

Bonfire toffee closeup

As a child, I remember buying this in little paper bags and you had to make a decision whether to eat the paper stuck to it or not. Don’t let that happen!

Baked Sour Cream Doughnuts with Pumpkin Pie Spice Sugar

The weather has been so murky and misty lately that I decided to try out an autumn recipe early with the children who are on ‘summer’ holidays.  These are very moist, sour cream doughnuts, spiked with cinnamon and coated in pumpkin pie spice sugar.

donut tower

The doughnuts are baked rather than fried, so you don’t have to heat a vat of oil and then worry about the kitchen catching fire. Or is that just me?

I used to have a neighbour who refused to deep fry in her kitchen, due to the oily residue left behind. Her family still wanted deep fried chips, so she had her deep fat fryer installed in the garage and made them do it outside!

Anyway, no frying here, just baked delicious and gently spiced doughnuts, brushed with melted butter and coated in pumpkin pie spice sugar.

baked donuts

The doughnut moulds I used came from Amazon.  They are silicone, full sized and come in a set of three, so no waiting while one batch cools before baking off the rest.

I have used one of my disposable piping bags to pipe the batter into my doughnut moulds, but you could easily make these in a mini muffin tin too.

These are so quick and easy to make, I have also used cups here, so no weighing out either.

baked donuts1

Ingredients:
½ cup sour cream
1 extra large egg
1tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil + a little extra for greasing the doughnut mould
½ cup golden caster sugar
1 cup plain/all-purpose flour
1½tsp cinnamon
½tsp baking powder
½tsp baking soda
½tsp salt

Method:
Pre-heat the oven to 180ºC and prepare the doughnut moulds.  This recipe makes 8 full sized doughnuts, but if you have a mini doughnut mould, you will get more

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the sour cream, egg, vanilla, oil and sugar together until its light and smooth.

In another bowl, sieve the flour, baking powder, soda, salt and cinnamon together.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until just combined.

Transfer to a piping bag, cut off the end and pipe the batter into the prepared moulds.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Leave in the moulds to cool for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the coating.

baked donut

Pumpkin Pie Spiced Coating:
1 cup golden caster sugar
2tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
Generous knob of butter – melted and cooled

spiced sugar

Method:
Brush the doughnuts with the butter and place into the sugar.  Using your hands, completely coat the doughnut in the sugar, tapping off the excess.

baked donut closeup

Enjoy while fresh and warm!