Maple syrup fudge is a classic holiday candy in many Québécois households. Growing up, I mindlessly indulged in sucre à la crème after Christmas dinner, the cheery mood making it okay to eat just one more piece. Everyone will tell you that their grandmother’s recipe is the best, and yes, every family recipe is probably in fact the best, given it is enjoyed surrounded by people you love.
Making fudge is a bit finicky, but I find the key is to be very careful not to overwhip the fudge mixture after the cooling period. If you do, it’s still delicious, but it creates a harder candy instead of a heavenly, soft-to-bite treat. The addition of white chocolate is a genius tip I found in Ricardo Magazine: it doesn’t affect the taste but does wonders texture-wise.
I make my fudge with lactose-free heavy cream. I tested several different dairy cream alternatives and I’ve had the best results with lactose-free heavy cream. Soy cream does withstand boiling without changing texture, but it seems to cook more quickly, hardening the candy mixture quicker than it should: I burnt two batches and the third one didn’t have the right soft and creamy texture fudge should have.
This fudge is used in this fantastic cookie recipe: Chewy Maple Syrup Fudge and Pecan Cookies. Maple Syrup Fudge in cookies? You better believe it!
Makes Makes about 64 squares
A classic Québécois holiday candy, these Maple Syrup Fudge will surely give you the cheery mood that's perfect for the season!
Lightly grease an 8-inch [20-cm] square baking pan with cooking spray and line with plastic wrap, making sure to let some extra wrap overhang on two sides. Half-fill a large bowl with cold water and place in the sink to avoid messes (this will serve to cool the fudge mixture later on).
In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the white chocolate and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon or a silicon spatula to help dissolve the sugar. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the saucepan, making sure the tip of the thermometer dips in the center of the mixture. Simmer over medium heat without stirring until the thermometer reads 240°F [116°C].
Remove the saucepan from the heat, add the white chocolate—don’t stir—and immediately place in the cold water bath, making sure the saucepan is stable so no water gets in. Let cool, without stirring, until the thermometer (still dipping in the center of the mixture) reads 160°F [70°C], about 5 to 10 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the water. With an electric mixer or a wooden spoon (it’s a nice workout!), stir at medium-high speed (or vigorously) until the mixture lightens in color and becomes creamy, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to stir it for too long, or the candy will harden before you can pour it into the pan.
Immediately pour into the prepared pan and even out the surface with the spatula. Cover with the overhanging plastic wrap and press down to smooth out the surface. Let cool for about 1 hour at room temperature, or 30 minutes in the refrigerator.
Remove from the pan and peel off the plastic wrap. Cut into 1-inch [2.5-cm] squares.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Return to room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe Credit: Adapted from two recipes by Ricardo Magazine.
It’s Tiny Sweets Week!
Check out the other holiday-inspired bite-sized recipes in this series: