Thursday, June 28, 2007

Maple Nut Fudge


Last night I made maple fudge in honor of Canada Day, which takes place every July 1. The holiday commemorates the establishment of the Canadian Confederation – the union of the provinces, colonies and territories of British North America on July 1, 1867. This marked the beginning of a new phase of Canadian independence which culminated in full sovereignty in 1982. It's important to note that Canada still recognizes Queen Elizabeth II as its Head of State (as she is in Australia, New Zealand, and many Caribbean and South Pacific islands).

While the maple leaf first appeared on the Canadian flag in 1965, it was a Canadian symbol as early as 1700. In 1996 the maple tree, which grows naturally in all ten Canadian provinces, was declared the national tree of Canada.

Well before European colonization, Native Canadians discovered the culinary properties of maple sap which is used to produce maple syrup. The sap is harvested by drilling a hole into the xylem of a maple tree. A mature sugar or black maple will produce 40 liters of sap which will be distilled into one liter of syrup. Canada produces 80% of the world’s maple syrup – approximately 30 million liters in 2005.

Makes 16-24 pieces (about 2 pounds)

Ingredients
2 cups real maple syrup (from Canada, of course)
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
pinch of salt
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions
1. Line an 8 x 8 inch pan with foil, wax or parchment paper. Generously grease with butter.
2. In a large pan bring maple syrup, sugar and cream to a boil over medium heat.
3. Continue to boil, without stirring, until the mixture reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer. The mixture will take a while to heat up, then will bubble vigorous for 20 or more minutes as water evaporates.
4. Remove from heat and add butter and salt. Do not mix. Let mixture cool to 105 F.
5. Add walnuts and vanilla and beat until the mixture thickens and loses its gloss.
6. Pour fudge into the prepared pan and cool to room temperature. Cut into 16 or 24 pieces. Refrigerate overnight.
This fudge is soft and should be stored wrapped in wax paper, in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. You can also freeze it for up to four months – thaw by leaving it in the fridge overnight.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Aly. I enjoy looking over your recipes and stories, though I must admit that I have not done much with them yet. Immersed in the midwest as I am already, I must admit to a slightly jaundiced view of fudge and its ilk -- but I'm sure yours is delicious. Happy Canada Day.

In case you hadn't come across it, a Paris-based friend of mine has a food blog which might interest you:
http://lespetitpois.blogspot.com/

All the best
Josh

Brett said...

Wow, this looks great. I would definitely eat it on bended knee.

Anonymous said...

YUMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love fudge, and maple is my favourite...great idea for Canada Day, and so pleased to see you devote a week of your "treat a week" to Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day!

Love Alli

Karen said...

Aly, Thank you so much for giving us a taste of Maple Nut Fudge while we were in Chicago on our midwest tour. Talk about a treat! Good friends and maple syrup. What more could a Vermont girl ask for on her vacation? Karen (and Matt)

Suganya said...

I was not able to post comments in two other posts. comment option wasnt enabled.. Neways, Just dropped by to say that yr silky pie is indeed silky ;) and nan khatai looks very pretty. This is my first time here and am glad that I found yr blog :)

cheesewithaspoon said...

I don't think I've had fudge made with dark brown sugar before -- that must give it such a deep flavour!

Savithri said...

Aly,
Love the Canadian post for Canada day. Came to your blog through food blog desam for your sesame cookies.
The fudge recipe looks so yummy and simple! I will have to try it out:)
~Savithri

chaki said...

I just made your fudge for my daughter's first grade class. We are originally from Canada and I needed a maple syrup food for heritage day. Thanks so much! It was the first time I made candy.