Well sorry to disappoint, no babies here. Only some wonderful other news:
We booked our tickets and we'll be in South Africa in 53 days! Well 53 days and 42 hours of flying.
It's for a visit. A.MONTH.LONG.VISIT!
I know I'm slightly over dramatic to announce it in this way, but it's cold and boring and we're on the tightest budget ever (see above reason), so it sure is big news to me, and my momma I guess.
To celebrate this South African news I'll share with you my fail proof recipe for making amazing South African Fudge. Or as I used to call it 'fudge'.
I promise you this, I'll not be making this for at least another few years. Not because it's bad, but because I made a zillion batches as Christmas gifts this past month. It's the perfect 'made with love', 'I'm playing up my exotic South Africaness' and budget gift (again, see above reasons).
Okay, let's get to work.
A candy thermometer. As a first time fudge attempter you will not, I repeat, you will not know what the elusive 'soft ball stage' looks like. With this magic wand you'll know, and you'll fudge will turn out perfectly.
So there's that, get one! Or don't and end up with a soft mushy sugary mess that you'll eat with your bare hands as you wade back in forth in a dark corner, or what ever.
Golden Syrup. If you're in the US then go to your nearest World Market, that's where I found mine or some Trader Joe stores claim to have it, but not around my neck of the woods.
-2 cups sugar
-5 Table spoons water
-4 Tablespoons unsalted butter (half a stick)
-2 Tablespoons Golden Syrup
-14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat the water in a medium sized pot on medium heat, add sugar and stir occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved. Take care not to burn the sugar, except if you're going for the 'smoky burny' taste.
Add the butter and G Syrup and stir until butter is completely melted, keeping this up at medium heat.
Add the condensed milk and salt and stir until everything is combined well. Scrapping off any build up that forms around the edges.
Wait till mixture is starting to boil, place your 'must have' candy thermometer to the side and give it roughly twenty minutes, stirring occasionally and keeping your eye on the thermometer, soft ball stage = 240 F/ 116 C. Important: Temperature must reach this in order for the recipe to be a success. Don't be a hero, trust the temperature!
Once you've reached the soft ball stage, remove pot from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Now, this is the fun part, add the vanilla extract and stir in like a mad woman (or man) for about 5 minutes straight, this will ensure a pretty texture at the end. Pour mixture in a container about 7" x 11" more or less, can be bigger can be smaller. I placed aluminum foil in my container (wax paper doesn't really work so well).
Allow to cool for a few hours, but don't wait too long before you take the fudge out of the container and cut up into little squares. Trust me, on the 'little' part, these are crazy sweet! Allow to harden for a few more hours.
Store in an air tight container and share with friends and family. Or don't, return to dark corner and eat it all yourself, what ever, I won't judge.