Okay, I'm a mass of contradictions. One of the more mundane ones is that I've pretty much eliminated sugar and saturated fat from my life, yet I'm obsessed with making fudge. Every resort area has a little shop that makes it and it's always disappointing. It's like making your own beer - you can make so much better than you can buy, but you have to buy the equipment and wait a few weeks, so you settle for cheap and available (wow, I left myself open for jokes there).
I've been working on four recipes and have mastered two of them and have almost nailed the third. The last one has me trying some interesting things to get around simple laws of nature. If you buy a strawberry fudge, it's made with artificial strawberry flavoring and if you look for a recipe for making it yourself, you'll never find a naturally-flavored one. First problem: soft fruits fall apart when cooked. Second problem: they taste cooked, rather than fresh. Third problem: the fruit acids prevent crystallization. Fourth problem: the fruit sugars also prevent crystallization. Fifth problem: to get the right degree of flavor, the amount of berries causes a sudden temperature drop if added after cooking. There are additional problems, but it should be apparent that this is not a simple thing to make right. I'm getting there, but with cherries, not strawberries.
At least I got the chocolate right. The few who've tried it have all said something along the lines of OMFG. It inspires profanity; it should - it comes from the evil kitchen!
I'll probably be bringing some to races this spring. Be prepared!
5 days ago