Grease the base and sides of a 900g loaf tin or 17cm square tin with oil and line with baking paper. Half fill the sink with cold water.Combine all the ingredients apart from the butter and pecans in a large 2½ litre, heavy-based saucepan. Cook gently over a medium heat to dissolve the sugar, stirring frequently.Pop the sugar thermometer into the pan, bring to the boil and continue to steadily cook the syrup at a gentle boil until it reaches 114°C. You will need to stir the mixture frequently to prevent it catching on the bottom of the pan. (The syrup will take about 15 minutes to reach the correct temperature, but do not be tempted to walk away from the task in hand – the moment you turn your back to do something else the syrup will go over the correct temperature and you’ll end up with toffee rather than fudge.)Take the pan off the heat, remove the sugar thermometer and plunge the bottom of the pan into the sink of cold water to stop the mixture cooking any further. Add the butter, give the fudge a gentle stir and scoop it into a large mixing bowl. Leave undisturbed to cool to room temperature for 20 minutes or until it reaches 40°C. (Don’t be tempted to stir or taste the cooling fudge.)
Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula, beat the fudge until the mixture thickens, starts to lose its shine and begins to turn slightly grainy. Add three-quarters of the chopped pecans and spoon the fudge into the prepared tin, spreading it into an even layer with a palette knife. Scatter the remaining pecans over the top, pressing them into the fudge.Leave to cool completely. Cover with clingfilm and leave overnight before cutting into squares.STORE: This fudge will keep for up to two weeks in an airtight box between layers of non-stick baking paper. To receive quick and convenient weekday recipes, join our Easy Weekday Meals mailing list, and for up-to-date trending food, restaurant and wine news subscribe to our Editor’s Weekly newsletter.
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