Coconut ice and yogurt pecan fudge

One of the presents I got for Christmas was a new sugar thermometer. Ever since I was a child,  I've been interested in making sweets. My Mum used to make them, and I inherited her old thermometer. I also inherited her book 'Toffees, fudges, chocolates and sweets' by Mary Novak, and I have a battered copy of Margaret Powell's ' Sweetmaking for children'. I made sweets with my children and yesterday I made some with one of my grandsons. We made coconut ice and he helped me make yogurt pecan fudge, the latter being an excuse to use my new thermometer!

Coconut ice

My grandson wanted to make something on his own, so this is a very easy version.

6 tbspns condensed milk
275g icing sugar
175g dessicated coconut
pink food colouring

Mix together the milk and icing sugar, then stir in the coconut. The mixture will be very stiff. Divide it into 2. Colour one half with the colouring.

Grease and line a small cake tin, and put the white mixture in a layer at the bottom. Put the pink mixture on top and leave to set. Cut into bars or squares.

Yogurt pecan fudge

This fudge is different from the normal vanilla fudge; it's a bit fiddly to make but is very moreish.
The recipe makes about half a kilo of fudge.

225ml natural yoghurt [not low fat or Greek]
1 tspn bicarbonate of soda
400g soft light brown sugar
30ml golden syrup
60g unsalted butter
150g chopped and toasted pecans

Grease and line a 20cm square or round tin with parchment paper.
Put the yogurt and bicarb. in a heavy saucepan and leave for about 20 mins.
Prepare a bowl with iced water.
Add the sugar and syrup to the yoghurt mixture, put the pan over a medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
When the sugar's dissolved, bring to the boil then add the butter. Boil till the syrup reaches soft ball stage [114C/238F]. Take off the heat and dip ther bottom of ther pan in the iced water for a few seconds, then leave to cool till the mixture is luke warm [about 50C/122F].
Beat till creamy then add the chopped nuts. Pour into the tin and leave to completely cool - can take up to 8 hours.
Lift the fudge out using the paper and cut into pieces. Store in an airtight tin or box.

The yoghurt makes this a lighter fudge and gives it a tangy taste. Next time I'll use a square tin, as the slices I cut in the round one were rather big!

Next sweet session I want to try making toffee, so watch this space!


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