The Spice House recently participated in an event called, "Slow Food, A Feast Of The Senses." About 1000 people attended and we used the opportunity to test out our various vanilla extracts in the form of fudge. We wanted to know, firstly, if they could tell the difference between the Tahitian Extract and the Madagascar Extract, and secondly, which they liked better. We found that virtually everyone COULD tell the difference, and the favorite vote split half and half. So, if you really love vanilla, it is actually really nice to stock two or three varieties of extract--as they do make a difference in the end result. We have also been surprised, as we have been testing a multitude of vanilla recipes this month, that we have come to REALLY like the Tahitian extract in more applications than originally anticipated.
-Patty Erd at The Spice House
Combine sugar, corn syrup, butter, sour cream and salt in saucepan. Cook over low heat until sugar is completely dissolved, stirring constantly.
Cook, covered over medium heat for 3 minutes or until steam washes sugar crystals from side of pan. Using a silpat spatula is one way to insure that you will not have any sugar crystals on the side of the pan.
Cook, uncovered over medium heat to 230 degrees on candy thermometer, soft ball stage, do not stir. Remove from heat and let rest for 15 minutes.
Add vanilla and chopped nuts, if using. Mix vigorously until mixture thickens. Pour into dish sprayed with Pam or your version of non-stick cooking spray. I used a silpat bread loaf pan which worked GREAT, you can easily flip the pan and the fudge slides right out. Cool and cut into squares.
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