Our housegroup was saying goodbye to one of our members last night so threw a little party to mark the occasion. The twist is that she has to avoid cows milk (lactose) and eggs, which puts paid to all sorts of familiar recipes. I decided to break out my lactose-free fudge (using goats milk and butter, which have a different chemical structure and are fine for most lactose-intolerant people).
The trouble was that it has been a long time since I last made it and I seemed to have lost the knack. The first batch didn’t want to fully harden up and so I cut it into squares, coated with icing sugar and tried to pass it off as Lunar Delight (like Turkish Delight but whiter — I don’t think I cooked the sugar enough to get the right colour). More successful was the leftover mixture which I scraped into a ramekin. All the online references said scraping the left overs was a no-no but that actually set to a fudge like consistency. I also tried another batch flavoured with bitter lemon water (created by simmering lemon skins in water); with all the sugar it was a good balance of tastes but it set even less than the first lot and is now sitting in my freezer waiting to be used as an ice-cream sauce.
The Lunar Delight actually went down rather well but the bottom pieces melted together and I brought the leftovers home. This morning I was going to throw it out when I spotted that, overnight, it had crystallised and now formed the fudge texture I had been after. Obviously the missing ingredient was either time, patience or a combination of the two.