In searching for a break-the-ice treat for the team at my new job, I wanted something that would make a creative and exciting impression. With the new year and new job, I’ve been in a new beginning, bright future kind of mood so I wanted to explore more floral, herbal, and citrus flavors (the flavors of Spring).
The simplicity of making fudge sparked my interest. The base flavors are generally chocolate and caramel but this recipe from justapinch.com suggests using white chocolate instead of the typical stronger bases. I thought this idea could work wonderfully with my favorite tea. Earl Grey is both citrusy and mildly floral, and since the recipe calls for a bunch of sugar, a bitter flavor is wonderfully balancing.
Earl Grey Fudge
Adapted from Just a Pinch Recipes
• ¾ cup margarine or butter (salted or unsalted)
• 3 cups sugar
• ¾ cup evaporated milk
• ¼ cup milk
• 7 ounces of marshmallow cream (1 Jar)
• 12 ounces of white chocolate chips (1 Package)
• 6 Earl Grey tea bags
• Medium saucepan
• Small saucepan
• Butter knife
• One foil 9”x13” cake an, preferably with a plastic lid (or a reusable pan lined with tin foil).
Begin by placing your small saucepan on the cold stove. Pour in the evaporated milk and regular milk. Cut open the Earl Grey tea bags, and stir in the contents of each bag. Turn the burner on to a medium heat, and stir occasionally. Once the milk begins to bubble, turn the burner down to low, and leave the tea to steep for a minimum of 20 minutes. Just as the tea would color the water added from a kettle, you will see the color of the milk darken and take on browner, richer tones. I found that a true indicator of flavor is the aroma (because it will be immensely bitter if tasted). Once you can distinctly smell the floral notes of the tea, it has steeped for long enough. However, leaving the mixture on low heat throughout the rest of the process can’t hurt.
Next, place the medium saucepan over medium heat. Add in the butter and sugar. Stir to incorporate. Next use a butter knife to add the marshmallow cream — stir until melted and well mixed. At this point, begin to slowly pour in the tea mixture. Continue to stir until you see the first bubble, and then stop; by this time the mixture will be extremely hot, stirring further can cause the mixture to kick up at you. Once the mixture begins to boil, let it bubble until it reaches the ‘soft ball’ stage (once you see bubbles the size of a golf ball, that take over 2 seconds to break) about 5 minutes or longer depending on your stove.
Once you’ve reached the soft ball stage, take the pot off the heat and whisk in the white chocolate chips until completely melted. Pour the mixture into the foil pan. The nights are brisk this time of year in Florida, so I covered my pan and set it out on the back patio to set overnight.
Things worth trying:
• Experiment with other tea flavors like Chai and Jasmine. Chai is much stronger, therefore fewer bags will be necessary, unlike Jasmine, where more bags may be necessary for full flavor.
• Try herbs and spices like Sage and Ginger.
The next morning, I cut off the rough edges and kept them in the fridge for myself. After continuing to cut the Earl Grey Fudge into 1 ½” squares, I folded small ballotin boxes around them, added touches of ribbon, and applied my mix of neutral-toned labels and tags in the modern and sophisticated style of Katniss.
Adding loose leaves to the fudge is my favorite part of this recipe. I appreciate that it gives the fudge a unique, and interesting aesthetic—definitely a conversation starter!
More homemade gift ideas from Eloquaint Zoe:
Lemon Crackle Cookies Peppermint Patties Coconut Lime Mounds Green Tea Mochi