The pyramid scheme of salted sweets is tantalising. The triangulated experience of combining salt, sugar and fat allows you to experience all three properties for their own individual components (spiky, saccharine and silky) whilst still being able to enjoy the unification of all three together. Getting the balance of all three is important because if one is thrown off kilter it has the ability to make the fusion either too bitter, too sweet or too slimy.
I tried a few balancing acts with salted sweets and found that going back to the basic principles of salt and chocolate was always the most successful with house guests and the vehicle for such a treat: fudge. Don’t let that image frighten you. There’s no thermometers, there’s no churning – there’s not even an oven. It’s just a few ingredients that I melt together and let set overnight. It’s really that simple.
Line a 20 x 20cm tin with baking paper. I have had to use foil before now in an hour of need but peeling it from the fudge at the end is a ball ache. In a pan on the hob, melt down 300g of dark chocolate (use the one up from a supermarket own brand and feel no kind of way about it guys, we all do it) with 30g of unsalted butter.
Keep stirring here to ensure that the chocolate at the bottom of the pan doesn’t burn (I have a very reliable rubber spatula I use for such a stir) and once this has begun to melt, pour in a whole can of condensed milk. The whole can. All 379g of it.
Now add ¼ of a table spoon of sea salt. I use Halen Mon Sea Salt Flakes and suggest you do too as it perfectly crumbles between your fingertips so that the control mechanism is better. I don’t recommend table salt in this recipe (or ever!) because it’s much more concentrated.
Add a handful of dried cranberries and a handful of cashew nuts which you’ve bashed up into shards. You could vary this combination as you see fit – I’ve been more than pleased with a cherry and pistachio combination before now. You could even omit these additions and just go for a Salted Chocolate Fudge. There’s no bad way to enjoy this.
Continue stirring until you achieve a silky consistency and then pour into your baking dish, rounding off with a spoon. Allow to cool for roughly 10-15 minutes before further sprinkling over a pinch of sea salt flakes on to the surface of the fudge before sliding into a fridge to set overnight.
The beauty of this recipe again, is in its simplicity. This is my go to treat when I know I have people coming over and want something idly sat on the side for my friends to pick at when the sweet mood takes them. I mean, the fact it’s only very few ingredients is a bonus and purely convenient but then again, who is too precious of convenience when it comes to salted anything?