Caramel is one of my favourite flavours, so I make this every now and then, when I fancy something sweet and quick. I have a few cans of sweetened condensed milk which I am very slowly using up as once it is gone, there will be no more bought, because I have been supporting the Nestle boycott (read more here) for a little while now. Although I don’t know if the condensed milk substitutes that I have found ( see here for condensed milk recipes ) will work in this recipe, I will have a go sometime.
100g butter 1 cup sugar 1/4 cup golden syrup
1 can (400g) sweetened condensed milk 1 tsp vanilla extract or essence
Mix all ingredients except vanilla in a large flat bottomed casserole** or a batter bowl resistant to high heat, (a bowl that has handles,is quite good as it makes it easy to move around, without needing oven gloves).
Microwave on High (100%) power for 7-9 minutes, stirring after 2, 4, 6, and 7 minutes. At the end point all the sugar should have dissolved, the mixture should have bubbled vigorously all over the surface, and a small amount of the mixture should form a soft ball when dropped into cold water. (I usually cook it a bit longer than 9 minutes, it depends on your microwave wattage) Add vanilla extract. The mixture should be a nice caramel colour, don’t worry if mixture looks slightly curdled or buttery. Beat with a wooden spoon for about 5 minutes or until the mixture loses its gloss and the trail from the spoon starts to remain in the mixture. Pour into a baking paper (or freezer wrap) lined 20cm (8”) square tin. Let stand about an hour and then cut into squares. Mixture should be creamy, with a melting texture. Fudge will be firmer the next day (if it lasts that long)
This is a recipe from Alison Holst’s Microwave cookbook, the same recipe is also in her Kitchen Diary Collection but is called Swiss Caramel and is cooked on the stovetop, where it takes about 10 minutes, and the mixture burns (or caramelises) quite easily and you have to stir constantly. I prefer to cook it in the microwave as it is just so much easier.
** The container I used was 10cm (4”) high and 22cm (9”) across, if the container you use is too shallow or not wide enough then the mixture is likely to bubble over the top and leave a big mess in your microwave (speaking from experience here)
I have halved the recipe a couple of times when I had left over condensed milk. Sometimes I have cooked the mixture too long and it ends up being a bit crumbly, once I even had a nice chewy caramel, but it didn’t matter as the results are all quite edible, even if it is a bit undercooked (you can still eat it with a teaspoon or put it on top of ice cream)