Today’s Family Advent Calendar post is also part of an amazing media exchange! I’m working with some fantastic online magazines to help you Have Yourself a Canadian Little Christmas. See the links on the bottom of the page for all of the other makers and innovators who are participating in today’s #canadianlittlechristmas and check out their inspiring work!
Say what? It’s been six years on The Lunchbox Season and we’ve never made fudge as part of our Family Advent Calendar? How is that even possible?
Today, we’re going to make up for lost time by making the most heavenly Fudge on the planet: Penuche. I first tasted Penuche at my friend C’s house in Montreal. Colette said that in addition to Sugar Pie [Tarte au Sucre], Penuche was what she considered to be a Canadian Christmas classic! While it was made with brown sugar and not maple syrup, I absolutely loved the maple and butterscotch notes of her Penuche. And I knew the kids would love it, too. So, I scribbled down a version of her recipe [She didn’t have measurements! She did it by eye and hand!] and brought it home to work out on my own, amping up the creaminess and adding candied pralines.
This Penuche is a soft Butterscotch Fudge made not by adding manufactured butterscotch chips but by boiling brown sugar and dairy. The brown sugar gives it that Canadian Maple taste [even without the addition of Maple Syrup!]. And the butter takes the Maple over the top to Butterscotch heaven! On its own, it’s absolutely delicious. With the addition of chopped Pralines, it’s saints-be-praised! We hope you enjoy our recipe, with or without the nuts!
Here’s our All-Canadian recipe for Penuche, Butterscotch Fudge with Pralines
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2+1 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tbs light corn syrup
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon really good vanilla extract
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 -1 cup chopped pralines [we used honey roasted pecans] or toasted nuts
- GEAR: Candy Thermometer
- Line an 8x8 pan with two sheets of parchment that sit crosswise and overhang the sides.
- Chop the pralines.
- Combine sugar, cream, 2 tbs butter, corn syrup, and salt in a thick-bottomed steel or copper saucepan.
- Stirring constantly, cook over medium-low heat until the mixture boils.
- Add your candy thermometer.
- Reduce heat to low and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 113C/236F.
- While mixture is cooking, fill the tub of a sink or a large container with about an inch of cold water.
- When the mixture reaches the soft ball stage, 113C/236F, remove the pot from the heat, and shock it by placing it in the shallow cold water bath for 30 seconds.
- Remove the pot from the cold water bath and, without stirring, drop the vanilla and the last 1 tbs of butter on top. The butter will melt and pool with the vanilla in the center of the mixture. DO NOT STIR!
- After about 45-60 minutes, when the temperature of the mixture reaches 49C/110F, grab a wooden spoon or transfer your mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. [I find the wooden spoon method actually works BETTER than the mixer!]
- Beat the mixture by hand or on low until it thickens significantly, turning from a dark chestnut to a sandy brown colour and losing its lustre. [This takes about 10-20 minutes by hand, and can take as little as 5 minutes or up to 25 minutes in a stand mixer.]
- If desired, add chopped pralines and stir to combine.
- Use the wooden spoon or a rubberized spatula to transfer the fudge into your lined pan and spread evenly.
- Cool completely on the counter, about 30-60 minutes.
- Slice into 64 small squares or 36 larger ones.
- Store well wrapped in plastic on a counter for a few days. Or, if you find your penuche is too soft, wrap well and refrigerate for 2-24 hours.
- Or, wrap in plastic, place in an airtight container or ziplock, and freeze.
And here’s the WOW!
Just made a batch? Check out these ways to Keep Your Fudge Fresh!
P.S. If you’re a butterscotch lover, don’t fail to check out our Butterscotch Krimpets recipe!
Now, be sure to check out all of the amazing posts in today’s
Have Yourself a Canadian Little Christmas Featurette!