Sarah’s Stupendous Sweets!

My god-daughter, Sarah, is staying over for 2 weeks (perhaps, if she doesn’t look too closely at the list of things I’d like her to do!) and she seems keen to try things out in the kitchen, permit me an evil laugh…


So with that in mind she has been put to work sticking labels on, folding boxes, packing bars into said boxes and has tried her hand at decorating the bars with me. I have to say, so far she is outperforming HH and can come as an intern any time she likes!

While having a meeting with a friend at the flat today today, I thought I’d give her (Sarah, not the friend!) relatively free rein. She chose a recipe for Penuche fudge from  Peter Greweiling’s “Chocolates and Confections” – ISBN 9780764588440.

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It’s a lovely book and she seemed to find it hard to choose one recipe to try as she wants to work through the book I think!

Needless to say I didn’t have some of the ingredients so we bodged things – what’s new. I’m never good at following the recipe at the best of times, and without the right stuff, that’s just asking for multiple tweaks. It all went downhill when I didn’t even  have light brown sugar – we substituted with coconut palm sugar for that depth of flavour. Corn syrup used instead of glucose syrup, generally more sugar added as no invert sugar, and believe it or not I couldn’t find my proper vanilla, so of course used ground cardamom instead, naturally, why wouldn’t you – they’re so similar! Poor Sarah.

IMG_4179 Sarah measuring out coconut palm sugar

I gave myself the task of toasting the pecans as they can burn quickly.


This also meant that I had the rather lengthy task of chopping them up. What I’ve never noticed before is how they chop up once toasted. They give a lovely shape that just cries out to be used as a  topping on individual sweets.



It’s definitely a confectioners book – my friend was horrified/ surprised that the book/ me had her agitating hot sugar syrup on marble slabs with scrapers. Once cooled down a bit Sarah added the toasted, chopped Pecan nuts and cardamom powder and kept mixing it all together on the slab. She looked very professional.


I couldn’t find my rods to make a frame with – (I KNOW they’re lurking in there somewhere…) so we used good old parchment paper in tins to decant the thicker, cooler sticky mass to cool further.

IMG_4190 It just had to taste tested – repeatedly!

Once it had cooled enough we opened it out of it’s tin and paper to let it air, cool and form a skin; as it was still quite soft. She chopped it up to help this process further.


We’ll either neaten them up a bit and package as is, or may well use some as a centre and cover in chocolate so she can try dipping. That’ll be fun, and very messy 😉