To celebrate the start of the British strawberry season I spent a happy Saturday cooking up some great strawberry jam. Pam Corden’s ‘River Cottage Handbook: Preserves’ is a great introduction to jams, pickles and chutneys. The result is great – rich, very fresh and extremely strawberry. Next time I think I’ll try and mix it up a bit – balsamic vinegar could add some real depth, as could a little black pepper. It would also be fun to see what using fructose did to the flavour.
I love sugar work – the variety of things you can do by carefully controlling the heat is fascinating. Everything from sugar ribbons, nests, cages and caramels are all separated by a few degrees. Having never attempted it before I decided to give fudge a shot.
It turned out great, it’s very smooth and soft. I was very concerned about crystallisation and my Kenwood did a fantastic job of keeping the sugar crystals small. Next time I’ll crank up the salt and risk taking it a little hotter to firm it up. I had loads of chocolate laying around so I decided to have a shot at coating them – the temper wasn’t great, but I’m really pleased with what the bitterness has done to the sweet fudge.