Treacle pops up many times in the Harry Potter books: treacle fudge, treacle tart, treacle pudding… Which had me wondering, what is treacle? Before the Potter books, I had never heard of treacle. So, for all you non-Brits like me out there, treacle is a kind of syrup used mainly in cooking as a sweetener.
Now you know!
And after this post, you will also know how to make treacle fudge.
Here’s what you need:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
8 tbsp. butter
½ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. black treacle or dark molasses or blackstrap molasses (we used fancy molasses)
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
What to do:
1. Grease an 8-inch square pan (or line with parchment paper for easy removal) and set aside. Combine sugar, brown sugar, butter, cream, treacle and tartar in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. Wash down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in hot water if sugar crystals form on the sides, to prevent recrystallization. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and continue to cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 240°F on the thermometer.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Allow the bubbles to subside and the mixture to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove the thermometer and beat or stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the mixture loses its gloss and is very thick, about 15 minutes (yes, you really do have to stir it by hand for that long—it helps if you have extra hands in the kitchen to tag out every few minutes). Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the top. You can use a piece of plastic wrap and the palm of your hand to do this.
3. Cool completely before cutting into 1-inch squares.
Makes 64 pieces.
Source: Bucholz, Dinah. “Recipes from a Giant and an Elf: Treacle Fudge.” The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook. AdamsMedia. 2010. p 58.
Never having made fudge before, I was both excited and nervous to dive into the fudge-making. I’m always hearing that fudge is a very temperamental treat, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, especially since I don’t own a candy thermometer. Thankfully, I had my house elves to help out. There were three of us standing over the stove watching the fudge mixture bubble and thicken, making sure it didn’t over heat. Seriously, three girls standing over a boiling pot… My kitchen looked like a scene from Macbeth! All that was missing were witch hats and chantings of “Double, double, toil and trouble.” Pretty Halloween, if you ask me.
The fudge came together beautifully, exactly like the book described. The Harry Potter books make treacle sound like some kind of glue, so I was expecting very sticky candy, but this fudge has a really nice, creamy texture. The final product is very sweet and a bit bitter for my taste, but it’s growing on me.
After testing two recipes from The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook by Dinah Bucholz (AdamsMedia), what is my verdict? I definitely recommend this cookbook to HP fans! The recipes are easy to follow and they turn out exactly as the recipes say they should. Plus there are fun facts about each dish, it tells you where in the Potter books each dish is mentioned, and it includes tips so that your dish is sure to turn out well. Even just as a cookbook, not as a piece of Potter memorabilia, it’s very well put together. I’m looking forward to testing out more recipes, like the Knickerbocker Glory and the apricot-glazed pork tenderloin. Mmm!
I give it 4.5 magic wands out of 5.
Also, be sure to check out how to make Pumpkin Pasties here.
This post is part of the month long feature Happy Hallow’Read! Don’t forget to check out more Happy Hallow’Read posts and the spectacularly spooky giveaways! (Details here.)