To be honest, I’ve never thought that fudge can be so good when made at home. And Poland is famous for its fudge. Called krówki in Polish, what literally translates as ‘little cows’, they are a flavour of many childhoods. If you are ever in Poland, I strongly recommend getting some Polish fudge. Your friends will love you for such a sweet souvenir.
I remember once, when I was a child, I must have been 10 or 11, my Mum said she’d show us what kind of sweets she used to eat when she was little. She said that chocolate was not easily available in the times of Polish People’s Republic, so people were mastering the art of creating something from (almost) nothing. Since the shops were empty most of the time and shopping required queuing for hours just to get sugar, meat or other (now taken for granted and widely available) groceries, one must have been really creative to invent ways of making what’s not available in the shops, at home. I have always admired my Mum’s ‘impossible is nothing’ attitude. Thanks to my Mum, I, too, have no problem with adjusting to new environments and facing new challenges. There have been countless occasions when my friends laughed at my crazy ideas, but in the end, they somehow turned out to be working just fine.
That time, when my Mum said she’d show us the flavours of her childhood, she made krówki. I remember how surprised I was, as a child, to see how easy it is to make them, sweets I normally saw in the shop, wrapped in colourful papers. She simply took out a small pan out of the cupboard, placed it on the hob, waited until it’s fairly hot, poured some cream and sugar and kept boiling it for ages, until it was a caramel-like mass. I still remember how I couldn’t get over the fact that my Mum just made fudge, something I thought could only be bought from a shop. She, again, showed me that everything is possible, as long as you try.
Now, over ten years later, I am making krówk in my kitchen, miles away from home. I have to tell you, nothing more nostalgic than an overwhelmingly sweet flavour of homemade fudge!
HOMEMADE FUDGE (KRÓWKI)
200g demerara sugar
250g white sugar
1 vanilla pod
1tbsp sour cream
pinch of salt
1tsp amaretto (optional)
HOW TO MAKE?
1. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan (preferably with a thick bottom) and start heating them up over medium heat. Cook everything for about 60-70 minutes, stirring from time to time. Remember to stir the mixture, it’s very likely to get burnt if left alone for too long.
2. When the mixture starts to thicken and has a caramel-like colour, increase the heat, now stirring the mixture constantly, a whisk is a good option here.
3. When the mixture becomes very thick, turn off the heat and pour into a previously prepared dish. I used a baking tray, greased with butter and lined up with baking parchment. Leave it for a bit to cool down, and then put it in the fridge to settle properly. It’s best to leave the fudge in the fridge overnight.
4. When settled, take out of the fridge and cut into pieces. You can also wrap your fudge pieces in paper. It makes a nice birthday gift. Enjoy!