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Ginger Penuche

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Arron and Amy brought back a wonderful candy from London the last time Arron’s company toured there. The Burnt Sugar Hot Ginger Crumbly Fudge was gone very quickly and I have been missing it. I got all inspired to try to make something similar and adapted an old Penuche recipe.


1 Cup packed Brown Sugar
1 Cup Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Corn Syrup
2/3 Cup Buttermilk (reduced fat)
2 Tablespoons Butter
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
1 “finger” of Fresh Ginger (see photo above) peeled and cut into 1/4″ thick coins

I start by putting a small cup of water in the freezer for when I have to test the boiling candy for the soft ball test. I then grease a loaf pan and set it aside for the final resting place for the candy. (Before my stomach that is.)

Count exactly how many ginger coins you have before adding them to the sugars, corn syrup and buttermilk to a 2 quart sauce pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar is dissolved. Three to five minutes after the mixture begins to boil, remove all of the ginger coins and set them aside to cool. Continue to cook the mixture, stirring occasionally, to 236° on a candy thermometer (or until a small amount of mixture dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball and flattens soon upon removal). Immediately remove from heat. Add butter.

While mixture cools (no stirring it yet) to 120°, cut the cooled ginger coins into a coarse mince. When the mixture is cooled, the bottom of the pan will be lukewarm. Add the vanilla and minced ginger and beat vigorously and continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture is thick and loses it’s gloss. (Mixture will hold it’s shape when dropped from spoon.) Quickly spread into the greased loaf pan. Cut into 1″ squares.


Some things I have learned about the final stage of stirring vigorously is that it helps to have 2 people taking turns unless you want an exhausting 10 minute one arm work out. Sometimes I get too tired and turn it into the pan before it’s ready and it ends up being the consistency of a thick frosting. Other times I totally miss that it’s losing it’s gloss and it hardens in the sauce pan. It pays to have stamina and watch carefully. One sure way of getting it to the point of no return is to walk away from the greased loaf pan while stirring. That will seal your fate of having it lose it’s gloss when you can’t get it into the pan. No matter what – it always tastes pretty good.

This recipe came out a little softer than I had hoped but, like I admit above, I got tired of stirring before transferring it to the loaf pan. The flavors of the buttermilk and brown sugar remind me a lot of my Grammy’s Butterscotch Cookies and that’s not a bad thing. The ginger was prevalent but not overpowering to me nor my first taste testers, Jim & Harry. I am waiting to hear back from the rest of my taste testers at Jim’s work as to how the average Central Pennsylvania palette can handle the heat of ginger.

I made a video of the candy maker’s Soft Ball Test (below) on which I fumble a bit, pronounce Penuche like the Penssyltuckian I truly am and give the wrong instruction about pressing the Soft Ball that was actually losing it’s shape. I got it messed up with Firm Ball which I sometimes like to cook crumbly fudge to the point of. None the less, it’s nice to see a candy tested the old way since others might be like me and have no luck with candy thermometers.

About trueindigo

vegan, runner, blogger, mom, model, artist, tarot reader.

3 responses »

  1. Sounds a little difficult to make, but good.

    It’s good to try something new.



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