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Locally-made clotted cream South Devon fudge is a speciality that ranks highly alongside the crab sandwiches and cream teas the region is renowned for. The breadth of choice for both locals and visitors to South Devon is extensive, in terms of both the variety of South Devon fudge available and also the number of brands. Everyone has their favourite flavour, and people return year after year to enjoy their customary fudge chunk of ‘cherry Bakewell’ or slab of ‘strawberries and cream’.
Looking for something fudge related in particular? Use our quick links below to navigate the content, or read on for our sumptuous guide to South Devon fudge…
– The history of South Devon fudge
– Edward’s Fudge Kitchen
– Roly’s Fudge
– Dartmouth Icecream Company / The Good Intent
– Cottage Confectionery
– How to make your own South Devon fudge
– Self catering holiday cottages in South Devon… situated near the best South Devon fudge!
The sweet candy treat known as fudge is, in a nutshell, made by mixing sugar, butter and milk and heating it to a soft-ball stage. Although unclear, the making of fudge is thought to have originated in the United States of America during the late 19th Century. Around this time, dozens of recipes were found in periodicals and advertisements – its popularity and demand grew partly because of the decreasing cost of refined white sugar, but also due to the ability to make it at home without special equipment, making it an accessible recipe for almost everyone. The United Kingdom quickly followed suit, and as you would expect, the region of South Devon being the food mecca that it is, got stuck in straight away. The local region soon started creating fudge recipes that were jam packed with fruits, nuts, chocolate, caramel and an array of other candies, not forgetting the key ingredient of famous South Devon clotted cream.
We thought we’d weigh into the debate over South Devon’s best fudge by submitting four of the leading contenders to a blind test taste in the Coast & Country Cottages Salcombe office. Yes, we know what you’re thinking – it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! With flavours ranging from the more traditional vanilla, sea salt, butterscotch and chocolate to those more unusual (but equally as delicious) such as apple and cinnamon, Brixham pirate, ginger and lemon meringue pie to name a few, we really had our work cut out. Below, in no particular order, you will find our collection of the finest South Devon fudge contenders, all of whom have slightly different offerings…
Edward, the founder of Edward’s Fudge Kitchen, has been making fudge his entire adult life, using traditional methods and lots of love and enthusiasm. His ultimate goal is to produce ‘the best type of fudge available to UK consumers disillusioned by the mediocrity of fudge available in supermarkets and on the high street.’ The fudge is made on-site, and some of the most popular flavours include clotted cream vanilla, cherry Bakewell, Sea Salt and the most recently developed vegan fudge. If you aren’t passing one of Edward’s stores then not to worry, because you can also order online, with a choice of over twenty different fudge flavours to choose from.
Location: Salcombe and Dartmouth
A family run business, Roly’s Fudge is a true Devon success story that started over three decades ago with its first branch in Torquay. The company has grown exponentially ever since and now has a chain of over 40 pantries across the country. The fudge is made on-site in front of customers and smells utterly incredible, so it comes as no surprise that Roly’s fudge qualifies for entry into our South Devon Fudge-off competition – it really is a strong contender! There’s an abundance of regular flavours to choose from, and some seasonal extras too depending upon when you visit, and best of all you can also buy online ensuring a year round supply of sumptuous South Devon fudge.
The Good Intent’s history stretches back to 1928, and when the Dartmouth Ice Cream Company took over the shop in 1929 they decided to keep its traditional, nostalgic heritage. You will find the Good Intent at 30 Lower Street in Dartmouth, opposite the lower ferry. All of their fudge and ice cream is made onsite and is quite a spectacle to watch. They also send fudge by post, making for a moreish and memorable delivery, so be sure to get in contact to arrange your package or order via their website. They even make bespoke flavours – perfect if you’ve dreamt up a flavour you simply must try.
Location: Plympton, near Plymouth
Cottage Confectionery, based in Plympton, makes their creamy fudge based on a secret recipe dating back to 1930. Preparation doesn’t get more traditional than the methods used by this artisan producer – the fudge is handmade in a copper kettle, while being stirred manually with an extremely large wooden spoon. Their six flavours include a couple of classics such as Christmas pudding and chocolate orange as well rum and raisin, ginger and of course vanilla. You can also purchase their fudge online.
Unsurprisingly, thirteen eager team members took part in our test taste, and the results were remarkably close. The most striking aspect of the challenge was how many disagreements between voters there were – the main split was between tasters who like their fudge creamy and smooth, who tended to prefer Cottage Confectionary and Dartmouth Ice Cream’s fudge, and those who preferred crumbly fudge, like that produced by Edward’s Fudge Kitchen and Roly’s Fudge. To us, this suggests that when it comes to fudge, taste really is on the tongue of the beholder. We think the best way to find the perfect fudge that you love is to taste them all and make up your own mind – we set the challenge upon you, and please do let us know how you get on! Nevertheless, by totting up the preference votes of all voters, we were able to arrive at a winner… or actually two winners of which were (drum roll!) Roly’s Fudge & Edward’s Fudge Kitchen. These two producers of sweet, crumbly fudge received the same points overall, slightly ahead of the creamy competition. It seems that, with our panel at least, crumbly fudge gets the biggest nod.
After all this talk of delicious South Devon fudge, we wouldn’t be surprised if you wanted to make your very own batch. Whilst many of the South Devon fudge recipes are top secret, here is a delicious clotted cream fudge recipe that the team at Coast & Country Cottages adore – we promise it makes the best melt in the mouth crumbly fudge. Prepared in just one pan, this makes for a delicious sugary treat or alternatively it could be wrapped up as a yummy edible delight to enjoy whilst exploring the South Devon coast and countryside.
– 225g of clotted cream
– 100g of golden syrup
– 225g of golden caster sugar
– 1 small pinch of salt
1. Line a medium sized tin with good quality baking paper
2. Combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and place over a medium heat (not too hot)
3. Cook for 15 – 20 minutes, being sure to stir frequently to stop the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Aim for a smooth, thick consistency
4. Using your sugar thermometer check the temperature, the fudge will be ready when it reaches 116 degrees
5. When it reaches the temperature of 116 degrees, remove your pan from the heat and leave the mixture to cool a little before beating with a wooden spoon until the mixture turns from a shiny texture to matte
6. Spread out in the lined tin, and cover over with additional baking paper. Transfer to the fridge for up to an hour before cutting to share
The best of South Devon food extends far beyond fudge of course, as delicious as this particular local speciality is. Take your next break in Salcombe, Dartmouth, or the surrounding South Devon countryside to enjoy some of the country’s best local produce in the most breathtaking surroundings. At Coast & Country Cottages we boast a wealth of self-catering properties with something to suit everyone – choose from country escapes and coastal cottages to luxury properties taking in sea & estuary views, not forgetting our dog friendly holiday options too. If you can’t find something you are looking for be sure to call a member of the team who will happily help.