If at first you don’t succeed, try try again
Lime, cumin, salt, fudge: this unusual combination of flavours has finally come together in our new flavour: Salt Lime Soda! After creating a series of (delicious!) sauces instead of solid fudge, FudgePots’ exciting new fudge flavour debuted on Saturday July 20 at Bath Vegan Food Festival.
Salt Lime Soda fudge feels as if it has been a long time coming: for two months I trialled this new recipe, only to produce a gooey toffee-like substance that, despite having a delicious zingy taste, was too sticky to remove from the parchment. When you have invested belief in a recipe and pored over, stirred and coaxed a pan of boiling sugar, beaten the contents and waited on tenterhooks to discover whether or not it has set, it is soul-destroying to find that it remains malleable the following morning (I do all my best creating after 8pm).
After much tweaking, I finally tried using lime extract, as I suspected the acid in the lime juice I was using to be responsible for my semi-liquid fudges. The first time I did so, then — just like that! — a light creamy dairy-free fudge virtually set before my eyes, just in time for our first vegan food festival..
Over the course of vegan festival in Bath, persevering with this awkward flavour proved worth it: every last bag of the first batch of Salt Lime Soda sold out. As the temperature and humidity at the venue soared, a number of customers also described the new flavour as refreshing. One lady even uttered the words, unprompted, ‘ooh, Salt Lime Soda, that takes me right back to being in India’. I couldn’t have scripted it better myself!
So what does it taste like?
Akin to the salty sweet moreishness of Himalayan Salted Pistachio, this new Salt Lime Soda flavour has an initial citrus hit of tangy lime which subsides to reveal the cumin and pepper underpinning the recipe. Like the refreshing Indian drink, nimbu pani (which inspired this fudge), it leaves you fully revitalised and with a keen desire for more. The unusual combination of cumin, a spice more commonly found combined with coriander in savoury dishes, with lime has a curiously uplifting effect. I discovered this for myself: the first time I tasted nimbu pani was on what was, to a girl that had jetted in from a Welsh winter, an oppressively hot spring day in Kolkata at least 20 years ago. The flavours of cumin, salt and lime immediately cut through the heavy heat and brought me back to life, and I had to order another. And the flavour has stayed with me.
This fudge is perfect for summer and best eaten alongside a long chilled still water, or iced tonic water with a hint of lime.
In addition to its other qualities, Salt Lime Soda fudge is, like much Indian food, naturally dairy free and vegan. To make dairy-free fudge, it is only necessary to replace the dairy ingredients with, for example, coconut products and Catrin’s family’s old Welsh fudge recipe holds true.
The spices that, along with water and lime, create the drink nimbu pani are staples in Bengali kitchens. It seems that all the hanging about in the kitchen in my youth has prepared me well for my present career as Vegan Fudge Recipe Inventor. One pitfall, as described, is the use of citrus juices — but enough of me giving away trade secrets!
Where can I buy it?
Since proving a hit at the vegan food festival, this new fudge will be the first of the ‘sometimes’ flavours soon to be available in our online shop for a limited period.
How to make & use Salted Lime Soda fudge sauce
You too can create this sauce, inadvertently invented by Rita and Catrin at the start of their careers as fudge chefs. Simply pour water into a small non-reactive saucepan to a depth of 1cm and add half a bag of fudge. Put on a low heat and let the fudge slowly melt into a semi-liquid, pourable state.
1. The old classic: pour it generously over ice cream or sorbet.
2. Stir into homemade ice cream before freezing, along with lumps of your my favourite shortbread or cookie. Better than Ben & Jerry’s.
3. Dollop a teaspoonful into the centre of cupcakes before baking.
4. For a Spanish-style weekend breakfast treat: dip homemade breadsticks into the warm sauce and devour with strong black coffee.