Sure, fudge can be for any time of year, but eggnog fudge is seasonal... and 'tis the season.
500 ml eggnog
100 ml whipping cream
200 g butter
700 g granulated sugar
2 tbsp rum
freshly grated nutmeg to garnish
Line a square baking pan with parchment paper.
Combine eggnog, cream, butter and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat slowly, stirring frequently until all the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted. Raise heat to med-high and bring to a boil.
Boil, stirring constantly, until it reaches the soft ball stage. We stick to the cold water method (syrup dropped into cold water forms a ball that flattens out, but does not run, when you remove it from the water). If you have a candy thermometer and you're confident in both the thermometer and your ability to use it, feel free to rely on it. Either way, the boiling will take 15-25 minutes at sea-level depending on the size saucepan you are using (longer for smaller surface area).
Remove from heat, quickly stir in the rum, then let cool for 5 minutes. Stir until no longer glossy, pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle nutmeg over the surface as a garnish and let cool completely before cutting.
This is an old-fashioned fudge recipe: no corn syrup; no marshmallow fluff; no condensed milk. Is it absolutely fail proof? No. But it's the best fudge you'll every eat (in my biased opinion, anyway). If you read "fail-proof" or "no fail" in the title of a fudge recipe, it's a lie, my friends. Things can go wrong.
You use the wrong sized pot or a pot with too thin a base. Your glass candy thermometer breaks and you can't find the missing glass. Your metal candy thermometer isn't reliable. Your fully-reliable probe thermometer is set in the froth rather than the liquid and accurately reads the wrong temperature. Your cold water isn't cold enough. Your cold water is too cold. It's too humid. It's too dry. You are distracted and miss the soft ball stage. You are impatient and take it off the heat too early. A cat gets into trouble exiting a reusable-shopping-bag-play-house and needs rescuing from the noisy laminated fabric chasing it around so you stop stirring just long enough for it to burn. You're dehydrated from the heat in your kitchen while you try to cook eight million treats for the holidays and your judgement is compromised.
First, don't panic. We all have to throw a batch of candy out at one point or another.
Second, don't panic. I have made this fudge a LOT. It only failed very rarely and always due to, uh, well, user error (that is, when I think I know better than my own recipe). Follow the recipe, and it will work.
Third, don't panic. Perfect fudge is excellent for stuffing in stockings and gifting to neighbours (or teachers or colleagues). The slightly imperfect fudge, in the rare event it happens, is something you get to keep for yourself.