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  • Butter or oil, for greasing the tray
  • 100g dried cherries
  • 3-4 tbsp Sloemotion Cherry Brandy
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • 450g caster sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 170ml evaporated milk
  • 170ml full-cream milk
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • Pinch of salt

MAKES ABOUT 50 PIECES

PREPARATION: 20 MINUTES, PLUS COOLING AND OVERNIGHT RESTING

COOKING TIME: 10 MINUTES

Grease the base and sides of the baking tin with oil/butter and line with a sheet of non-stick baking parchment.

Place the cherries in a small saucepan with the cherry brandy. Cut the vanilla pod to expose the seeds and add it to the cherries. Put the pan on a low heat for about 3 minutes to warm the cherry brandy. Don’t allow it to boil. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, stirring occasionally, so the cherries soak up the vanilla-infused brandy.

To make the fudge, tip the remaining ingredients and the brandied vanilla pod into a large saucepan. Put the pan over a low heat to melt the butter and dissolve the sugar.

Increase the heat to bring the mixture to the boil. At this stage, the mixture will be a deep creamy colour, but as it reaches the required temperature it will turn into a rich caramel shade.

Stirring frequently, continue to cook on a low-to-medium heat. Half fill the sink with cold water and plunge the base of the pan into it for 20 seconds to halt the cooking process.

Using tongs or a fork, remove the vanilla pod from the pan and leave the fudge to cool on a heatproof surface for 3-4 minutes. The fudge will start to lose its surface sheen as it cools. Beat the cooled fudge with a rubber spatula for about 3 minutes until it thickens and starts to become grainy. Add the cherries, mix to combine then spoon the fudge in an even layer into the prepared tin.

Allow to cool completely then cover with cling film. Leave overnight before cutting into squares.