Ghee is clarified yak butter, available at stores specializing in Indian foods.
Clarified butter may be substituted. The silver leaf is known as vark in India.
It is made by heating and beating pure silver until it resembles cotton candy. The
mass is then compressed into sheets. It is also available at stores specializing
in Indian foods.
3 cups almonds, blanched and peeled
2 cups half-and-half
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons ghee
2 sheets edible silver leaf (optional)
Put almonds in the container of an electric blender or food processor, and
grind them to a fine powder. Set the ground almonds aside until needed.
Bring cream to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Cook over high heat, uncovered,
for 10 minutes, or until it has thickened to the consistency of a cream soup,
stirring constantly to prevent burning.
Reduce the heat to medium; add the sugar, and cook for an additional 2 minutes,
or until all of the sugar has dissolved.
Add the ground almonds and the ghee. Stir vigorously and constantly as the
mixture begins to lump up and stick to the spoon. Release the fudge from the
spoon by scraping it off with a knife or teaspoon. Continue cooking the mixture
for 3 minutes.
Pour fudge onto the center of a greased square of wax paper or an 8-inch
square pan. Working deftly and quickly, flatten and spread it to an even thickness
within the square.
If you are using edible silver leaf, place it over the fudge, and gently
press it to make it adhere.
While the fudge is still warm, cut it into neat diamond-shape pieces measuring
1 x 2 inches, using a sharp knife dipped in cold water.
This fudge keeps for three weeks if it is stored in a tightly sealed container
at room temperature and for several months in the refrigerator.