Whilst making the fudge the boys asked me what the difference was between evaporated milk and condensed milk and I realised that other than knowing condensed milk was sweeter, thicker and a paler colour I wasn’t actually too sure.
So I did a bit of research and I found the major difference is condensed milk has added sugar and evaporated milk doesn’t.
Evaporated milk is fresh milk that has had 60% of the water removed (evaporated). After the water has been removed the milk is sterilised at a high temperature for 15 minutes and it’s this sterilisation process that gives evaporated milk it’s slightly caramelised flavour. Because it’s sterilised it used to be used to feed babies and I know I was fed on evaporated milk as a baby (wonder if that’s why I still love the taste.
Evaporated can be used as a milk substitute in recipes by adding the same amount of volume of water to the evaporated milk.
Sweetened condensed milk is a mixture of whole milk and about 40 to 45 percent sugar, which is heated until about 60 percent of the water evaporates. It has very good keeping properties because of all the sugar (!) and isn’t sterilised in the same way as evaporated milk.