Fudge is a timeless dessert. Whether you’re enjoying the scent wafting out of a small-town candy shop or hovering around the dessert table at a holiday party, there aren’t many people out there who don’t love a decadent bar of fudge. However, even Austin culinary arts students have struggled to make fudge with a creamy consistency, rather than a grainy one. Though the process of making fudge is fairly simple, there are a lot of little ways you can make mistakes. Here are some tips to help you make your best fudge:
Too big is better than too small
There needs to be a lot of extra space in the saucepan you choose to make your fudge in to give the ingredients room to expand. To be safe, choose a saucepan that’s about double the size of the original amount of ingredients. This will take a bit longer to heat up, but you’ll be happy when you don’t end up with a big fudge mess from the pan overflowing!
“The sugar mix needs to reach the ‘soft-ball’ stage.”
Check the consistency
Seasoned fudge-makers are very familiar with the “soft-ball stage” of a fudge sugar mix. If you don’t have a candy thermometer, this is the best method of determining whether it’s achieved the right temperature. In order to test the consistency of the mix, Recipe Tips advises filling a glass up with cold water and dropping some of the boiling sugar syrup into it. If the pieces of syrup are soft but you can mold them with your fingers, it’s the right temperature. If they dissolve, they need to boil longer, and if the sugar forms hard crystals, it’s boiled too long.
Stirring your fudge mix is crucial to dissolving the sugar and keeping the milk from curdling. But you don’t have to consistently stir it, especially when it’s reached the right temperature. It can be tempting to continue to stir your fudge mixture once it’s reached temperature to prevent it from burning, but the best course of action is to remove the saucepan from heat immediately. All Recipes suggests removing your fudge from the heat once it’s reached 236 – 238 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t try to salvage all of it
When pouring your fudge mix into the cooling pan, your initial reaction will probably be to scrape the saucepan so you can get all of that delectable fudge out of there. Resist, though! In many cases, the sugar that gets stuck on the sides and bottom of the pan doesn’t dissolve all the way, so adding it to the finished product will cause pieces of your fudge to be grainy. Instead of pouring that leftover mix into the cooling pan, just lick the spatula!
If you want to forego sugar crystals
If you’ve attempted to make fudge multiple times and just can’t seem to master the art of a smooth bar of fudge, Recipe Tips suggests using a recipe that naturally prevents sugar crystals from forming. Some of these ingredients include marshmallows and corn syrup. Not only do these keep your sugar from crystallizing, but they’re delicious, too! Nobody will know the reason behind adding them.