Anyone who has ever made fudge before will know that cutting, shaping and de-moulding it can be a pretty tricky process. We have all been there, frantically whacking the underside of the cake tin with a rolling pin to try to knock the fudge free.
We have all ended up digging it out of the tray with a spatula, only to spend hours attempting to arrange the crumbly mess in a vaguely attractive pile on a serving plate.
There really is nothing worse than making a brilliant batch of fudge that tastes and smells delicious, but looks like a disaster. Depending on the recipe you use and the cooking times you follow, fudge can be soft as butter, crumbly as cookie, or chewy as toffee.
The consistency that you aim for is ultimately down to your own personal preference, but each consistency comes with its own de-moulding issues.
Luckily, the hard baking trays and cake tins of the past have been ungraded in recent years, and newer silicone options have revolutionized the confectionary industry.
These moulds are soft, flexible, and non-stick, and they also happen to come in a range of amazing shapes and sizes which open up a whole new world of fudgey designs.
In this article, we will go through the best type of moulds out there for fudge, including tins, biscuit cutters and silicone moulds.
We will cover depth, rigidity and de-moulding techniques, so that you can get making your marvelous fudge creations in whatever shapes and sizes you desire, without fear of them falling to pieces at the last moment!
How is Fudge Made?
- Muscovado Sugar
- Condensed Milk
- Whole Milk
- Unsalted Butter
Traditionally, fudge is made by mixing butter, sugar, milk and condensed milk in a heated saucepan until the ingredients melt together and the liquid mixture begins to bubble.
At this point, additional ingredients can be added such as chocolate, nuts, alcohol, vanilla and raisins, in order to flavor the fudge. The bubbling mixture is monitored closely to ensure it reaches the exact temperature to achieve a soft, melt-in-the-mouth consistency.
Once hot enough, the fudge mix is swiftly poured into a flat tray and left to cool at room temperature until it hardens. The cooled fudge is then removed from the tray and cut into portions.
These portions are traditionally cubed or rectangular when cut with a knife, however, if a biscuit cutter is used they can be more intricately shaped.
Thanks to new silicone moulds, fudge can be formed into more and more intricate and detailed shapes than ever.
The Benefits of Silicone Fudge Moulds
One of the key benefits of silicone moulds is that they are far more flexible than traditional metal baking trays and tins. These moulds move and feel like rubber, allowing you to turn them inside out in order to remove the contents.
Rather than having to bang the bottom of a cake tin with a wooden spoon, or dig the fudge out with a knife, the soft silicone can be peeled away from the fudge effortlessly.
This causes you far less hassle and also results in a neater finish on the fudge. The risk of damaging, deforming or breaking the fudge is greatly reduced with silicone moulds.
Note: Silicone moulds come in varying thickness and hardness. The soft silicone is best for fudge and sponges, whereas firmer moulds can be used for ice cubes and chocolate.
Silicone moulds are non-stick and therefore do not need to be lined or greased. Traditional trays and tins have to be smeared with butter or lined with greaseproof paper in order to avoid mixtures becoming stuck inside them.
This process takes time and effort, and if not done properly then your fudge will be very difficult to remove.
The non-stick design of these silicone moulds saves time and also ensures that the fudge comes out cleanly and neatly, with no corners and edges left behind.
All this being said, if you really want to guarantee that you get a perfect shape, there is no harm in spraying your silicone moulds with a light grease spray.
Silicone is very resistant to extreme temperatures, meaning that it is suitable for both the oven and the freezer.
The thermal stability of silicone means that there is no risk of the moulds melting when hot fudge mix is poured into them, and no risk of them cracking if placed in a fridge or freezer to cool.
Most good quality silicone moulds will be able to withstand temperatures as low as -100 degrees fahrenheit to over 400 degrees fahrenheit! It is also microwave safe.
This not only makes these moulds very versatile, but also means that they are long lasting and durable.
Shape and Design
Silicone moulds are available in a wide range of shapes, sizes and designs, allowing you to achieve a professional and polished finish on your fudge.
The traditional method of cutting fudge after it has cooled can be messy and inaccurate as fudge tends to become crumbly and easy to damage once cooled.
Silicone moulds allow all the portioning and shaping to be done whilst the fudge is still in liquid form, resulting in a much more accurate finish.
What is more, you can achieve far more ambitious and detailed designs thanks to these moulds, and you can be sure that your fudge pieces are evenly sized thanks to the uniformity of the cells within each mould.
You can get fun, quirky moulds in the shape of figures and objects, and beautiful, themed moulds for festivals and holidays.
Unlike glass, metal and plastic baking containers, silicone does not snap, crack or break and it is extremely difficult to tear.
This means that silicone moulds are a very safe option, particularly when enjoying some baking with children, and that silicone moulds last a long time so are a good investment.
Easy to Clean
Most silicone fudge moulds are dishwasher safe and easy to clean. Thanks to their non-stick design, excess fudge mix will come off easily with a simple rinse in hot water and washing up liquid.
You should avoid scrubbing your silicone mould too hard with an abrasive brush or scourer, as the soft surface could become damaged. In order to ensure an easy clean up, we recommend spritzing the inside of each mould with some grease spray before use.
Silicone fudge moulds are incredibly versatile and can be used for far more than just fudge making. You can use these handy trays for moulding chocolate, ice cubes, sweets and even sponges.
For large cakes and bakes however we would still say that the old metal tins are preferable as they conduct heat to the center of the bake more efficiently, whereas silicone cake tins can sometimes leave the middle of a cake uncooked.
The Best Fudge Moulds
This is the only non-silicone option on our list and it is ideal for all you traditional bakers out there.
This ingenious carbon steel tray comes with removable dividers so that your mixture can be sectioned neatly and evenly as soon as it is poured out.
This tray is non-stick so no bits will be left behind. It is incredibly versatile and works wonderfully for cakes and brownies too!
This silicone tray is simple yet effective. You can have fun cutting your fudge into whatever shapes to like once it has cooled in this tray.
The soft edges fold back effortlessly for easy removal meaning that your fudge slab will not get damaged as it is lifted out. No more banging on a baking tray with a spoon! Hooray!
This 6 cavity silicone tray is perfect for those who like handsome portions! The cells are heartily sized and result in large fudge squares with very neat, crisp edges.
We think that this silicone mould is a great choice for those who love to bake muffins and brownies too!
This 80 cavity silicone mould is great if you are wanting to achieve a classy, french patisserie feel for your fudge. The delicate and neat little squares make perfect bite size portions which look adorable on a serving plate.
Better still, these small cavities mean that your fudge cools more quickly, so this mould is great if you like speedy results.
We just love these semi-spherical silicone moulds.
Not only are they great when served in halves, as you can add fun toppings to decorate the flat surface, but these moulds can easily be stuck together to create full fudge spheres which have loads of impact!
If you want to create goodie bags or jars filled with fancy fudge, then these silicone moulds are just brilliant. The swirling designs are eye-catching and appetizing, and this mould works wonderfully with chocolate as well!
And finally, how could we not mention Christmas?!
Fudge is a confectionary that is associated with the festive season and is a favorite sweet treat to pop in stockings and give as homemade gifts.
These Festive silicone moulds are detailed and fun and will give your fudge a special Christmassy beauty.
Top Tips For Working With Fudge
- For a smooth, buttery, melt-in-the-mouth consistency, allow your fudge mixture to reach a temperature of around 237-237 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To avoid cracking and shrinking, allow your fudge to cool overnight at room temperature, rather than trying to rush the process by cooling in a fridge or freezer.
- If you wish to add toppings (such as nuts, chocolate, candy, biscuit crumbles or dried fruit) it is best to press them into your fudge when it is semi-cooled. Too hot and the toppings will sink into the mixture, too cool and the toppings will not embed into the surface and will drop off easily.
- If using biscuit cutters to shape your fudge, it is best to press the cutters into the fudge when it is semi-cooled in order to make the initial impression. Once your fudge is fully cooled you cutter will be able to slice the fudge far more easily which will result in a much cleaner finish.
- If you have got nuts of raisins in your mix they can cause lumps and bumps that affect the clean finish of your fudge. If you are using an intricate mould it is best to pour a thin layer of smooth mix in first, then allow that layer to partially cool.
You can then add the nutty mixture in to fill up the mould and you will get the best of both worlds, a smooth outer with a nutty, textured center.