Fudge is many people’s favorite delicious sweet treat. It is perfect to have as a dessert or as a little snack for a pick-me-up after a long day. They are also great to bring to parties or gatherings as everyone will enjoy these snacks.
While you can buy fudge in candy stores as well as almost all grocery stores, there is nothing better than eating homemade fudge, especially if you have made it yourself.
Many first-time fudge makers though do not realize just how difficult making fudge can be.
The recipes seem simple enough, often having only around 3-5 steps, but people are still often left with fudge that is either too soft, or too hard, brittle, and grainy.
Luckily there are many ways to guarantee that your fudge will come out silky smooth and tasty. Here are the best top tips you should follow to make sure you make perfect fudge every time.
It’s All About Temperature
If you want perfectly smooth fudge then you must keep a very close eye on the temperature of the mixture throughout the whole cooking process.
The temperature rising or falling by just a few degrees away from the ideal temperature will potentially ruin your fudge.
The ideal temperature to cook fudge at during the boiling stage is 234 and 237 °F/ 112 and 114 °C. Any lower than this, and your fudge will end up being too soft and gooey.
While you want your fudge to be smooth, this kind of texture can not only ruin the eating experience but will also make your fudge taste a bit weird as the sugar has not been concentrated enough.
You will lose out on the sweet kick that everyone is looking for when they eat fudge.
If the temperature is too high then you will be left with grainy, brittle, and hard fudge which again won’t taste as good.
This is why if you want to make perfectly smooth fudge you should invest in a candy thermometer.
While recipes may give you guides on how long you should cook the fudge for (with many saying to boil it for around 10-15 minutes), the actual time it should spend on the stove or in the microwave will depend on many things.
Factors such as how big your saucepan is, and how hot your stove or microwave is will impact the boiling time.
Can I Fix The Mixture If I Mess Up The Temperature?
Luckily, if you accidentally undercook or overcook your fudge mixture during the boiling stage, it is very easy to fix and get your mixture back on track. Whether under or overcooked, you can fix the mixture in the same way.
All you have to do is add 30ml of 35% cream to the mixture, bring it to a boil again, stir occasionally, and make sure that all the ingredients are combined and that the sugar is melted.
Read more in these posts about fixing your fudge mixture:
How To Test The Temperature If You Don’t Have A Thermometer
While a thermometer is the easiest way to get your fudge perfect, if you want to save some money you can try out this trick to see if your fudge is ready to leave the boiling stage.
Get a bowl or glass of very cold to icy water, and drop a tiny amount of the fudge mixture into it. If you can then form the mixture into a small soft ball by rubbing it between your fingers, the mixture should be ready to come off the heat. This is known as the “soft ball method” or simply as the “cold water test”.
This is not a completely accurate method but is useful if you don’t have a thermometer handy.
Beating The Mixture
Beating the mixture correctly is the next important step you need to take to get smooth and silky fudge. Beating times the size of the sugar crystals within your fudge.
Again, to do this right you need to get the mixture to the right temperature.
Before beating you should let your mixture cool for at least 15 minutes, or until it reaches a temperature of 109 to 113 °F/ 43 to 45 °C. The mixture should feel warm, but not hot. Letting the mixture cool, it allows it to thicken up before beating.
If you do not do this and beat it while it is hot, the sugar crystals within the fudge will begin to combine again, form large sugar clumps, and leave your fudge feeling grainy and sandy.
There is no way to undo this once it is done, so you will probably have to throw away the mixture and start again.
When the mixture is beaten when cool, the thickness of it prevents the sugar crystals from combing, leaving you with silky smooth, melt in your mouth fudge.
Another tip to do when beating the mixture is to not scrape the sides of the pan or bowl you are using, just let the fudge form a dough-like ball in the center.
This is because the sides of the bowl or pan will often be covered in a grainy layer of fudge, and adding this into your final mixture may ruin the texture of it.
Use The Right Tools
Picking the right utensils to use when making fudge will have a bigger impact on the final result than you might think. It will also help make the cooking process easier for you if you are using the right things.
For mixing and beating, a wooden spoon works well, though these are sometimes difficult to hold and can rub on your hands.
This is only made worse when the mixture starts to thicken up, as it takes more effort to move it around.
A better option is to use silicone tools like a spatula, with bonus points being given if it has a grippy handle that won’t hurt your hands.
These tools are heatproof so can be used during all stages of cooking, from boiling to beating.
Adding Extra Flavors
If you want to experiment a bit with your fudge flavorings, then you should add these in between the boiling and beating stages.
Popular flavors to add to fudge include, nuts, chocolate chips, marshmallows, or natural flavorings. These will then combine with your fudge mixture during the beating stage.
We hope that we’ve kept you on track to making smooth fudge. Remember that it is important to be patient with fudge as it boils and cools. Beating the fudge at the wrong temperature will change the consistency of your fudge and cause it to be grainy. Good luck with your fudge-making and happy cooking!