In North America, a lot of people assume “Chocolate” and “Fudge” are the same thing. In fact, in some places, they are considered synonymous! If you’re one of the many people with this thought process, we are sorry to say that it isn’t true.
Fudge and Chocolate are made of different ingredients, and although you can get Chocolate flavored Fudge, that doesn’t make them the same.
Today we are going to show you the ingredients that make Fudge, the process of creation, and all the flavors that you can expect in a bite!
The Ingredients Of Fudge
Fudge is made up of three ingredients; sugar, butter, and milk.
It is closer to a sugar candy than a cake, although the soft texture can lead you to think otherwise.
Fudge, made properly, should have a smooth and creamy texture, with a thick and biteable consistency. To make this balance of biteable creaminess, you need to have the correct ratio of ingredients and cook them together by constantly stirring, so it doesn’t burn.
Too hot, and the fudge will become sticky.
How Is Fudge Made?
Although we have a whole article dedicated to this subject, we want to explain a little bit about the creation of fudge here, as it can help people understand how Fudge differs from other sweets.
To create Fudge, you need to focus on the size of the sugar crystals. If they are too big, then you end up with a grainy texture, like eating sand. To control these crystals, you need to understand how fat and temperature can manipulate their structure.
Dissolving the three ingredients of sugar, butter and milk into a heated pan between 234 and 240 degrees Fahrenheit (112 to 116 degrees celsius), you should be able to create what is known as “softball stage Fudge.”
This means you should be able to spoon out some of the syrup you have created and drop it into cold water.
If dissolved correctly, the fudge should form into a ball. You then need to take it out of the water and press it onto a hard surface to show it is still soft.
This is the same process as making hard candy, but the ratios of the ingredients are different. To know if you used the right balance of sugar, butter, and milk, you should press the ball into the surface. If it isn’t malleable, then you have created hard candy.
Once you have confirmed everything is going well, you need to leave the mixture to cool until it reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius). If you start messing with it while it’s too hot, you will end up creating large crystals again.
When it has reached the appropriate temperature, you can mix everything together and shape the fudge. Then leave it to cool completely.
And that’s all there is to it!
Is Fudge Chocolate?
The answer is no, but let’s explain why.
One main reason why Chocolate is not the same as Fudge is due to its main ingredient. Fudge’s main ingredient is sugar. Chocolate’s main ingredient is cocoa. However, there will be a lot of people reading this article who know of another factor that separates them, and that’s texture.
Chocolate is hard, whereas Fudge is soft. If you had Fudge flavored Chocolate, then you would have a hard bar of Chocolate with a very sweet flavor. If you had Chocolate flavored Fudge, then you’d have a soft square with a smooth and deep cocoa hint.
What Flavors Can You Add To Basic Fudge?
The list is endless. You can add so many flavors to fudge that the only limit is your mind. Take Scotland, for example, in some areas, you can find local shops selling bright orange, Irn Bru flavored fudge!
The common flavors you can find are Chocolate, Vanilla, Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter, and Alcoholic.
To add these extra flavors into the base taste of Fudge, you need to add in your special ingredients after the dissolving process but before the final cool-down element.
In the mid-cooling stage, when the fudge has gone past 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius), you can sprinkle in your extra flavors and mix them into the batter. This will allow you additional flavors to settle into the mixture without adding more crystals.
Remember, if the sugar has been mixed when it is too hot, then the crystals will become larger. Larger crystals will feel grainy, like sand, so we want to keep them small at all costs.
When you are adding in your additional flavors, you need to think about how you want the texture to feel. We are going past the original worry of large crystals, and instead, we are thinking about the overall feel.
For example, if you want to add in a vanilla flavor, so you want to include a vanilla paste that will add in a thicker texture, or use vanilla extra, which will taste artificial and strong but won’t mess with your base Fudge quality.
We suggest playing around with different textures to see what adds to the experience and what hinders it. It might take a couple of tries to get everything the way you want it to be, so be ready to eat fudge for days!
Found in almost every western vacation spot around the world is a Fudge shop. The highlight of many people’s journey to a new land comes from finding a new Fudge shop and sharing it with their friends and family.
Each area will have its own way of making Fudge, but it boils down to the same three ingredients; sugar, butter, and milk. If you come across a local fudge shop, ask them if they move away from milk and use cream instead or if they have a favorite butter that they must always use.
Knowledge like this can turn your classic treat into something of legend. Who knows, the local shop might even have an experience day for you to try!