Cream of tartar is one of those products you might have noticed in your grandmother’s cupboard whose purpose is unknown!
But although it may not be as well known as other baking ingredients, it is one that you should definitely not overlook.
Its name doesn’t give you a clue like other leavening agents, like baking powder or baking soda, so we won’t judge you for assuming that it’s some sort of cream.
Despite the fact that only a few individuals have any experience with it, this ingredient is helpful to have on hand in your kitchen.
It has numerous additional purposes, even outside baking and cooking, and just a little bit of it makes a great difference.
Why is cream of tartar added to fudge? What function does the addition of this ingredient to this delectable dessert serve?
Continue reading to find out why we add cream of tartar to fudge.
What Is Cream Of Tartar?
Despite its name, cream of tartar is not a creamy product. It is a granular, sour powdered substance that is also referred to as tartaric acid, potassium hydrogen tartrate, and potassium bitartrate.
It can be found in the spice section of most supermarkets or stores.
Cream of tartar is created as a result of processing grapes into wine. It is a powdered form of tartaric acid, making it an acidic material comparable to vinegar or lemons.
A common component in recipes, cream of tartar serves as a stabilizer to bind your ingredients together.
When a cook is working with a challenging recipe that has a propensity to wilt, such as meringue or a souffle, this ingredient is especially beneficial.
It is so essential to include cream of tartar in many baking recipes since it additionally activates the alkaline in baking soda, which prevents sugar crystals from sticking together.
The Benefits Of Using Cream Of Tartar As An Ingredient
While we’ve already covered why cream of tartar works well in recipes, it’s also important to know that this ingredient has health benefits.
Due to its calming and protective effects on the body, cream of tartar is associated with alleviating arthritis, preventing heartburn, and sometimes even clearing up skin problems, including acne and blemishes.
Moreover, cream of tartar’s alkaline properties helps both stop and heal bacterial infections. It can also aid in lowering a person’s blood pressure.
What Is Cream Of Tartar Used For?
Cream of tartar can be utilized for a variety of tasks, including making delectable, fluffy baked items. But its excellent uses don’t stop there!
It transforms into a leavening agent when coupled with baking soda, which is the substance that causes baked foods to expand in the oven.
It accomplishes this by generating carbon dioxide gas as it heats up, which causes the food to which it has been put to cook while becoming all airy and fluffy.
Surprisingly, you can replace 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar if you ever run short of the former.
Baking powder is employed to leaven food and give it a frothy, airy texture.
Vegetables can be added to boiling water with a dash of cream of tartar to keep their vibrant, natural color.
While it doesn’t really enhance their flavor much, it will give them a much more bright and appetizing appearance.
Moreover, whipped cream can be stabilized by adding a small amount of cream of tartar to stop it from collapsing.
Hence, if you ever whip some cream and find yourself upset that it has turned out a touch flat, you can quickly rectify the problem by adding a small amount of cream of tartar.
In addition to being a wonderful addition to the appearance and texture of certain foods and adding several health benefits to a person’s body, you can also use cream of tartar to make some homemade play dough.
All you need to do is add some cream of tartar to flour, salt, water, vegetable oil, and coloring, and you’ve got some edible dough to have fun with!
What Does Adding Cream Of Tartar Do To The Fudge Mixture?
Now that we know that cream of tartar is used to make baked goods more light and fluffy and helps them rise as they bake, you may be wondering: how does it help set fudge?
After all, we don’t bake fudge. Why would we want to add an ingredient that makes it fluffy when fudge isn’t meant to be that texture?
In the case of making fudge, cream of tartar acts as a means to soften the consistency rather than helping it to rise.
By dissolving the sucrose in the sugar into glucose and fructose and reducing the likelihood of crystallization, cream of tartar aids in the fudge’s ability to set. This keeps the fudge smooth; not gritty.
For the best consistency and to effectively set their fudge, numerous bakers will include cream of tartar in their formula.
However, if the recipe directions are not followed, the fudge will turn out too gritty and stiff. Cream of tartar can help fix this issue.
How To Add Cream Of Tartar To Fudge
All you will need is around ¼ teaspoon of cream of tartar to add to your fudge recipe. While this may not seem like a lot, this is more than enough to add that creamy texture to your finished product.
When using cream of tartar in your fudge recipe, you will want to add it as one of the first ingredients.
Mix it with a cup of milk, 3 cups (0.71 liters) of sugar, and a pinch of salt, and heat up in a pan until it has become a soft-ball.
To prevent overheating, you’ll need to mix the concoction regularly and watch it carefully. Also, use a silicone brush soaked in water to clean the pan’s edges to avoid the sugar crystallizing.
If the sugar crystallizes, the fudge will acquire that unwanted grainy, crumbly texture. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the mixture after removing the pan from the heat.
Let the mixture cool down almost completely, but wait to stir the butter until it is lukewarm because doing so too soon will affect the smoothness.
After that, whisk in all the nuts and flavorings of your choice before transferring the mixture into a buttered pan. Then, allow the fudge to cool completely.
This will take 3 hours at room temperature, 2 hours in the refrigerator, and 1 hour in the freezer.
Once you have used cream of tartar to make some fudge, you will realize how much of a game-changer it really is. It gives the fudge a smoother, creamier texture that is absolutely to die for. You only need a tiny pinch of the powdery substance to make a difference!
So, there we have it: the reason that we add cream of tartar into the ingredients when we are making some fudge is so that we can create that luscious, creamy texture that we all know and love.
Without using cream of tartar and without paying close attention to what we are doing while cooking, we run the risk of ruining that velvety consistency and creating a grainy, gritty texture instead. It is possible to create that wonderful texture without using cream of tartar, but it is a lot easier to include it as an ingredient.
All you need to create that yummy creaminess is a tiny pinch of cream of tartar, less than a teaspoon.
Sprinkle it in while you’re heating up the mixture, and you can create the perfect consistency for your homemade fudge.
We also recommend purchasing some cream of tartar to store in your cupboard for all occasions, whether you plan to whip up some fudge or not. You can use it as a cleaning tool to boost your health or make some colorful, edible play dough or slime!
We hope you found this guide helpful. Happy baking!