You can think you’ve followed the recipe to a T, and yet somehow, your fudge still hasn’t turned out how you hoped it would. If you’ve made a batch of fudge that you’re not happy with, you might be curious to know: Why has my fudge turned to caramel?
In this article, I will explore the difficulties surrounding making fudge, including why your fudge has turned to caramel and how to prevent it from happening in the future!
Keep reading to find out more.
Why Has My Fudge Turned To Caramel?
Ensuring you get the texture right is one of the most challenging aspects of making homemade fudge. Beginners often struggle with this, as it’s a balancing act that you must get right in order to achieve success. Follow our Ultimate guide to making fudge for successful fudge making.
Fudge often turns into a chewy caramel-like texture because of incorrect temperatures. Whether the mixture hasn’t cooked for long enough or you have overcooked it, this can have a huge impact on the texture of your fudge.
When cooking fudge, it’s important for the sugar to reach just below the soft-ball stage which measures at 234-240°F (112-116°C). The soft-ball stage is when a soft-ball of sugar can easily be flattened between your fingers.
Anything more or less will unfortunately alter the texture of the fudge completely, and will result in you being disappointed if a perfectly good batch of fudge is ruined.
Old-fashioned fudge is notorious for being challenging to master. If you’re consistently struggling with your fudge being the wrong texture, don’t feel disappointed. Instead, why don’t you opt for a quick fudge recipe instead?
Quick fudge recipes are designed to be a lot easier to make than old-fashioned fudge, and will allow you to dip your toes into making homemade fudge without the high risk of your fudge being ruined if it doesn’t reach a certain temperature.
Why Is My Fudge Chewy?
In the majority of cases, if the texture isn’t quite right after you’ve made fudge, it is most likely due to the cooking time.
Chewy fudge that has a gooey texture is caused by an excessive amount of moisture in the mixture. If the fudge is undercooked, not enough water will be able to evaporate and you will be left with a fudge that is soft and gooey in texture.
If your mixture has too much water, in severe cases, the fudge won’t set at all! In this circumstance, the fudge will need to be remelted in order to fix it and set up properly in the refrigerator.
In contrast, if you overcook your fudge, the texture will be the opposite. Cooking your fudge for too long will result in too much water evaporating, and you will be left with an unpleasant, rock-hard, crumbly fudge that is impossible to cut properly.
In addition to the cooking time, chewy fudge can also be the result of inefficient beating. For the best results, you must wait until the fudge has cooled down to 109 to 113 °F/ 43 to 45 °C and beat it until it thickens up and turns a lighter color.
Perfecting fudge relies on the cooking time, so if you can’t get that right, you will always be left with inconsistent results.
How Can You Prevent Your Fudge From Turning Chewy?
While you can’t fix chewy fudge once it has completely set, there are a few ways that you can prevent your fudge from turning chewy during the fudge making process.
Testing The Temperature
When it comes to testing the temperature of your fudge, the most accurate way to test whether the fudge is ready is to use your candy thermometer.
To ensure that your candy thermometer is working as it should be, you can test it by placing it in a pan of boiling water (212°F/ 100°C). Without a candy thermometer, you won’t be able to accurately measure the temperature of your fudge, and this is when you can under or overcook it.
You will need to make sure that you don’t touch the bottom of the pan with the tip of the thermometer. This comes down to the fact that the bottom of the pan is going to be hotter than the fudge mixture itself, so you won’t get an accurate result if you do this.
Lastly, you will need to make sure that you keep the thermometer inside the mixture the whole time. If you’re consistently inserting it and removing it, you could produce an inaccurate reading that could ruin the overall result of your fudge.
There is another super easy method to test the temperature of your fudge that involves using a cold bowl of water. In short, all you need to do is add a drop of the mixture into the bowl of cold water when the recommended cooking time is nearly up.
If the sugar hardens to the soft ball stage, your fudge has reached the correct consistency and is ready to be removed from the heat to be chilled.
Beating The Fudge Correctly
Beating your fudge incorrectly can have an adverse effect on the texture of your fudge, causing it to become chewy. This can be down to beating the fudge mixture while it is too hot, or not beating your fudge for long enough.
You will need to make sure that you allow your fudge mixture to cool enough before you attempt to beat it, and also ensure that you beat it for long enough.
Always make sure that you follow the instructions that your recipe provides you when it comes to beating. However, typically speaking, many recipes will recommend that you beat until the consistency thickens and the fudge loses its sheen.
In the majority of cases, the texture of your fudge isn’t right because it was removed from the heat when it was either too cold or too hot.
Chewy fudge that is similar to caramel’s gooey texture is caused by an excessive amount of moisture in the mixture. Make sure that you follow these tips to prevent your fudge from turning to caramel in the future.