Secrets to Success
Fudge is a delicious combination of sugar, butter, milk and flavorings such as chocolate, maple, peanut butter, white chocolate, butterscotch, walnut, or even pumpkin. The tricky part of making fudge is combining these items and cooking them properly.
The key to good fudge is to follow the directions exactly. Use an accurate candy thermometer and allow the mixture to reach the temperatures called for in the recipe before moving to the next step. Add each ingredient in the order listed by the recipe. Vigorous stirring at the wrong time (after it’s reached the soft-ball stage) can actually promote crystallization of sugar into large grains. Small sugar crystals equal smooth fudge that melts on the tongue.
Once the fudge reaches 240 degrees F/115 degrees C (the “soft-ball” stage), do not stir it or even shake the pan until it has cooled to about 110 degrees F/43 degrees C. When pouring the fudge from the saucepan to the serving pan, don’t scrape the sides or bottom of saucepan or you may introduce unwanted sugar crystals into your finished fudge. For first-time candy makers, look for recipes that call for corn syrup, marshmallows, or marshmallow crème: these ingredients prevent crystallization of sugar into large granules, so the texture of the fudge will remain smooth. Recipes using cream or evaporated milk are less likely to curdle than regular milk.
Try these easy fudge recipes:
- Easiest Peanut Butter Fudge
- Pumpkin Fudge
- VIDEO: See How to Make Fudge in the Microwave
- German Chocolate Fudge
For best results, use a heavy, high-sided saucepan that holds about twice the volume of your candy recipe. A heavy pan is less likely to cause scorching, and the extra room helps prevent boil-overs. You will also want an accurate candy thermometer. Other factors, like the temperature of your stove, type of pan, temperature of your kitchen, and even the weather, can affect cooking times, but the candy’s temperature is always the best measurement to gauge doneness.