There are very few people who do not like a bar of perfectly made fudge. This sweet and rich confectionery is made by mixing butter, sugar, milk, and certain flavorings, and then cooled down to form creamy bars. Although making fudge is relatively simple, there are certain ways and methods to perfect the recipe. Read on to learn some important tips to make a batch of delicious fudge to impress your friends and family.
1. Gather all the equipment needed in advance
Since making the fudge is a continuous process, you should not break the procedure in between to look for equipments. So gather all the required equipments you need in one place before you start making the fudge. Things you would essentially need are wooden spoons, saucepans, bowls, measuring cups, candy thermometer, baking pans, and so on. Also make sure you measure all the ingredients in proper measuring cups before starting the cooking process, otherwise you will ruin your batch of fudge.
2. Prepare the baking pan
The baking pan needs to be lined with aluminium foil to remove the cooled fudge easily out of the pan. Cut out the foil in such a way that there is a 2 inch over hang on all sides and then place it into the pan. You can also lightly grease the foil with butter, if required.
3. Using the candy thermometer
To know that the fudge has reached the temperature indicated in the recipe, it is important to use a candy thermometer. Once the ingredients are all mixed and stirred, clip the device on to the side of the pan so that the ranging temperatures can be constantly monitored. If you do not have a thermometer, then constant checking would be required which can be time consuming and exhausting. Also make sure you test the thermometer before you start making the fudge. Reset it according to altitude and pressure variations and alter the recipe to match it.
4. Use a heavy saucepan and use a wooden spoon
For best results it is ideal to use a heavy saucepan and a size that would hold about twice the amount of your fudge recipe. The heavy pan would reduce the chances of scorching and the extra room will prevent the fudge from boiling over. Using a spoon that wont heat up during the prolonged stirring procedure is also important, which is why wooden spoons are apt for this purpose.
5. Follow directions exactly
If you follow the directions precisely, then you would definitely be able to make a perfect batch of fudge. Weather conditions, type of pan used, temperature of the stove, etc. all affect the final outcome. But most of all, make sure your candy thermometer is set right and if the mixture reaches the called for temperature, you are good to go. Also make sure you add the ingredients in the order mentioned in the recipe with exact volumes and no substitutions, and even doubling the recipe can harness the final outcome.
6. Use the best ingredients
If using chocolate flavor, go for the best of the brands and also chop them up into smaller pieces so that it would melt faster and at the same pace. Butter should not be replaced with soft, lighter versions or even vegetable oil as they might contain extra water or different fats, causing the recipe to fail.
Once you have added all the ingredients to the pan, make sure you constantly stir them to dissolve completely. Then bring to a boil over medium-high heat, and if you notice sugar crystals on the side of the pan, carefully wipe them off with a wet pastry brush. Once the fudge has reached the desired temperature, stop stirring and do not disturb the pan. Keep boiling for the time mentioned in the recipe, and then remove the saucepan from the heat and place it aside to cool for a while. Once it has cooled down to about 110Â°F, it is ready for vigorous continuous beating and you can also add chopped nuts and other condiments at this point. Continue beating till you attain a thick consistency.
8. Pouring and scoring the mixture
When pouring the mixture into the baking pan, be careful as the fudge can still be hot. Carefully pour the mixture and even it out, and while it is still warm, score it into squares using a very sharp knife. This will make cutting the fudge at a later stage much easier.
9. Using stiff fudge
If the fudge becomes too stiff, do not worry as you can try softening it with your hands until it becomes pliable and then press into the pan. It would still be tasty.
10. Cooling and storing
Once the fudge has completely cooled down, use the lining foil to carefully lift the fudge out of the pan and place on a chopping board. Using the sharp knife cut along the scored area. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator or room temperature as mentioned in the recipe. Usually they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks and in the freezer for up to 3 months.