3 Tips for Making Your Best Fudge (2024)

Listen to This Article:

Loading the Elevenlabs Text to Speech AudioNative Player…

What’s not to love about fudge? It melts in your mouth, coating your tongue in rich and creamy sweetness.

However, making meltaway fudge isn’t always easy! If you don’t understand the proper techniques, you may end up with a grainy or crumbly rather than creamy confection.

If you want to get a better hold on making fudge, join us as we dive into some of the culinary science that pastry arts students can explore during their time at Escoffier.

How to Make Fudge

The simplest fudge recipes start with three ingredients found in many types of confections: sugar, butter, and milk. However, some recipes contain variations on these ingredients, like swapping sweetened condensed milk for the milk and sugar, or semi-sweet chocolate chips for some of the sugar.

Many types of fudge also contain additional ingredients like chocolate, vanilla, or maple syrup, as well as mix-ins such as nuts and marshmallows.

No matter the exact ingredients you use, the fudge-making process will be similar. First, you’ll heat the ingredients to dissolve the sugar and create a hom*ogenous mixture. Next, you’ll cook the mixture until it thickens. Finally, you’ll remove the fudge from the heat, allow it to cool, and then mix thoroughly.

Tips for Making Fudge

Smooth, creamy, and decadent fudge relies on proper technique, so keep these tips in mind when whipping up your next batch.

1. Monitor the Temperature with a Candy Thermometer

If you end up with soft fudge that turns into a puddle in your hands or hard fudge that is a bit reminiscent of a crunchy candy, improper temperature is likely to blame. If you don’t heat your fudge to a high enough temperature, you’ll end up with a soft product. And if you heat the mixture too much, your fudge may be harder than you’d like.

When you’re cooking your fudge over the stove, you should aim for a maximum temperature between 234-237ºF. Yes, that’s only a three-degree range! In order to ensure you remove your fudge from the heat as soon as it reaches this temperature, you should monitor the mixture with a candy thermometer.

2. Avoid Stirring Once the Mixture Comes to a Simmer

Another key part of a successful fudge texture is when you stir the mixture. Stirring the sugar and milk during the initial stages of cooking allows the sugar to dissolve. However, once the mixture comes to a boil, it’s time to put the spoon down.

If you continue stirring once the mixture is simmering, you are encouraging the development of sugar crystals. While crystallization is the goal if you’re making hard candy, crunchy sugar bits can quickly ruin a fudge’s silky smooth texture.

3. Beat Thoroughly

While you shouldn’t mix the fudge mixture when it’s hot, you should beat the mixture once it has been removed from the heat and cooled.

Once again, turn to your candy thermometer. When the mixture has cooled to 110ºF (but not a moment before), it’s time to pick up a wooden spoon and begin stirring. Continue mixing the fudge until it has lost most of its sheen, about 5–10 minutes.

If you mix the fudge when it’s too hot, the sugar particles may lump together and form discernable crystals. Therefore, monitoring the temperature is key!

3 Tips for Making Your Best Fudge (1)

Proper technique is an essential part of creating silky smooth fudge.

Chocolate Fudge Recipe

Keep the previous fudge tips in mind as you follow this recipe for chocolate fudge.

Ingredients

  • 28 oz granulated sugar
  • 12 oz whole milk
  • 6 oz corn syrup
  • 4 oz butter
  • 5 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Prepare an 8×8 pan by lining it with butter-coated parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  2. Place the sugar, milk, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and stir well. Once the mixture begins to boil, stop stirring. Monitor the mixture and watch for it to reach 230ºF.
  3. Add the butter, chocolate, salt, and vanilla and bring the temperature up to 235ºF. Remove from heat.
  4. Once the mixture has cooled to 110ºF, mix it with a wooden spoon until it loses the majority of its sheen.
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and let it cool fully before slicing.

Continue Improving Your Pastry Skills

Now that you know some of the tips for making fudge, it’s time to think about what other confections and baked goods you’d like to create! Whether you want to make a chewy yet tender loaf of bread or decorate a cake with smooth fondant and intricately piped roses, understanding the technique behind successful dishes is key.

Pastry school can introduce you to both the science and art involved in creating some of your favorite sweet treats and savory baked goods. By working with talented chef instructors, you can explore inside tricks and tips and receive individualized feedback as you practice creating new dishes.

By the time students graduate from , many find they are ready to move toward career goals like starting a bakery or beginning a career as a cake decorator. If you’d like to take the next step to accomplish your pastry dreams, contact us for more information.

To learn more about baking & pastry, check these out next:

  • Cake Decorating Tips: How to Choose the Right Pastry Bag
  • What Is It Like to Be a Pastry Chef?
  • 6 Advanced Baking Techniques Every Pastry Chef Should Know

This article was originally published on December 25, 2016, and has since been updated.

*Information may not reflect every student’s experience. Results and outcomes may be based on several factors such as geographical region or previous experience.

3 Tips for Making Your Best Fudge (2024)

FAQs

3 Tips for Making Your Best Fudge? ›

You have to control two temperatures to make successful fudge: the cooking temperature AND the temperature at which the mixture cools before stirring to make it crystallize. Confectionery experiments have shown that the ideal cooking temperature for fudge is around 114 to 115 °C (237 to 239 °F).

What is the secret to making good fudge? ›

You have to control two temperatures to make successful fudge: the cooking temperature AND the temperature at which the mixture cools before stirring to make it crystallize. Confectionery experiments have shown that the ideal cooking temperature for fudge is around 114 to 115 °C (237 to 239 °F).

How do you know when fudge is beaten enough? ›

After letting the fudge cool, it's time to beat it. It is important to stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture starts to thicken and its surface starts to look dull or matte. Now is the time to stop beating and pour the fudge into a mould.

What is the key to successful non grainy fudge? ›

A lot of big crystals in fudge makes it grainy. By letting the fudge cool without stirring, you avoid creating seed crystals. Stirring would help sucrose molecules "find" one another and start forming crystals.

What should fudge look like after beating? ›

The fudge is then beaten as this makes the fudge slightly crumbly rather than chewy. Beating the mixture encourages the formation of small sugar crystals, which leads to the crumbly texture. The crystals may not be noticeable in themselves but the fudge mixture will thicken and turn from shiny to matte in appearance.

How to make fudge creamy and not grainy? ›

To fix oily, hard or grainy fudge, scoop the fudge back into a pot with about a cup of water. Cook it over low heat until the fudge dissolves. Then bring the fudge back up to the temperature specified in the recipe and follow the remaining steps. The flavor may be slightly diluted, but the texture will be improved.

What makes fudge moist? ›

Monitor the Temperature with a Candy Thermometer

If you end up with soft fudge that turns into a puddle in your hands or hard fudge that is a bit reminiscent of a crunchy candy, improper temperature is likely to blame. If you don't heat your fudge to a high enough temperature, you'll end up with a soft product.

What should you not do when making fudge? ›

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Candy Shop-Worthy Fudge and Caramels
  1. Using the Wrong Pan. All candy and confections start by melting sugar. ...
  2. Stirring the Sugar. ...
  3. Not Using a Candy Thermometer. ...
  4. Leaving Out the Parchment Paper Lining. ...
  5. Skipping the Cooking Spray. ...
  6. Scraping the Pot. ...
  7. Using a Cold Knife to Slice.
Dec 16, 2015

Do you stir fudge when it's boiling? ›

Know When and When NOT to Stir

Stir the ingredients to dissolve the sugar until the mixture comes to a boil. If your recipe uses milk, stirring will keep the mixture from curdling. But once it reaches about 236–238 degrees F/113–114 degrees C (the "soft-ball" stage), do not stir it or even shake the pan.

How to make fudge harder? ›

How can you fix soft fudge? Put it in a microwave safe bowl that is large enough that it won't boil over. Reheat it to the boiling point and cook for about 3 more minutes. Then you can beat some powdered sugar into it if this doesn't make it set.

What went wrong with my fudge? ›

If your fudge is tough, hard, or grainy, then you may have made one of several mistakes: You may have overcooked it, beaten it too long, or neglected to cool it to the proper temperature.

How do you keep homemade fudge from being grainy? ›

To avoid this, ensure that you stir the fudge mixture consistently and remove any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan using a wet pastry brush.

What happens if you don't beat fudge long enough? ›

However, if you don't beat it at all, the crystals won't form properly, so your fudge won't set. If you forget to beat the fudge, try heating it back up over low heat, then beat it once it's slightly softened. If you beat the fudge too soon, the crystals will be too large, and the fudge will be grainy.

How long do you boil fudge to get to soft ball stage? ›

How long does it take to make fudge:
  1. about 18 min to reach boiling.
  2. about 40 minutes to reach soft ball stage.
  3. 60 minutes to cool.
  4. 28 minutes to beat in a KitchenAid (your time for this may vary)
  5. 4 hours to set.

How to cut fudge so it doesn't crumble? ›

Put both knives into a large measuring cup, add boiling water onto the knives, and before cutting the chocolate or the dessert into pieces, wipe the knife with a towel. The warm knife will easily cut through without cracking.

Why did my fudge turn out like taffy? ›

If the temperature is too low, the fudge will be too soft and sticky, and if it's too high, it will turn into a hard, crumbly mess. The ideal temperature to cook fudge is between 232-234 degrees F (111-112 degrees C).

What gives fudge its firm texture? ›

The key to creamy, luscious fudge is controlling crystal formation. If the sucrose (table sugar) crystals are small, the fudge will feel creamy and smooth on your tongue. But if the crystals are large, the fudge develops a crumbly, dry, or even coarse texture.

What does cream of tartar do in fudge? ›

Cream of tartar is used in caramel sauces and fudge to help prevent the sugar from crystallizing while cooking. It also prevents cooling sugars from forming brittle crystals, this is why it's the secret ingredient in snickerdoodles!

Why does my fudge crumble when I cut it? ›

The ingredients for fudge are combined and cooked to 234 degrees, cooled to 110 degrees without stirring, then beaten until creamy. Candy that isn't cooked long enough will end up too soft; overcooking makes fudge crumbly or hard.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Allyn Kozey

Last Updated:

Views: 5715

Rating: 4.2 / 5 (43 voted)

Reviews: 82% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Allyn Kozey

Birthday: 1993-12-21

Address: Suite 454 40343 Larson Union, Port Melia, TX 16164

Phone: +2456904400762

Job: Investor Administrator

Hobby: Sketching, Puzzles, Pet, Mountaineering, Skydiving, Dowsing, Sports

Introduction: My name is Allyn Kozey, I am a outstanding, colorful, adventurous, encouraging, zealous, tender, helpful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.