Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (2024)

Home Recipes Candy Fudge

Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (1)

ByLindsay D. Mattison

Taste of Home's Editorial Process

Updated: May 05, 2024

    Homemade fudge can be a little fussy, but it's easy to make if you avoid these common fudge mistakes.

    1/9

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (2)

    Molly Allen for Taste of Home

    Bitter Taste

    If your pot heats unevenly, chances are good the sugars will burn, giving fudge an unpleasant, acrid taste that’s impossible to fix. This is often the result of a pot that’s too thin. Instead, invest in a heavy-bottomed, stainless steel pot to set yourself up for success.

    2/9

    Grainy Fudge

    Does your fudge have a gritty or grainy texture? The sugars probably crystallized, a common mistake when making candy like fudge or caramel. If the melting sugar splashes onto the sides of the pan, it turns back into crystals and causes the fudge to seize up. To avoid this issue, swirl the pan instead of stirring it with a spoon. You can use a wet pastry brush to wipe down any sugar that sticks to the sides of the pot.

    3/9

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (4)

    Fudge Didn’t Set

    If your fudge turned out super sticky, or it didn’t set as it cooled, it probably never got hot enough. This mistake is super easy to avoid if you use a candy thermometer and cook the fudge to the temperature specified in the recipe (usually between 234 and 239°F). By the way, here’s how to make microwave fudge if you need a new batch in a pinch.

    4/9

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (5)

    TMB studio

    Too Soft or Too Hard Fudge

    The amount of time you cook fudge directly affects its firmness. Too little time and the water won’t evaporate, causing the fudge to be soft. Conversely, cook it too long and fudge won’t contain enough water, making it hard with a dry, crumbly texture. Pay attention to the timetable specified in the recipe, and you’ll get the hang of it after a batch or two.

    Here’s how to make homemade fudge step by step.

    5/9

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (6)

    TMB studio

    Oily Fudge

    Fudge is basically an emulsion between sugar, butter and milk. If the butter gets too hot, it can separate, causing the fudge to become oily on top. This is easy to prevent by monitoring the temperature with a candy thermometer, but separated fudge can also be fixed.

    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.

    6/9

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (7)

    TMB studio

    Sugar Crystals Formed

    It’s important to beat the fudge ingredients to develop the right texture, but you won’t get smooth, creamy fudge if you beat it when it’s too hot. Beating fudge when it’s still over heat creates sugar crystals, aka the grittiness you feel in the fudge. Instead, wait to pick up the spoon (our Test Kitchen loves using wooden spoons) until the fudge drops to between 110 and 113°F, about 15 minutes.

    7/9

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (8)

    Rock Hard Fudge

    Beating the cooled batter is one of the crucial steps of fudge-making, but overbeating can turn fudge hard as a rock. Pay close attention to the change in appearance and only beat the fudge until it loses its glossy sheen. If you beat the fudge any longer, you might notice it start to seize, which tells you you’ve gone too far.

    8/9

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (9)

    TMB Studio

    Bland Tasting Fudge

    Your fudge will only be as good as the ingredients you use. Quality butter, chocolate chips and vanilla extract will create a luxurious base that will hardly need anything to amplify the sweetness. Beyond the basics, our Test Kitchen recommends mix-ins of equal quality. For example, if you want all-out with the best chocolate brands, do the same for any nuts, extracts or candies. You can make candy-shop quality fudge by toasting nuts before mixing into the fudge or making sure you’re not using last year’s peppermint sticks to crush into this year’s fudge. The fresher, the better!

    9/9

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (10)

    Nancy Mock for Taste of Home

    Complicated Fudge

    Fudge-making requires time and attention to detail, but some of our favorite fudge recipes use a shortcut: sweetened condensed milk. These recipes don’t require a candy thermometer or any specialized equipment, so they’re perfect for beginners or anyone running short on time.

    Originally Published: January 23, 2021

    Author

    Lindsay D. Mattison

    Lindsay has been a food writer, recipe developer and product tester for seven years. She’s a culinary school graduate who specializes in sustainable food and seasonal ingredients. She draws on her professional chef background to develop recipes and help home cooks gain confidence in the kitchen. When Lindsay isn’t writing, you’ll find her coo...

    Read More

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (11)

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them (2024)

    FAQs

    Fudge-Making Mistakes and How to Fix Them? ›

    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.

    How do I fix messed up fudge? ›

    Pour the fudge back into your pan, and add about a cup of water to it, along with a tablespoon or two of evaporated milk, whipping cream, or whatever cream you're using. Some people skip the water and just add cream to the mixture to reheat.

    Can I fix fudge that didn't set? ›

    OPTION 3) Sieve together some powdered sugar and cocoa powder, and gradually work this into your unset fudge until it reaches the consistency of dough, then roll out and cut into squares, or shape into balls and then roll in powdered sugar (roll the balls in icing sugar, not yourself).

    What is the secret to good fudge? ›

    Tips for Making Fudge
    • 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. ...
    • Avoid Stirring Once the Mixture Comes to a Simmer. ...
    • Beat Thoroughly.
    Mar 8, 2023

    What to do with failed fudge? ›

    Good use of failed fudge: fudge that is too hard, too soft, too runny, too sugary, too chewy, etc. Proportions are as follows: for every 2 cups (roughly 1 pound yield) of any failed fudge that is not runny, you'll need 1 egg, ½ cup all-purpose flour, and ½ cup milk. If fudge is soupy, halve the milk (to ¼ cup).

    What happens if you over stir fudge? ›

    Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has come to a boil, do not stir it. If you do, the sugar can crystallize, giving your fudge a gritty texture.

    How do you rescue unset fudge? ›

    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.

    How do you restore fudge? ›

    Maybe—try stirring in whipping cream over low heat.

    Stir until the fudge is warm and slightly softened, then take it off the heat and beat the fudge again.

    Can fudge be melted and reset? ›

    Reset the fudge

    This option is to melt back the fudge and to reset it again. This option takes more time and is laborious. Compared to others, it will produce better results. Just as you read earlier you have to mix the ingredients and heat it at 234 degrees.

    How do you fix separated chocolate fudge? ›

    Funnily enough, it's super simple. First boil some water. Second, very slowly, as in 1-2 tsp at a time add in the boiling water and whisk the chocolate vigorously until the mixture is smooth again. The hot water will essentially melt the clumps back to a liquid consistency.

    Why is my 3 ingredient fudge not setting? ›

    The main reason is that your Fudge has not reached the optimum temperature. If your mixture only reaches 110 or 112 degrees Celsius it will always be soft. That's why we recommend investing in a sugar thermometer. Another reason your Fudge is not setting is that the ratio of liquid to sugar is too high.

    Top Articles
    Latest Posts
    Article information

    Author: Maia Crooks Jr

    Last Updated:

    Views: 5769

    Rating: 4.2 / 5 (63 voted)

    Reviews: 94% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Maia Crooks Jr

    Birthday: 1997-09-21

    Address: 93119 Joseph Street, Peggyfurt, NC 11582

    Phone: +2983088926881

    Job: Principal Design Liaison

    Hobby: Web surfing, Skiing, role-playing games, Sketching, Polo, Sewing, Genealogy

    Introduction: My name is Maia Crooks Jr, I am a homely, joyous, shiny, successful, hilarious, thoughtful, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.