Fudge Problems? Learn How to Fix Them. (2024)

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If you're having trouble with your fudge, you're probably following a recipe for old-fashioned fudge—candy cooked to a specific temperature, cooled, then beaten until thick. Old-fashioned fudge can be fussy, especially on your first or second attempt. Some home cooks complain that their fudge is grainy, crumbly, or burnt while others complain that their fudge never sets properly. If you've encountered one of these problems, don't worry—you can probably save your fudge.

None of the following solutions or tips applies to the so-called quick fudge that involves marshmallow fluff or condensed milk. In fact, if you're nervous about trying to make old-fashioned fudge again, you should start with one of those foolproof recipes.

Fixing Fudge

Sometimes old-fashioned fudge never sets, even after hours in the refrigerator. You wait patiently, only to discover that it's still a sticky, gummy mess. But don't despair or throw out the entire pan of fudge: You can probably remedy the situation.

Fudge usually behaves this way when it's not cooked to a high enough temperature (due to oversight or a faulty candy thermometer).

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. Don't throw out the whole pan, because you may be able to melt the fudge down and try again. Of course, if your fudge has a distinctly burnt or scorched flavor, you'll have to start over with a fresh batch.

To fix soft fudge or hard fudge, simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Scrape the fudge back into a large saucepan and add 1 1/2 cups of water.
  2. Stir the fudge over low heat until it dissolves. Carefully taste the mixture, as the water probably diluted the flavor. Add more flavorings if necessary.
  3. Increase the heat to medium and bring it to a boil, washing down the sides of the pan frequently with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Do not stir the fudge.
  4. Cook it to the proper temperature specified in the recipe (most likely between 237 F and 239 F).
  5. Take it off the heat, and follow the recipe's instructions for cooling and beatingthe fudge. As you beat the candy, remember that the mixture should lose its sheen and thicken before you pour it into the pan.

Tips for Fudge Makers

  • Before you make another batch of fudge, it's a good idea to test your candy thermometer. Place it in boiling water to make sure that it registers 212F. If it doesn't, you should calibrate it or invest in a new one. Many people overcook fudge because of faulty or broken thermometers.
  • 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.
  • As you beat the fudge, pay attention to color and texture. Once the fudge loses its sheen and thickens, put down your spoon. If you continue to beat the fudge, it will go from “perfect” to “rock hard” in minutes.
  • If you're making a lighter fudge that doesn't involve any chocolate, you might notice that the recooked batch has a darker, brownish color, thanks to caramelized sugar crystals. This change may alarm you, but the fudge should still have a lovely, mellow flavor and silky texture.
Fudge Problems? Learn How to Fix Them. (2024)

FAQs

Fudge Problems? Learn 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.

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).

How do you bring fudge back to life? ›

In the microwave - microwave in short increments with a glass of (warm) water, which creates steam for the fudge to absorb, until the fudge no longer feels/looks dried out.

What is the secret to 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 I fix messed up 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.

Why won't my 2 ingredient fudge set? ›

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.

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).

Can you melt and reset fudge? ›

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.

What happens when fudge goes bad? ›

If fudge experiences a change in temperature, it can melt or develop a slimy texture on the surface. If it is exposed to air, it can dry out and become hard. Specific add-ins to fudge have the potential to grow mold or give off a bad odor, and at that point, the fudge should be avoided.

How do you save fudge? ›

Ensure you have kept the leftover fudge in a sealable container in a cool, dark, dry place, such as kitchen drawers, cupboards, or a pantry. Fudge stored exposed at room temperature will last for a month or two but will start to show signs of hardening around the edges and a loss of its freshness.

Why won't my 3 ingredient condensed milk fudge set? ›

By incorporating a small amount of either cornstarch or gelatin into the mixture, you can enhance the thickening properties. Then, proceed to reheat and re-pour the fudge, allowing for better consistency and thickness. 3.

Can you refrigerate fudge to set? ›

Fudge is best stored at room temperature for 2 to 3 weeks wrapped up in its original wax paper. NEVER REFRIGERATE your fudge as this will draw out the moisture and leave you with dry, crumbly fudge.

What not to 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

Why didn't my fudge work? ›

You didn't cook it long enough. Fudge needs to be heated to the "soft ball" stage. It is salvageable, but you'd have to be very careful of sugar crystallization. If you make a mistake you'll wind up with a grainy mess.

Is evaporated milk or condensed milk better for fudge? ›

Evaporated milk doesn't have sugar added. The sweetened condended milk is needed as no extra sugar is added to the fudge. If evaporated milk were used then the fudge would not be sweet enough and also would still be too soft unless the fudge is frozen.

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.

Can I freeze fudge to make it set? ›

We like to set this fudge in the freezer to make it quicker! Once you add the fudge to your pan it will need just 30 minutes in the freezer to set.

Will fudge set at room temperature? ›

Pour Fudge into Prepared Pan

Once the fudge has thickened and the nuts are added, pour the fudge into the prepared pan. Allow it to set at room temperature until firm, about three hours or overnight.

What happens if you don't stir fudge? ›

By letting the fudge cool without stirring, you avoid creating seed crystals. Stirring would help sucrose molecules "find" one another and start forming crystals. Stirring also introduces air, dust, and small dried bits from the walls of the saucepan—all potential seeds for crystal formation.

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