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Fine Cooking Fudge

by on November 3, 2009 · 27 comments

Results are in! The fudge recipe from December’s Fine Cooking is a winner!

I had a few issues which arose from trying to halve the recipe, but once I got the adjusted half-batch boiling times and temps right, I had the perfect fudge. The texture was creamy, but had the flakiness you’d expect from good fudge. It was better the second day and will probably be even better on the third. I should know because I’ve been eating fudge all week long and it just gets better — which is not to say the same for my blood sugar. That’s the price you pay for good fudge.

One last thing. Aside from being awesome, this fudge is also pretty inexpensive to make The 4 oz of unsweetened chocolate goes a long way, and those of you worried about it not being chocolaty enough will probably be satisfied. It is sweet, but not any sweeter than Fantasy Fudge or just about any of the other fudge recipes I’ve tried. Still, I think the Rocky Road version will be even better because the nuts will offset the sugar.

fine cooking fudge

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Published on November 3, 2009

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

CindyD November 3, 2009 at 1:33 pm

Congratulations! I think I’ll wait till close to Christmas to make it.

laura November 3, 2009 at 1:37 pm

What brand of unsweetened chocolate do you like to use?

Anna November 3, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Cindy, I think you should make it today ;).

Laura, I’ve been using Ghirardelli 100% chocolate lately — the type that comes in a 10 oz bag and costs about $3.99.

alyssa November 3, 2009 at 1:48 pm

Hi Anna, that does look good! Would you be able to elaborate on the boiling times and temps you used for a half batch? I would be interested to try a smaller batch. THanks!

Sue November 3, 2009 at 2:02 pm

That looks good. I will definitely have to give it a try!! Thanks for the review!

Anna November 3, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Alyssa, sure! I didn’t want to go into it and make it more confusing for people who were planning to make the full batch, but the half batch does require adjustments.

Your best bet is to take a look at Alton Brown’s fudge recipe because the boil times for a half batch of this are more in line with his.

Here’s how I did it, and this was in an anodized aluminum saucepan rather than stainless steel. I kept overcooking it in my All-Clad and had better luck with different type metal.

1. I heated the sugar, cream, chocolate, salt and corn syrup over a medium low heat, stirring constantly, until they came to a good boil. If your mixture doesn’t come to a boil over medium-low, up the temp to medium. Not all stoves have the same setting, but for a half batch it’s best to start lower (or at least in my experience!). This will also vary based on what saucepan you use — just don’t rush it.

2. When the mixture comes to a good boil, reduce the heat and cover the pot so that it is still gently boiling. Keep it covered for about two minutes. Remove the cover and immediately insert the thermometer.

3. At this point, do not stir at all. Watch the thermometer rise slowly and steadily (up the heat if it stops for too long) until it hits 234. Remove from heat, add the butter, and let it stand for about 45 minutes or until the temp drops to 110.

4. Beat with the mixture (don’t scrape sides of pot) for about 7 minutes or until mixture starts leaving little trails wherein you can see the bottom of the pan.

My fudge didn’t really go from shiny to matte. The only signal I had that it was ready to pour was the fact I could see little tracks being made (as advised by FC).

If you use a non-stick coated saucepan and don’t want to use your hand-mixer for fear of damaging the coating, after the fudge hits 110 you can carefully transfer it (again, don’t scrape sides) to a rubber mixing bowl and mix away!

The half batch doesn’t make very much fudge at all. It should cover the surface area of a loaf pan.

Also, this fudge takes a while to set. Mine was soft when I poured it in the pan and seemed set after about an hour.

Joanna from Colorado November 3, 2009 at 2:09 pm

Thank you so much for all the fudge reviews! I am going to make fudge for our mailman this year (going to start a tradition – my mom always did it for our mailman and garbage man in our small town at the holidays when I was little, but our garbage man always is changing, so I chose the mailman only), and I didn’t know which to pick.

Thank you!

Katrina November 3, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Yeah for FC! Glad it worked so well.

Louise November 3, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Did you allow it to firm up overnight before you cut it?

clumbsycookie November 3, 2009 at 5:20 pm

I thought it was a brownie! That does look like a perfect piece of fudge, very shiny!!!

C L November 3, 2009 at 7:38 pm

:drool: This looks TOO good! For fudgy goodness like this recipe, I am willing to invest in a candy thermometer. ;)

Deb November 3, 2009 at 9:25 pm

Okay, I’m going to try it as soon as I find my candy thermometer! I see a possible trip to Sur la Table this weekend!

Dolce November 4, 2009 at 8:21 am

Looks fantastic. I might even try it this week-end (which is a bad idea because I will be alone. In the kitchen. With fudge… )

Lu November 4, 2009 at 8:26 am

Yummy. I can’t wait to try the fudge. Any suggestions on how to cut sweetness without nuts? My little one is allergic to all tree nuts. He can have peanuts though.

Anna November 4, 2009 at 9:09 am

Lu, I’m glad you asked. When I think of rocky road, I think of almonds and marshmallows, but sometimes I see rocky road made with peanuts. So you could throw in a handful of peanuts and marshmallows. Of course if I used peanuts I would re-name it “tin roof”.

Linda November 4, 2009 at 10:16 am

Hi Anna, Do you think it would be OK that once it hits 234 degrees to immediately transfer to a mixing bowl so it can be beaten with a stand, rather than a hand, mixer?

Stephanie November 4, 2009 at 11:28 am

Thanks for the review! I wanted to make this recipe as soon as I saw it- excited to see that it lives up to the billing. Can’t wait to try it for the holidays. Or sooner. :)

alyssa November 4, 2009 at 11:34 am

Thanks Anna for the detailed tips and instructions… definitely a great help (and confidence booster) for a first time fudge maker!

Fine Cooking November 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm

Wow! We are mighty proud. Thanks so much for spreading the sweetness of Fine Cooking:)

Anna November 4, 2009 at 1:04 pm

Linda, the only problem with that when it hits 234 degrees, you’re supposed to keep it still and not stir it at all. So I think moving it from the pot to the mixing bowl might disturb the fudge. However, you should be able to move it once it cools to 110. Mine was still pourable at this point (like a really, thick fudge sauce) and I was able to transfer it to a rubber mixing bowl. So I don’t see why you couldn’t carefully transfer it to a stand mixer. Just don’t scrape the sides of the bowl. They say it’s okay to scrape the bottom, but not the sides.

joan November 26, 2009 at 12:07 pm

I made this fudge yesterday(full recipe), and it came out great! I was very nervous when I was making it because the beating of it took FOREVER (forty minutes), and it never thickened up to the point where I could see the bottom of the pan while I was mixing. I finally just gave up , mixed in some walnuts and poured it into the pan, hoping for the best. I don’t know why the beating took so long (maybe my hand mixer wasn’t powerful enough?) Anyway, I am very happy because of the many fudge failures I have had in the past, including the Fantasy Fudge, which I ended up tossing last year. I have renewed faith that I CAN DO THIS! The texture is awesome, very smooth and creamy. Thanks for inspiring me to try making fudge again. I hope you and your family are having a wonderful Thanksgiving.

joan trueblood December 12, 2009 at 5:25 am

Hi Anna, I made this fudge again yesterday. Delicious, fabulous texture, but a little soft when @ room temperature, similar to the last batch. At first I thought my thermometer (a very expensive digital one that my brother gave to me) may have been off, and perhaps I had undercooked it. But I checked it by dipping it into boiling water, and sure enough, it registered 212, so I know it was accurate when I cooked it to the specified temperature. I did transfer the cooled fudge to my stand mixer, and that worked well. But again, the fudge never hardened up enough to see the bottom of the bowl. I beat it for 20 minutes, then put in nuts and transferred it to the pan. Any thoughts on why it may be so soft?

Anna December 12, 2009 at 8:25 am

Hi Joan,

Other than blaming it on the weather, the only thing I can think of is maybe there was a hot spot in the fudge when you measured the temp. That is, maybe the area you measured was hot but the rest of the fudge mixture wasn’t? I’m still not an expert on fudge, but I know that even the pros have failed batches here and there.

Laura December 18, 2009 at 5:55 pm

I made the fudge yesterday, and unfortunately I had to throw it all out. After mixing with my hand mixer for about 3 minutes, the texture suddenly went from creamy and soft, to hard and grainy. I was unable to pour it into the pan – it just crumbled. The transformation happened in just a split second. I was so upset!

Do you have any idea what I might have done wrong? I did check the thermometer and it registered 212 in boiling water. But I still wonder if I cooked it too long – it seemed to take FOREVER to get to 234.

Anna December 18, 2009 at 8:12 pm

Laura, I’m so sorry you had to throw out a batch of fudge. If it helps, I know the feeling!

I wish I could tell you why that happened, but I’m still not an expert at making fudge. It sounds like it crystallized too early, which is a pretty common problem with fudge. I had that happen to be a couple of times and noticed it was worse when I used my all-clad metal saucepan. When I used my cheapo saucepan which just so happened to have a non-stick coating, I had better luck. So maybe the coating somehow helped prevent the crystallization? If you dare try the recipe again, you might want to change pans and see if you have better luck. That’s one option. I wish I had a better answer for you, but I feel like I’m still a novice when it comes to fudge making.

Laura December 19, 2009 at 7:26 am

Anna, thanks for the response. I would like to try it again, so maybe I’ll use my non-stick saucepan. I was afraid to use it because of the hand mixer, but I guess I’ll just be careful. I am determined to learn how to make fudge! By the way, I made your almond toffee yesterday and we LOVED it. Thanks for all the great recipes.

Anna December 19, 2009 at 7:53 am

Laura, I’m glad you mentioned that! I was worried about using the hand mixer too, so I beat the fudge with a wooden spoon for about a minute, then carefully (without scraping the sides) moved it to a bowl. Another thing you could try is using the same metal pan, but rubbing the sides with butter or spraying them with cooking spray. If the second time doesn’t work for you, you might want to take a break from that recipe and try Alton Brown’s or the Hershey recipe. Or there’s always Fantasy Fudge!

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