How to make the perfect fudge
One of the most common things for people to write into us about at Good Food channel, is fudge that doesn’t set. So with a little help from some experts, we’ve put together our top tips for making the perfect fudge every time.
Looking for more inspiration? Have a look at our Best ever fudge recipes.
1. Getting startedUse a reliable recipe and measure all the ingredients out carefully so you have the right proportions to begin with and cook the mixture in a heavy-based saucepan so it doesn’t burn on the bottom.
Angela Nilsen, Food writer
Make sure you use a large saucepan too as the mixture will bubble up a lot.
Here are some of our favourites:
Clotted cream fudge
2. Heating the mixHeat the mixture slowly over a low heat initially until the sugar has dissolved, then bring it up to temperature on a rolling boil. If the heat is turned up too high before the sugar has dissolved, it may crystallise.
Once the fudge 'sauce' starts to boil and bubble, you must continue boiling it on med-high to high heat until it reaches the right temperature. Stir the mix throughout to prevent the fudge from burning.
Lily Turner, Yum Yum Tree Fudge
3. The right temperatureA bit like making jam - for fudge to set, the mixture needs to reach the right temperature, so it's worth investing in a sugar thermometer so you can accurately test when the mix has reached the required ‘soft-ball’ stage or 115C.
If you don’t have a sugar thermometer, it is also possible to test by dropping a little bit of the mix into cold water to see how much it sets. For the soft-ball stage, it should form into a pliable ball that holds its own shape. Don't forget, the mix is very hot at this stage, so don't touch it until it has cooled down sufficiently.
4. CoolingWhen you take the fudge off the heat, don’t start stirring straight away. Allow to cool to at least 110C or else there is a good chance it won’t set. At Rolys Fudge Pantry we then turn the fudge out onto a cool marble slab to help it cool quickly while mixing it up to create the characteristic granular texture.
Jacqui Adams, Rolys Fudge Pantry
The fudge will set more quickly in the winter as the weather is cooler, so there is no exact timing with how long it will take to harden up. Try not to be too impatient though, it does take a little while.
You can tell if the fudge is ready when the whole thing starts to ball up together and wants to come away from the sides of the bowl.
5. If it doesn’t workIf your fudge still doesn’t set, then you have a few different options. You could try heating it up again until it become liquid, then return to step 4.
Alternatively, if the mix is firm enough to mould, try shaping it into balls and dipping into melted chocolate. To make them extra firm, you can freeze them over night before dipping. If it's too soft for that, then use as a sauce for steamed sponge, ice cream, biscuits and brownies, or pour it into chocolate canape cups.
Finally, if all else fails, try making no-cook fudge instead.