Three things not to do when making fudge


Fudge
Image of fudge by benjgibbs, on Flickr.

Three things not to do when making fudge:

  1. Experience a power outage
  2. Leave the fudge in the bowl while you clean up the tray you greased earlier (but then left for a while because of point #1)
  3. Use a whisk
  4. Guess when things are done

Oh wait...

A little backstory

From the above, I think it's fairly self-explanatory (or actually, it's not) that Ruben and I started making fudge a couple of days ago when suddenly we were caught in a blackout probably just ten minutes out from reaching the softball stage. Thwarted, we explored other avenues of interest, before returning to cooking some time after the power returned.

We were following Black Book Cooking's recipe because it was specific to Caramel Fudge. We had intended to make Alton Brown's chocolate fudge, but we weren't able to find any unsweeted chocolate, so additionally decided to go with a simpler recipe first.

There's nothing quite like the smell of cooking milk...

We were worried that we would have to throw out the entire mixture and start from scratch again, but despite resuming the cooking after the blackout (the mixture by that point was just warm), it seems this story has a pretty happy ending. We resumed slowly and softly boiling the mixture until we could roll the candy into a small ball after dropping it into a glassful of water.

Quickly we poured it out into a heat proof bowl (being careful not to scrape the bottom in case anything burned) and began to whisk it and try to get it looking creamy as it should. I only read afterwards that it should start to look matte rather than glossy and shiny, which I thought was a great term to use to allow anyone at that stage of the recipe to visualise what the mixture should begin to look like. You'll notice as you whisk it, it gets harder and harder to do so as the mixture gets thicker.

DSC_0048

Photos of the finished product? I actually don't have any!

We left the mixture in the bowl a while as we freshened up the tray we had initially set out for the fudge to be placed in, considering it had been sitting there for a long while during the blackout. This turned out to be a mistake, as the fudge began to set in the bowl and it was extremely hard to get it into the tray. It also stuck terribly to the whisk and we only realised later perhaps it would have been better to use a spatula instead. Once you have half in the tray and half in the bowl though, it's a bit hard to try and go back.

We're all about improvising!

Nonetheless, we managed and had a pretty sizeable block of fudge we could now place into the fridge to set properly. The fridge, unlike honeycomb, is a great place to store fudge, if you want to keep it set, especially. Probably because you also want to keep it moist.

Ruben loves his fudge, but I probably won't be eating too much of it given its high dairy content (that's a lot of cream and milk and butter!). From what I have tasted, it doesn't have quite the smoothness of store-bought/commercially produced fudge, but it certainly does taste right which is what counts.