Christmas is the one time of year fudge makes an appearance in
my home. Good thing, because it is hard to resist.. It tastes so good you just
want to keep on eating.
There are many ways to make fudge. The most economical method
uses the most inexpensive ingredients. However, it also requires more skill and
for best results- a candy thermometer.
When you make fudge using marshmallow cream or chocolate chips,
it is more expensive, but much easier. If you only make it once a year, it might
be worth it to you. Things can go wrong when you make it from scratch.
I think you need a good grasp of science to
understand candy making.
Here is a very unscientific explanation of why fudge
is so hard to make from scratch.
As you boil sugar it changes. You must keep ALL the sugar at the
same level of change. If some granules get left on the side of the pot and don't
progress as the rest of the mixture, you've got problems. When they come into
contact with the main mixture, they start a chain reaction that causes the
consistency of your fudge to be ruined.
For this reason, the sides of the pan you cook the fudge in are
heavily buttered and the lid kept on during the cooking process. The idea is
that the steam and slippery sides of the pan will keep all the granules down in
the bottom of the pan.
After your mixture reaches 234 degrees, you cool it, without
stirring. When the temperature drops to 120 degrees, you start beating it.
When everything goes right, this fudge is wonderful.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of room for error. The recipe and instruction for
basic fudge can be found in almost any general cookbook, so I won't put one
here. Instead, here are a couple recipes that are much safer to make. If you are
new to fudge making, you may end up spending more money trying to do it right
from scratch. You will want to learn sometime, but if this is not the time, try
Easy Chocolate Chip Fudge