Homemade Fudge: 4 Common Mishaps and How to Avoid Them - Wockenfuss Candies (2024)

May 10, 2021

Homemade Fudge: 4 Common Mishaps and How to Avoid Them - Wockenfuss Candies (1)

Hint: one of the best ways to avoid common mistakes in homemade fudge is to leave fudge making up to the experts at Wockenfuss Candies!

Homemade fudge is a creamy, delicious treat. Chocolate fudge is a standard favorite, and there are countless variations and flavor combinations that bring some excitement to the world of homemade fudge. Although some recipes seem relatively straightforward, many home cooks have trouble creating the perfect fudge from scratch. In this blog, we discuss some of the most common challenges people face when making homemade fudge. Of course, one of the best ways to avoid these missteps is to leave fudge making up to the experts at Wockenfuss Candies!

Homemade Fudge Doesn’t Always Set

Traditional fudge is made by heating sugar, butter, milk, and other ingredients until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage. Home cooks usually use a metal saucepan to do the job, with the final hot mixture spread into a casserole dish or sheet pan to cool. However, homemade fudge doesn’t always set up into a semi-firm, melt-in-your-mouth confection. If your fudge doesn’t firm up after a few hours, you either have too high an amount of liquid to sugar, or your mixture hasn’t reached the soft-ball stage. Using a candy thermometer can help home cooks avoid this problem.

Cooking in High Humidity Can Cause Problems

Just as altitude can create complications when baking, high humidity in the kitchen can lead to significant setbacks when making fudge. Humidity can cause fudge to boil over in the pan or stay soft when set, so try to avoid working on humid days if at all possible. If waiting for a less humid day isn’t feasible, you’ll need to boil your fudge at a slightly higher temperature than usual — or just order some delicious fudge from Wockenfuss!

Why Homemade Fudge Becomes Grainy

Even if your homemade fudge sets up to a nice firm consistency when cooled, you can still run into texture problems. Fudge becomes grainy and sugary when prepared incorrectly. Unfortunately, this is a common issue. To avoid grainy fudge, make sure that the sugar in your mixture dissolves entirely. This can require adjustments to your recipe or stirring technique.

How to Avoid Burning Your Fudge

As with any other confectionery endeavor, burning your fudge is a distinct possibility. Use a heavy-bottomed saucepan (some folks swear by copper pots) and stir the mixture constantly. Never leave your fudge unattended, and make sure to scrape the side of the pan as you stir. It’s hard (if not impossible) to save a burnt batch of fudge. Still, stopping by your nearest Wockenfuss Candies store is a surefire way to save the day!

A Wide Selection of Delicious Treats from Wockenfuss Candies

Head to WockenfussCandies.com and browse our wide selection of chocolates and candies; we promise you won’t be disappointed! Wockenfuss Candies is one of the oldest candy makers in Baltimore. We opened our doors in 1915 and have proudly served the people of Baltimore ever since. If you have any questions about our wide selection of chocolates, please contact Wockenfuss Candies by calling 1-800-296-4414 or email info@Wockenfusscandies.com. When you’re not savoring our sweets, stay satisfied by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest!

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Homemade Fudge: 4 Common Mishaps and How to Avoid Them - Wockenfuss Candies (2024)

FAQs

What can go wrong when making fudge? ›

7 Common Mistakes to Avoid for Candy Shop-Worthy Fudge and Caramels
  • Using the Wrong Pan. All candy and confections start by melting sugar. ...
  • Stirring the Sugar. ...
  • Not Using a Candy Thermometer. ...
  • Leaving Out the Parchment Paper Lining. ...
  • Skipping the Cooking Spray. ...
  • Scraping the Pot. ...
  • Using a Cold Knife to Slice.
Dec 16, 2015

What to not do when making fudge? ›

Avoid Stirring Once the Mixture Comes to a Simmer

Another key part of a successful fudge texture is when you stir the mixture. Stirring the sugar and milk during the initial stages of cooking allows the sugar to dissolve. However, once the mixture comes to a boil, it's time to put the spoon down.

What is the secret to good fudge? ›

The trick to good homemade fudge is to cook the ingredients to the right temperature to form a sugar syrup, and cool the mixture properly so the texture of the fudge turns out smooth and firm, but soft enough to cut.

What are the common mistakes you encounter during your activity in candy making? ›

5 Mistakes Everyone Makes When Making Candy From Scratch
  • You added the sugar wrong.
  • You did not use a candy thermometer.
  • You forgot to coat the pan.
  • You sliced the candy too soon.
  • You failed to store candy properly.
Apr 14, 2022

What is the secret to smooth fudge that is not gritty? ›

Once a seed crystal forms, it grows bigger and bigger as the fudge cools. A lot of big crystals in fudge makes it grainy. By letting the fudge cool without stirring, you avoid creating seed crystals.

Why did my fudge turn out like taffy? ›

If the temperature is too low, the fudge will be too soft and sticky, and if it's too high, it will turn into a hard, crumbly mess. The ideal temperature to cook fudge is between 232-234 degrees F (111-112 degrees C).

What makes high quality 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).

What does cream of tartar do to fudge? ›

Cream of tartar is used in caramel sauces and fudge to help prevent the sugar from crystallizing while cooking. It also prevents cooling sugars from forming brittle crystals, this is why it's the secret ingredient in snickerdoodles!

Can you stir fudge too much? ›

Brush the sides of the pan with a wet brush at the beginning of cooking to dissolve sugar crystals stuck to the sides. Never stir the mixture during cooking or sugar could crystallize again. The mixture may seize and become grainy.

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.

Why shouldn't you stir fudge after it reaches the correct temperature? ›

Sugar Crystals Formed

It's important to beat the fudge ingredients to develop the right texture, but you won't get smooth, creamy fudge if you beat it when it's too hot. Beating fudge when it's still over heat creates sugar crystals, aka the grittiness you feel in the fudge.

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.

Why won't my homemade candy harden? ›

In hard candy making, it is important to cook all the water out of the sugar/corn syrup/water mixture. If the sugar mixture is not cooked to the proper temperature (the hard-crack stage 300-310° F {149-154° C.} or if you are working in a kitchen with high humidity, chances are your candy is retaining too much moisture.

What is the most common problem in making candy? ›

Not Controlling the Crystals

The main goal in candy making is to control the formation of sugar crystals. If you have a lot of sugar crystals forming on the sides of the pan, your candy will be too grainy. Always stir gently to avoid splashing the candy mixture onto the sides of the pan.

What are the four main interfering agents in candy making? ›

Large amounts of interfering substances such as fat, cocoa butter, concentrated milk products, and/or corn syrup are added to the sugar syrup.

Why would fudge not set up? ›

The most common culprit behind unset fudge is inaccurate temperature control. If the sugar mixture hasn't reached the correct temperature, your fudge won't set. Ensure you use a reliable candy thermometer and follow temperature guidelines meticulously to achieve the desired consistency.

What happens if you over stir fudge? ›

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.

Was fudge made by mistake? ›

That appetite for fudge dates back more than a century. Food historian Joyce White says fudge is based on a recipe for chocolate caramels, which was very similar. "What probably happened is that there was someone in Baltimore, messed it up, or 'fadged' it," she said. "Fadge is a word that means you messed up.

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).

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