Fudge is a favorite treat for so many people, and you probably look forward to being able to have some. If you have decided to try to bake your own for the first time, you’re likely hoping that it will turn out deliciously.
You can definitely make amazing fudge from the comfort of home, but some have noted that they will have issues with getting it to set up properly. When this happens, it makes it tough for the fudge to turn out how it should, and it might not really have the proper consistency either.
Why is your fudge not setting up properly, though? Is there anything specific that you can do to prevent this from happening?
Keep reading to get all of the important information, why it might not set up properly, and what you can do to get better results. If you read through all of the advice, you should be prepared to make some of the best fudge that you have ever tasted soon enough.
Temperature Issues Are Usually to Blame
When your fudge isn’t setting properly, the culprit is typically going to be that the temperature wasn’t right. If your fudge is sticky or overly gummy, it likely wasn’t cooked to a high enough temperature.
People often make this mistake when they are making fudge for the first time. They cook it for what seems like a good amount of time, but they wind up taking it off of the heat source too early.
If your fudge hasn’t set properly even after spending several hours in the refrigerator, you might be at a loss for what to do. You might even be worried that you will just have to throw it out since it isn’t quite how you expected it to be.
Don’t throw out the fudge before you have attempted to fix it. There is actually a way that you can fix fudge that hasn’t been cooked to a high enough temperature, and it involves going through the process of cooking it again.
Saving Fudge That Hasn’t Been Cooked to a High Enough Temperature
You want to grab the fudge out of the refrigerator and take the time to scrape it back into the pan that you’re using to cook it. Any type of large saucepan should do for this, but just use whatever saucepan you’re comfortable with.
Once you have scraped the fudge into the saucepan, you’re going to want to add one and a half cups of water to the pan. With this done, you’re going to spend time stirring it over low heat to make it dissolve.
This process will take a bit of time, but you’re going to have to exercise patience to get good results. If you want to make sure that things are going okay, you can taste the fudge as you’re stirring it to see how it is.
It’s possible that the water that you added to the saucepan will have diluted the flavor substantially. In this case, it’s going to be necessary to add more flavoring so that you can get things where they need to be.
After adding what you need to and dissolving the fudge properly, you’re going to be able to kick things up to medium heat. Now you’re going to want to bring the fudge to a boil while standing by with a wet pastry brush.
You’ll be using the wet pastry brush to wash the sides of the pan to keep things from foaming as best as you can. You don’t want the sugar crystals to foam, and you also don’t want to stir the fudge during this time.
Now, you’re going to want to keep cooking the fudge at the proper temperature that is noted in the recipe that you’re using. Typically, this is going to range from 237 degrees Fahrenheit to 239 degrees Fahrenheit.
When it has cooked enough, take it off of the heat source so that you can follow the cooling instructions. If you’re able to cool and beat the fudge as you’re supposed to at this point, you may have just salvaged the fudge that didn’t turn out right the first time.
Remember, when you’re testing the temperature, you want to use a good candy thermometer. If you weren’t using a thermometer before, then that is likely why you didn’t get the temperature right.
What About Hard Fudge?
Another issue that people encounter when making fudge is that it will sometimes turn out too hard. Sadly, this is something that can occur when you did something wrong during the process of cooking it.
Most often, fudge becomes hard when it has been overcooked, and there isn’t much that you can do about this. If your fudge turned out too hard, you’ll likely have to throw it out or just try to appreciate it for what it is.
Many people find fudge that is a bit too hard or grainy to be bearable enough to enjoy, but your mileage may vary. Try the fudge out for yourself to see what you think, and know that you can always throw it out and try again if you have enough ingredients.
Fudge can also turn out wrong when you fail to let it cool down properly. The cooling process is actually more important for fudge than many people realize, and not allowing it to cool as it is supposed to will give you bad results.
You can try to use the fudge fixing method above if you like, but many have reported better results when it hasn’t been cooked enough. Try to follow the recipe closely while paying attention to the temperature requirements and the cooking time.
If you can cook the fudge at the right temperature and then allow it to cool properly, you should get good results. Little mistakes can cause issues, but most people don’t get it perfect on their first attempt.
Don’t fret if you had a few bad trial runs, since you can certainly turn it around. Eventually, making fudge will become second nature when you get used to timing things out and paying attention to the state of things.
You should also know that ingredient mistakes can make a difference when you’re trying to make fudge. Even something as simple as measuring an ingredient wrong could throw things off a bit.
Keep in mind that the fudge recipe that you are following has been designed to use the ingredient measurements that are listed. If you stray from the recipe accidentally, then you’re likely going to get different results.
It might be a good idea to take the time to check your recipe to see if you are doing things right. Don’t try to rush yourself when you’re measuring things out because you want to get the measurements right.
If you are able to take more time to be meticulous about measurements, it should be easier to get the fudge to turn out nicely. At the very least, it’s worth checking to see if you missed something or made an error so that you can correct it the next time you make it.
You Could Make Easier Types of Fudge
The advice above is referring to the old-fashioned fudge recipes that so many people enjoy. Standard fudge doesn’t involve using condensed milk or marshmallow fluff, but there are recipes that do use those ingredients.
There are lots of “quick fudge” recipes that don’t follow the standard fudge-making techniques. If you decide to go with a recipe that makes use of marshmallow fluff or condensed milk, you will likely have an easier time.
Not only are these types of fudge faster to make, but they’re also a lot easier to get right even when you don’t have much experience. Granted, not all fudge enthusiasts think that these quick fudge recipes are similar enough to the real deal, but that’s up to you to decide.
There are plenty of people out there who adore the quick fudge recipes that can be made easier. If you don’t like making it in the old-fashioned way, looking into the quick fudge recipes is a solid choice.
Enjoy Your Fudge
Now you know a lot more about making fudge and the types of things that can go wrong. Ensure that you take the time to buy a good candy thermometer if you plan to make old-fashioned fudge so that you can get things right.
If you find making old-fashioned fudge to be a bit too tedious, you might wish to try an easier recipe using marshmallow fluff or condensed milk. Either way, you’re going to be able to figure out a way to make fudge that is delectable so long as you put your mind to it.
Making fudge is something that can be very satisfying when you get it right, and now you know more about what mistakes to avoid. In the future, you should have a much easier time getting it to set up properly.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.