Clarification on the process for making fudge

MathematicalOrchid
  • Clarification on the process for making fudge MathematicalOrchid

    OK, so I'm trying to make fudge. The recipe which I'm following doesn't give all that much in the way of directions. So I'd like clarification of a few points, so I know what I'm aiming for.

    • Am I right in thinking that the objective is to heat the mixture as slowly as possible, and then cool it down again as slowly as possible?

    • Some sources seem to claim that you want to stir the mixture until everything disolves, and then stop stiring it and just let it boil. Is that correct?

    • The plan appears to be to heat the stuff until it hits the magic temperature of 115°C or 116°C (depending who you ask), and then stop heating it and let it cool down again. (?)

    • How crucial is it that it's exactly 116°C? I mean, obviously if it was way hotter or colder, that would be bad. But what kind of tolerance are we looking at? Is 2° either way going to matter, for example?

    • The recipe talks about letting the mixture cool for a while, and then stiring it "until the gloss finish disappears". Is it crucial exactly when you do this? Does it have to cool to a specific temperature or something? (I've seen recipies that seem to suggest constant stiring all the way through, and others that say to only stir once cool...)

    • In the past, I've bought fudge and left it unwrapped, and it dries out and becomes inedible. How do you stop this happening while you're waiting for your freshly cooked fudge to cool down? Should it not be a problem?

    • Flavourings should be added at the end. (?) Should it be while the mixture is still hot, or once it cools down a little? (Currently I'm using vanilla essence, but obviously I'd like to try some other things - if I ever get the fudge itself to work...)

    I guess that's quite a lot of points for just one question, but I think it shouldn't be too hard to answer them all in a fairly short answer.

  • I like Kristina's suggestion that you research some of the basics of candy making. I'll answer those questions only briefly.

    Generic Candy Questions

    • You don't need to heat particularly slowly
      This is not like an egg custard where the speed of heating will affect the curdling temperature. You're just trying to get water out. Just don't heat it so fast that you burn the bottom or overshoot the target temp.
    • Temperature range
      The different candy stages have about a 10F range. 2-5 degrees isn't going to make much of a difference but 7-12 will start to.
    • Adding volatile flavorings to candy
      Many flavorings are lost to heat. Such flavorings are added at the end because if they boiled the entire time they would be gone.

    Fudgy questions

    • Stirring
      Stirring isn't required. The syrup won't burn unless you have the heat too high and are using a very cheap pot. Additionally, the syrup absolutely should not be stirred in the final moments of boiling because a sugar crystal might fall in that doesn't get dissolved. During cooling stirring would destroy the fudge because it would all crystallize.
    • Drying out
      This is not a problem. The fudge will not dry out in the time it takes to cool.
    • Losing the gloss
      As I wrote in the other answer, the syrup is concentrated and then cooled to a super saturated state and not allowed to crystallize. When it has cooled sufficiently it is mixed like crazy to form your crystals all at once. When this happens the shiny, glossy syrup suddenly fills with crystals and becomes thick and loses the gloss.

      It is important that the syrup be cooled enough that it is ready to crystallize at the drop of a hat. Again- if you stir it early, as it cools, you will end up with rock candy (more or less). I just leave my candy thermometer clipped on until the target temperature is reached. Make sure the thermometer is clean- one stray sugar crystal can ruin the batch.

Tags
candy fudge
Related questions and answers
  • I'm looking for a recipe for orange mousse without eggs, but hopefully with gelatine. I've tried to search for some recipes on google but didn't really find anything too good. I have a very delicious recipe for mango mousse that I found on google that I've tried a lot of times. It would be great if someone could guide me with substituting it with orange rind/juice. I know that Orange recipes can... soften, and warm over low heat, stirring until dissolves. Remove and add remaining mango puree, and allow to cool. While cooling, whip the cream. Stir in mango into the whipped cream, transfer

  • cook it? e.g. should large pieces be cooked slowly while smaller pieces be cooked fast? Does the speed at which I bring to a boil affect the cooking? Should I bring it to a boil slowly or is it ok to do it fast so long as I lower the heat once it's boiling? Sometimes I notice some chicken bits start ripping, e.g. skin opens, tears. My guess is this is due to boiling or staying on the lower surface... properly. Could it be the temperature? Even if I don't go above a simmer, it still doesn't cook properly. Does stirring make a difference? I have tried this, but it doesn't seem to. Do you have any

  • , why this failed, but that only leads me to a deeper why which I have been unable to answer myself: Why did this happen with one of iSi's own recipes, found in the very recipe book that is included in the same box as the whipper itself? I have to assume that iSi knows what they're doing and it was me that screwed up; but how? What did I do wrong and how could I have fixed it? Some possible..., then charge and cool it. At the denouement, I was greeted with a brief but ominous fizzle followed by an even briefer splatter of yogurt-like liquid, very much like the explosion of snot one witnesses after

  • problem on the oven temperature. When I set temperature to 170 C, real temperature is 150C or below (because it keep going down). So today I try to keep in range of 160-200C and no collapses now.... What did I do wrong? Here are the steps to the recipe; boil equipment grease butter to the renakin, place into the freezer separate egg whites (no yolk mixed) add a little salt to egg whites add... and whisk util it mixed wait until it cools down re-grease butter to the renakin, place into the freezer beat the egg yolks to a creamy consistency, then pour into the milk mixture add 1/3 of the mixture

  • for future use for gumbo. I'm making it again now, and it's pretty flavorless. (See below for exactly what I've done.) Since the last time I made it was over a month ago, I don't recall exactly whether it was this bland last time. What might cause flavorless gumbo? Is it the frozen veggies? Is this dish supposed to be somewhat bland? I've actually only had it once or twice at a restaurant. How could/should I add more flavor to the current batch? Process: Heat 1.5 TB oil, add 1.5 TB flour to make a dark brown roux. If I were using fresh veggies, I'd add them next. Instead, I held off. Add

  • what it says about rabbit which came as a surprise to me (p. 653 in the 2008 print): But you can substitute rabbit---which really does taste like chicken---for virtually any recipe for braised chicken. This wasn’t at all what I expected. Just to give you some background: due to relatives who live in the country, my family always had a decent supply of rabbit meat. Until say five years ago we had... recipe should I try with rabbit meat? Am I prejudiced against chicken ;-)? References: some threads mention this substitution, but they don’t exactly answer my question.

  • Possible Duplicate: How should I care for my knives? At home i have this knife: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?SKU=11097073&RN=1038& I picked that one up several years ago, but haven't done much in the way of any maintenance on it. I did pick up a cheap sharpener but it didn't seem to have much effect so i stopped using it. The knife seems dull to me. It doesn't..., downward pressure and without pushing in the shape of the tomatoe. It should basically just start slicing through under it's own weight and without squishing the tomatoe at all. Let me know

  • minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot mix into the egg yolks, whisking all the time. Add this back into the rest of what is in the pan. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and cook and whisk for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and vanilla till well mixed. Let cool a bit, whisk and pour into pie shell and set aside. Just after the last remove from heat and just before whisking in the butter, I needed a call of nature. When I got back the mixture had separated into what looked like curdled milk and an oily fat like substance

  • , the second one (after agar) being vanilla. I'm not sure whether this is normal or whether it might have been diluting the agar mix. I did notice that it did not seem to be gelling at all while it was coming down to room temperature. It was basically a soup until it had been refrigerated. Can anyone identify the most likely reason why this didn't work out? Did I use too little agar? Too much... Collection. It uses agar as the gelling agent and appears relatively easy to prepare (that's why I tried it). Basically you just dissolve some agar in warm water, orange juice, and lemon juice, add sugar

Data information