With the holidays almost here, it’s time to break out all the candy making utensils – heavy bottom pan, thermometer, wooden spoon, etc. Chocolate fudge has always been part of the holidays – everyone looks for this dark, sweet, and in this case, velvety smooth confection.
Although this recipe requires some special care, it is pretty basic from a candy-making standpoint. Fudge is a crystalline candy, meaning that it is comprised of tiny micro crystals which give it its firm but smooth texture. Great fudge is made by getting these crystals to form at just the right time.
Keys to good fudge:
- Stop stirring after the syrup begins to boil
stirring at this stage increases the likelihood that sugar crystals will form
- Wash down the sides of the pan while it is boiling
It is important to remove any sugar crystals as even one crystal can “seed” the mixture and encourage others to form.
- Allow the fudge to cool undisturbed until temperature reaches 110 degrees
Further stirring during this period will increase sugar crystal formation
- After the fudge cools to 110 degrees, stir continuously until it “sets up”
At this stage, crystallization is still possible, but stirring helps control the size of the sugar crystals that form
Fudge - Basic
- 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
- ¾ cup milk
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 tsp corn syrup
- Pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
Prepare a 9" square pan by coating the bottom and sides with a little butter or non-stick spray.
Melt chocolate in saucepan over low heat.
Raise heat to medium and add sugar, milk, corn syrup and salt and stir until it boils.
As soon as it begins to boil, stop stirring and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot making sure it doesn't make contact with the bottom.
While fudge is cooking, use a pastry brush dipped in water to wash down the sides of the pan to dissolve and remove any sugar crystals that form
Cook without stirring until temperature reaches 235 degrees ("soft ball" stage). If temperature increase slows or stops rising, you need to increase the heat. You should have a consistent boil.
Remove from heat and let sit, undisturbed, until temperature falls to 110 degrees
Add butter and vanilla and begin to stir with wooden spoon
Stir continuously until surface changes from shiny to dull and fudge begins to "set up" or thicken. This may take 15 to 20 minutes.
Pour into prepared pan and press in with buttered spatula or your fingers.
After fudge is completely cooled, cut into 16 squares.