I made fudge for xmas using the nestle/carnation fudge recipe*, but I decided to tweak it and make different flavors.
The mint fudge went off without a hitch, but then I made several fail batches until I realized that 1/4 tsp of (forgotten) salt really does make a different. D'oh!
So I thought the stickiness was from the missing salt but then I tried to make cherry fudge again and it was too soft.
So my question (to the dessert/sugar/chemistry experts out there) is, where does the texture (firm 'blocky' aspect) of fudge come from? Boiling the milk/butter/salt/sugar hard/long enough? If I put in more liquid like mashed cherries and grenadine do I have to reduce the milk? The cherry batch tasted great but was way too gooey...
Any insight would be appreciated...and if you have any advice on how to up the extra flavor of some of the tweaks w/out using extract (tastes a little fake) please let me know (ex: I was wondering about juice/concentrate or zest for orange chocolate fudge...?). Thanks!
*Base fudge recipe:
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cups evaporated milk
2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
2 c. mini marshmallows
1 1/2 c. (9oz.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract
optional for mint flavor:
1/4 c. mint chips & 1/2 tsp. mint extract
Cherry flavored fudge: 1/3 c. cherries (finely chop or lightly food process) and 1/2 tsp grenadine
Raspberry fudge: 1/3 c. strained raspberry jam and 1/2 tsp. rasp extract
Orange fudge: 1/2-1 tsp orange extract
Coconut: 1/2 c. shredded coconut and 1/2 tsp. coconut extract.
Peanut butter fudge: 1/2 cup peanut butter
Butterscotch fudge: substitute 1/2 c. chocolate with 1/2 c. butterscotch chips
1) Line 8 inch square baking pan with foil
2) combine sugar, evaporated milk, butter and salt in saucepan. Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes.
3) Remove from heat and stir in marshmallows, chocolate, vanilla, and any other flavoring ingredients. Stir vigorously for 1 min. or until marshmallows are melted and all is blended. Pour quickly into prepared pan and smooth with spatula.
4) Refrigerate for 2 hrs or until firm. Lift from pan, remove foil and cut into pieces. Makes ~64 1-in. pieces.