Author Topic: Ah fudge! (lierally! :P) Need help with recipe tweak. :(  (Read 948 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Softly Spoken

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 604
  • "I am a hawk on a cliff..."
Ah fudge! (lierally! :P) Need help with recipe tweak. :(
« on: February 04, 2012, 01:05:16 AM »
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:
Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

Bright

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 430
Re: Ah fudge! (lierally! :P) Need help with recipe tweak. :(
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2012, 03:35:05 AM »
The texture comes from raising the fudge to the correct temperature. If you have the wrong texture then that means it's not hitting the right temperature.

Do you have a sugar thermometer or did you test the fudge by dropping it into water first to make sure it was at the soft ball stage?

Softly Spoken

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 604
  • "I am a hawk on a cliff..."
Re: Ah fudge! (lierally! :P) Need help with recipe tweak. :(
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2012, 12:36:44 PM »
The texture comes from raising the fudge to the correct temperature. If you have the wrong texture then that means it's not hitting the right temperature.

Do you have a sugar thermometer or did you test the fudge by dropping it into water first to make sure it was at the soft ball stage?
Ah! :) Okay yes this makes sense - when I made another batch I did let it boil 'more'...recipe said "full roiling boil" so I kind of 'eyeballed' it. At first I was afraid that there was a very fine line between boiling and burnt so I may have played it too safe originally and actually not let it boil "enough." The recipe doesn't mention temp and I don't have a thermometer, but I have a pretty good idea now of how much bubbling I should see in the pot (really fast 'angry' bubbling instead of a few here and there :P).

Off to get more cherries...  ;D

PS: Does that mean I was wrong about the salt? I had like 3 batches of oversticky fudge until I noticed I was forgetting the salt, then it was okay. I don't think I was underboiling three batches in a row...? ???
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
-William Shakespeare

"We find comfort among those who agree with us - growth among those who don't."  ~Frank A. Clark

Bright

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 430
Re: Ah fudge! (lierally! :P) Need help with recipe tweak. :(
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2012, 02:57:12 PM »
Salt is included in fudge recipes for the flavour. Just a small amount will do absolute wonders to the taste. It's not needed for the texture though, so I think that was just coincidence.  The whole chemistry going on is happening with the sugars. 

When I've made candy I've used a sugar thermometer which makes things a lot easier.

However you can easily google to find descriptions of how to tell otherwise that it's the right temperature. Fudge needs to reach the "soft ball" temperature (it's mostly take fudge, drop fudge into water). As long as you've not heated the fudge too quickly and the temperature isn't too high it shouldn't burn.
 
http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/candy/sugar-stages.html#softball  "At this temperature, sugar syrup dropped into cold water will form a soft, flexible ball. If you remove the ball from water, it will flatten like a pancake after a few moments in your hand."

If it's sticky and too soft you probably need to cook it for longer.

Oh try http://www.skaarupfudge.com/makefudge.html it seems to be a veritable treasure trove on making fudge.
« Last Edit: February 04, 2012, 03:02:56 PM by Bright »