Fudge is a type of sugar candy that is made by mixing sugar, butter and milk, heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F (115 °C), and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. In texture, this crystalline candy falls in between fondant icing and hard caramels.
Fruits, nuts, chocolate, caramel, candies, sweets and other flavors are sometimes added either inside or on top. A recent trend has been to create novel flavors of fudge, giving vibrant visual appeal at the same time.
It's the most wonderful time, of the year....What time you say? Of course the holiday season, a time of good food, friends and fudge. Every type of craftsman out there has a few things that don't seem to work out well for them, for whatever reason. Myself as a chef/pastry cook, have a few of my own. In terms of the sweet stuff, I have an animosity towards meringue, gelatin based desserts and fudge. It's not that I can't make them, it's some sort of deep seated fear that they won't turn out. Real fudge is not that easy to make, you have to have everything just so. The measurements, temperature and time have to be spot on!
There are basically two ways to make fudge, the classic and the short cut method. Of course you can just buy it as well, oddly its not that easy to find a good quality store bought product. Lets look at the two homemade methods, I'll provide a recipe for each. And yes, I have finally achieved mastery in the art of fudge.
Short Cut Fudge
This is a pretty easy process, but is somewhat limiting in the flavour profile. It pretty much has to be chocolate. You can make a vanilla or maple style fudge this way with white chocolate. If your in a pinch, and need your fudge fix fast, this is the way to go. Here is a simple recipe I use from time to time.
Unlike the above recipe, which requires very little patience or real skill, this is a not that. In this case everything counts, measurements, time and temperature. Essentially what you are doing here is cooking a sugar mass similar to fondant to what's called the softball stage. If you are a member of pro chef, you have access to a number of tools to assist with understanding these concepts. Without further ado, here is the recipe!
Well that's all folks. Often, I don't feel like making fudge, and am often on the prowl coast to coast looking for great fudge. I have found some really good products in Victoria BC, Niagara Falls, and more recently in the PEC area. Todays flavour of the day is skordado, a flurry of ingredients with skor bits....very nice! Cheers, and have a great Thursday!