or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › What makes fudge, sugar?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What makes fudge, sugar?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Can someone out there help me? Firstly, what makes cooked, NON marshmellow, old-fashioned fudge, SUGAR, and secondly, what should I do to alleviate the problem? I hate it when I prepare a batch of fudge so crystaline that it sparkles and is grainy. Thanks for any help. Also, I would love a recipe for the equally old-fashioned brown sugar fudge which my grandmother used to make, but, which, alas, also succumbs to the crystaline ailment suffered by so many fine fudges.

Cheryl :rolleyes:
post #2 of 7
Thinking back to my baking science, theres only 1 thing I can think of.

Invert sugars. Your using just regular old granulated sugar which tends to crystalize when cooled. If I remember my schooling correctly, you need to add an acid during the cooking process like citric acid. I'm hoping someone here can confirm my theory.
post #3 of 7
I think your header should say "what makes fudge grainy?" It's all about temperature and temp control. You may want to investigate some websites or books on basic candy making techniques. It's all science when it comes to "baking", and fudge is no exception even though you're not baking it. Cooking the sugar properly--getting that sugar to dissolve just right so that TINY crystals form is not as easy as it seems. I think perhaps you need a candy thermometer, and some guidance. Then it'll happen easily.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 


Thanks for your reply. I shall definitely take your advice. Cheryl :p
post #5 of 7
Excellent advice.

I think some recipes also include corn syrup, don't they? I would imagine this is to help the over-crystallization problem.

I don't make fudge but I'm always ready to learn! :)
It is always Necessary to Leave Some Part of Cooking to Improvisation.
- Paul Bocuse
It is always Necessary to Leave Some Part of Cooking to Improvisation.
- Paul Bocuse
post #6 of 7
I make chocolate spoons and often at Christmas people will ask me for flavored one's for gifts. Well, the first year this happened, I was in a hurry and failed to use my candy thermometer. I did use a double boiler and melted the chocolate at very low temp, but I was totally mortified when four dozen chocolate spoons crystallized! :eek: I don't know if this would help in fudge ,but I found that using confectioner's chocolate was also part of making the perfect, melt-in-your mouth chocolate spoons. If you try it again, please let us know how it comes out, okay? Hope you found your answers; I know how frustrating these things can be!
post #7 of 7
Well, the simple answer to your first question is "ingredients & technique." Once dissolved & boiled, sugar wants to return to it’s crystalline structure; you want to coerce it to not.

Starting with ingredients, your recipe will usually have something to push between the sugar molecules to keep them from aligning into crystals; either a different type of sugar (corn syrup, honey, maple syrup), or an acid (lemon juice, vinegar, cream of tartar), which will invert some of your granulated sugar so that the new invert sugar will interfere. Marshmallow works really well because it has syrup plus gelatin & egg whites, which coat sugar molecules. Even with interference, you still to handle it specially. As a sugar syrup cools, if crystals do form, they will act as seed crystals for the rest of the batch & give you a large grain (sugar really wants to go home to crystal). Agitation, rough surface, and seed crystals can be a problem.
Rough areas can start the syrup crystallizing, so make sure your pan is smooth inside. My grandmother also used to butter the inside of her pan to keep the crystals from growing up the side during boiling, then falling back in & acting as seeds. Some candy recipes say to put a lid on the pan for 3 minutes when it boils - that gets condensation to wash down the sides, but check your recipe - some fudge ingredients will boil over. Don’t move your candy thermometer around and if you have to take it out & put it back in, wash the syrup off with hot water, same with your stirring spoon (seed crystals again). Different recipes call for different techniques, but the ones I've seen say dissolve sugar before boiling, and don’t stir or agitate after the mix boils. Let it boil to the temp. your recipe calls for - different ingredients change the soft-boil point. Then gently take it off the burner & dip pan base into cool water. Some recipes call for beating it immediately for larger grain; for a finer grain, keep pan in water until it cools to 110f., then start beating until it thickens.

Ready for a recipe? Once my grandma discovered marshmallow fudge, she never made anything else, but one of her cookbooks was "Candy Making" from the "Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences, Inc." cc 1918, 1919, 1929. That should be old-fashioned enough :lips: I’ve copied it exactly:

Brown-Sugar Fudge
The making of fudge, in which brown sugar is used for the largest part of the sweetening, is explained in the accompanying recipe. Peanuts are added, but if desired, nuts of any other kind may be used.
2 C brown sugar1 Tb. Butter
1 C white sugar1 tsp. Vanilla
1C milk¾ C chopped peanuts
Mix the sugar, milk, and butter and boil until a soft ball will form in cold water, or a temperature of 238 degrees is reached on the thermometer.
Remove from the fire, add the vanilla, and cool until the heat is out of the mixture.
Beat and, when the candy begins to grow creamy, add the chopped nuts.
When sufficiently thick, pour into a buttered pan, cut, and serve.

Also, if you see any recipe called "penuche, penuchi, or penuchy," that will have brown sugar in it. Can’t find the reference, but I believe "penuche" was a word for a particular type of brown sugar but now includes any kind.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › What makes fudge, sugar?