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Hershey's Fudge

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello... I recently started making Hershey's Fudge. 3c sugar, 2/3c Hershey's Cocoa, salt, milk, butter and vanilla extract, etc. Everything goes well until I get to the last instruction. It says, "Beat with wooden spoon until fudge thickens and just begins to lose some of it's gloss." Then, later in the instructions it says that beating not enough causes soft fudge...and too much, causes the fudge to be hard and sugary. I think I've been beating it too much. It's ALWAYS hard...which...I don't mind, but it's not exactly right. If I don't beat long enough, the butter doesn't absorb. Beat long enough for the butter to absorb...and it's hard and sugary. Frankly, I like it that way...but sometimes, it's TOO hard. What am I doing wrong??? All this beating stuff is very much a subjective way of doing things. Is there a more exact method?
post #2 of 9
It remains subjective, and a matter of sensory memory; but if you switch from a wooden spoon to a "French whisk," (it has very stiff, heavy wires that won't break like a "piano wire" whisk would), at least the beating will go more quickly. The shift from glossy to "starting to lose its shine" will seem more definite and obvious .

Making fudge is a duel in the sun, you and the cocoa mano a mano, only one will walk away, epic combat for one of you and Shakesperian tragedy for the other. "If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly."

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hershey's Fudge...Duel

Thanks for the response. I do have to say that a whisk of any kind would have to be made of wrought iron to be able to get through this fudge to mix it. It's like taffy by the time it cools to 110* (luke warm).

I guess the real question about this fudge is this. Maybe it's SUPPOSED to be hard(ish). It absolutely melts in my mouth. Of the six times I've made it (since Christmas), it's been relatively good each time. It's just not most people's idea of fudge, but it's mine!
post #4 of 9
If you like the fudge, then I wouldn't change what you're doing. But another thing that can cause hard, crumbly candy is cooking to a too high temperature. Are you using a candy thermometer?
post #5 of 9
Measuring the temperature is a good idea. If you're not consistently on the money, that could go a long way to explaining your problems.

As it happens, I'm familiar with your recipe and have whisked it with my French whisk many times. Getting me to do little things like that is an important part of Linda's "remote control" cooking technique. Let me quickly add that I'm laughing not complaining.

The fudge should neither be hard nor soft when you cut or bite into it. But it should melt in the mouth very quickly when chewed. It's not perhaps "the best fudge ever," because Hershey's cocoa carries a slightly too-long aftertaste; but considering its simplicity it's a very good recipe.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

High Temp...

I do use a candy thermometer and take the mixture to 234*. The recipe calls for that temp...or...the softball stage, which is higher on that particular thermometer. I have done everything consistently with all the batches. Perhaps the temp is too high...considering there is just the slightest hint of a burnt smell during cooking. I am using a standard household stove...Kenmore electric...flat top range (No coils!).
So...I wonder, does the length of time it takes a concoction to come to temperature much of a factor with fudge? I mean...it can take 20 minutes to get to softball... Does that cause burning if it takes too long???
post #7 of 9
Try this....bring to boil, stir once and slap a lid on your pan. Lower temp to maintain a small boil and do not peek for 5 min (do you own a heavy, non-reactive pan with a glass lid?) This will encourage condensation on the lid, which will drip down the pan sides and prevent crystallization in the candy. Or you can just stand there and brush the sides of the pan with water every few seconds. Even one sugar crystal will "seed" the entire batch, causing the texture you describe. Then borrow BDL's french wisk and beat until dull...I wouldn't bother with either, tho, if I enjoyed my results.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hershey's Fudge...Short Story... ;-)

You know...I do like 7 of the 8 batches I've made since Christmas. No...I didn't eat them all, but have eaten a substantial portion! The origin of my taste for this fudge comes from my Dad. For as long as I can remember, he made the only fudge I've ever liked. Mostly...it's the texture that I craved. For years, I had no idea how he did it or what the recipe was. Frankly, as a younger man, I never looked into it. Although, every time I sampled someone's fudge, I secretly hoped it would be like his. It never was. He's long gone now, so I just figured he took the recipe to his grave.

Well, during the past holiday season, I happened upon a can of the Hershey's Cocoa in our cupboard. For whatever reason, something inside me clicked. I went online and Googled "Hershey's Fudge". I came across a recipe. I printed it out, and went for it. I had no idea what to expect, but figured there would be fudge of some kind regardless. Well, to make a short story shorter, it was THEE fudge my Dad made so many years ago. I loved it. It was a little brittle...but melted in my mouth. I thought my brothers and sisters would be thrilled. Turns out, they could take it or leave it. As is the case with my own family and in-laws. Oh well... It's my favorite.

The only thing I continue to wonder about, and this was my primary reason for getting on this site, is how will I ever know exactly what texture and taste the recipe was intended to produce? Does anyone know?
post #9 of 9
It is intended to be a bit creamy, but a heavy creamy. Can store at room temp. If you ever want a pretty good creamy (fool prof, LOL) fudge, look for the recipe that includes marshmallows. Don't have a clue what the title is. Can even be made in the micro. OBTW...I am glad you shared your story. It proves we CAN go home again...and not have to take the sibs, LOL!
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