Over cooked fudge or under beaten fudge or ???

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Hey all,

I tried to make fudge yesterday and failed!! (yet again)

My recipe (posted on this group a while back) is as follows:

2 cups sugar
3/4 cup milk
2 oz chocolate
1 oz butter
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1 tsp of corn syrup

I combined the sugar, milk, chocolate, salt and syrup.  Waited till it
reached soft ball stage, took off heat, add butter, waited till it
cooled to 110 F, add vanilla and nuts and beat it.

Now the problem -

As I was beating the fudge, it turned hard and broke off into chunks.
It lost its glosiness but was hard and crumbly.  When I eat it, it
melts right in my mouth so I don't think it is grainy.  But its not

What's causing the problem?  I test for softball stage by dipping my
finger in the solution and seeing whether I can roll it into a soft
ball.  (I dip my finger in cold water before dipping in the solution.)
Could it be that my test for soft ball stage is wrong?  Could it be
that I'm not washing down the sides of the pan enough so there are
sugar crystals left behind?  Am I not beating it vigorously enough?

I'm planning on making a quarter recipe this weekend taking into
account any suggestions made.

I appreciate any help!  Thank you!


Re: Over cooked fudge or under beaten fudge or ???

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If you are going to make candy you need to get a thermometer.  The small
cost of the candy thermometer will be repaid many times in the saving on
expensive ingredients and wasted time.  I have never heard of your method
for testing for the softball stage.  The only way that I have seen it
described is to put a small amount of the syrup into a container of cold
water.  If it forms a soft ball then ....  Seriously, you can get an
incredible burn by putting your finger into a pan of boiling syrup.  I think
that you did experience crystallization and perhaps cooked the fudge too
long.  I would try increasing the corn syrup to a tablespoon.  It is in
there to help prevent crystal formation.  Also make sure to clean the sides
of the pot with cold water to rinse off any sugar crystals.

Re: Over cooked fudge or under beaten fudge or ???

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It's also important to find out if your thermometer is accurate. If not,
simply adjust for the discrepancy.
For the record, I know several pastry chefs who do something similar, but
even they use a thermometer as well. My favorite pastry chef, Cindy Mushet,
gives a good description of thermometer use in her classes.
I think the OP overcooked the fudge, and also should have waited until the
sugar was dissolved to add the chocolate. I posted a recipe in r.f.c. where
they also posted this, for the smoothest creamiest fudge I've ever had. It's
awesome, especially if you add the optional espresso and hazelnuts!


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