Making candy at home is one way to ensure that you have the freshest candy possible. You can also change a few ingredients to create new taste pairings and get the exact flavours you crave. Making fudge at home, whether cooked, uncooked or microwaved, can be a challenge if the fudge turns out too grainy due to sugar crystallisation. Making smooth fudge without the grit is possible if you follow a few important fudge-making rules.
Make sure that you have all the tools and utensils required to make fudge. Ensure that you have clean bowls, saucepans, glass dishes, whisks and spoons. Clean and thoroughly dry the items. Inspect and test your candy thermometer. Bring a glass bowl of water to a boil in the microwave and insert the thermometer directly into the water. If the thermometer immediately moves to 100 degrees Celsius, it is working properly.
Mix all ingredients in the exact order that the recipe instructs. Do not change the quantities of ingredients unless you make exact substitutions. An example of a substitution that will not affect the texture of the fudge would be exchanging vanilla extract for butterscotch extract. Mix ingredients thoroughly and avoid whisking too hard, which could produce large crystals.
Consider using a recipe that does not use white sugar. Recipes that use sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup or marshmallow cream for sweetness tend not to crystallise as much as fudge made with traditional sugar. This occurs because the marshmallow, corn syrup or sweetened condensed milk has already been heated during the manufacturing process, which removes the risk of crystallising.
Stir the mixture until smooth each time you add an ingredient. Removing lumps and constantly monitoring the temperature will help prevent crystals from forming. Cooked fudge should be heated to a temperature of 112 degrees Celsius.
Use a butter-lined dish. Pouring the hot fudge in to the prepared pan will also help prevent crystals from forming on the edges of the fudge as it cools in the refrigerator. The butter will also help when it comes time to remove the fudge from the pan.
Make notes on recipes regarding what works and what does not, so the next time you make a batch of fudge you will have your notes handy.
Be careful when making cooked fudge on a hob, since the hot liquid can cause burns if spilt.