Fudge has been satisfying sweet tooths for more than a century. Here are a few tricks of the candy-making trade.
Candy thermometers encased in a roughly 30-cm (12-inch) strip of metal are often sturdier, easier to use and less likely to break than those made only of glass.
Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot so the tip is covered by the candy mixture. Resting the tip on the bottom of the pot can give a false reading. Remove the thermometer periodically during cooking to stir underneath it.
Higher altitudes and humidity can affect candy thermometers so you may have to calibrate yours to make sure it’s working appropriately. Bring a pot of water to a boil with the thermometer in the pot. The reading should be 100 C (212 F) when the water reaches a full boil. If it doesn’t, note the registered temperature and make adjustments accordingly to the finished cooking temperature for the candy.
Unless otherwise specified, candy should be cooked slowly over low or medium to medium-high heat but never on high.
“Stir constantly” means a slow, gentle stir to keep the mixture moving so it does not scorch.
Unless directed otherwise, candies that require beating should be beaten by hand with a clean spoon.
The pan used to pour the cooked fudge into will not affect the taste, only the appearance. So if you want thicker fudge, use a smaller, deeper pan. You can even pour the fudge onto a buttered dinner plate or into a decorative box lined with buttered parchment paper.
Fudge can be frozen if well wrapped with waxed paper and foil in an airtight container, but it probably isn’t necessary. To store at room temperature, line an airtight container with waxed paper and store out of direct sunlight in a cool, dark location. Fudge will last at least several weeks in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Line the bottom and separate each layer of fudge with waxed paper.
Keep fudge wrapped while bringing to room temperature for serving.
Source: ‘300 Best Homemade Candy Recipes’ by Jane Sharrock (Robert Rose Inc., www.robertrose.ca).