Monday, 19 July 2010

Beware of the weather - Fudge that won't set!!!

I thought it would be really nice to make some fudge and give it in some lovely handmade boxes as end of term gifts to some of the people I am working with, and my daughters teachers.  This afternoon I popped on my pinny to make the fudge.  It has been a flop.  Although it tastes great, it just won't set.  It is on the side now, hopefully drying out a little for tomorrow.  I had to find some excuse for my failed fudge, so googled 'Does the weather affect fudge setting?', just for a giggle really, but lo and behold it does!!!!

"making fudge (or any sugar-based candy recipe) can be tricky.  T.P. Skaarup (who studied ways to make better fudge) developed ways to prevent fudge failure and spread the joy of fudge. Here are some of his rules with my notes:
bulletRule #1: Water is the enemy of fudge
bulletRule #2: Add the butter after the boil 
bulletRule #3: Over boiling is as bad as under boiling Timing is crucial -- overcooking by just a minute may turn out dry, grainy fudge or the fudge may not set.Because of the relatively low boiling point of a fudge recipe, use a Candy Thermometer.
bulletRule #4: Make fudge while the sun shines, not while the rain falls. Sometimes fudge is affected by the weather. If it's humid the candy might not set. 
bulletRule #5: Follow the directions EXACTLY
bulletRule #6: Measuring ingredients has to be precise -- too much or too little of any ingredient could ruin this 
bulletRule #7: You can double the recipe, but it will affect the cooking time and temperature. Make sure you an experienced candy maker if you do.
bulletRule #8: When making fudge, keep stirring at the right time: Stirring gives you small sugar crystals in the fudge; it keeps them from growing too large, producing a gritty texture."

These rules and more information on fudge making can be found here. 

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