You'll find lots of fudge recipes out there that use anything but sugar to provide the sweetening power. This is a cagey fudge-cheat that attempts to avoid the problem of gritty fudge disasters. The only down-side to this solution is that sugar really helps make fudge tastier . . . if you do it right.
The trick is to learn enough about fudge chemistry to work with good old granulated sugar and craft a creamy, fudgy pot of goodness without the grainy texture. Here's how.
What You'll Need to Make Great Fudge
The Secret to Great Fudge
Great fudge depends on keeping large sugar crystals from forming in the cooling candy. Large crystals mean gritty, mealy fudge. Small crystals, tiny actually, create creamy, dense fudge. Whatever basic fudge recipe you use, remember to follow these steps exactly -- every time:
Cook your preferred fudge mixture with the lid firmly in place. Think of this as good housekeeping. The condensation forming on the underside of the lid will wash down the sides of the pan depositing errant sugar crystals back into the bubbling mixture. When the fudge is cooling, you won't have to worry about introducing any large sugar crystals by accident. One large crystal making it into the fudge syrup after it starts to cool can create a chain reaction that'll spoil the batch.
Cook fudge to 236 degrees Fahrenheit (or 113 degrees Celsius).
Once the mixture has reached temperature, remove it from the heat and leave it alone until the temperature drops to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (or 43 degrees Celsius). Letting the hot fudge cool undisturbed is IMPORTANT. Don't stir it, move it or jiggle it -- seriously.
Once the batch hits the 110 degree mark, start stirring. Stir like a maniac until the fudge thickens up. This is going to take a while, and you're arms will get tired, but don't stop. Having a helper is a great idea.
Spread the thickened fudge into a prepared pan.
Now that you know the basics, you can branch out. If chocolate isn't your flavoring of choice, by all means try maple, peanut butter or whatever else inspires your candy creativity and lust for culinary adventure. Christmas candy-cane fudge is great, but then so is nutty vanilla. There are lots of recipes to choose from, and now you can try them all with confidence. Have fun, and don't forget to share.[photo=http://s3.amazonaws.com/tp-article-images/f124b64e157d474d3cdb7e9233b58c3a.jpg][video=]