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Fudge

We all know of fudge or use it to describe a certain kind of soft and gooey texture of sweets and pastries.  But as for its official definition, Britannica defines fudge as a “creamy candy made with butter, sugar, milk, and usually chocolate, cooked together and beaten to a soft, smooth texture.”  These ingredients are cooked to the soft ball stage, or between 234 to 240 degrees Fahrenheit, then beaten as it cools to achieve that smooth and creamy texture.

Fudge Trivia

  • June 16 is the National Fudge Day
  • The first recorded evidence of fudge made and sold was back in 1886 through a letter written by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge. She wrote about her schoolmate’s cousin who made fudge and sold it for 40 cents a pound at a grocery store in Baltimore.  This letter was found in the archives of Vasser College.
  • Ever wondered how fudge is used as an expression? Accounts say that back in the 17th century, fudge was originally a verb that meant “to fit together or adjust [clumsily].” Then in the 1800s, fudge was used to denote something that is a hoax or cheat.  Fast-forward to mid-century, “oh, fudge” has become a “kid-friendly expletive” used when something got messed up.  Then there’s the story that fudge-the-word became fudge- the-dessert after a young caramel maker apprentice accidentally ruined the caramel he was cooking.  The customers loved it and named it Fudge after the apprentice.
  • Here’s another story on how fudge became fudge. A college lecturer in Virginia was teaching toffee making.  But the temperature was not high enough, resulting in a mixture that we now call a fudge.  Now, this is how “to fudge something” is said to have been derived from.
  • The largest slab of fudge in the world was measured back on October 23, 2010, at Levack, Canada. It was created by the Northwest Fudge Factory and weighed 2.61 tons.  It took 1 week of preparation and contained vanilla, chocolate, and maple flavors.

Fudge Buying Guide

Fudge can be best described as a candy whose texture falls between a fondant and a hard caramel.

There are also other fudge variations around the world.  There is the penuche that is made from brown sugar and can usually be found in New England and the Southern States.  Scots Tablet from Scotland can also be likened to fudge, though it is a medium-hard confection compared to the fudge we know.

Here’s one interesting fudge fact:  did you know that a certain 4.35 square mile island in Michigan calls itself the fudge capital of the world?  This is the Mackinac Island!  They have candy shops that have been selling fudge since the 1880s!  Now, there are 13 fudge shops on the island, and makes so much fudge that 10 tons of sugar gets imported every week!  There is also the Mackinac Island Fudge Festival!

Fudge Production & Farming in Texas

Sellers and producers of candies and chocolates, as well as dessert shops, are reliable sources of fudge in Texas.  From traditional recipes to experimental flavors and concoctions, you’ll get a real sweet deal in every fudge bite.

Preservatives, Additives, and Chemicals

For those who are very vigilant of what they consume, many producers and sellers are very much upfront that the fudge they sell are free from any preservatives or additives.  Some are even handcrafted and freshly made with a very short list of natural ingredients!

Packaging

Fudge is usually packed in decorative pouches, tins, and boxes, as this is a known gift idea for other people! One thing to note though, it is important that the container is airtight.  It is also recommended that waxed paper be put in between pieces or layers to keep them from sticking together.

Enjoying Fudge

Fudge can be eaten on its own or enhanced by adding fruits, nuts, chocolates, caramels, candies, and sweets in the mixture or as toppings.  And of course, the great thinkers and creative makers have also gone a step ahead and went on to concoct unique flavors and combinations like the lemon oreo fudge, or pumpkin coconut, key lime fudge, and so much more.

Aside from its candy or slab variation, fudge is also best associated with hot fudge, which is a thick syrup used as a heated topping or garnishing for ice creams and sundaes.

Storage

Since fudge is made from butter and milk, it goes that it is not the most shelf-stable dessert.  However, due to the sugar and the cooking process, a homemade fudge can last in good quality for about a week or two at room temperature and about 3 to 4 weeks when chilled.  Best way to check if your fudge got fudged up?  If it gets too dry and hard or melts and turns slimy.

Homemade Fudge

Want to cook several batches of fudge and give it out as personally-made gifts for the holidays?  BBC Food posted this melt-in-the-mouth recipe!

Ingredients

  • 397 grams can condensed milk
  • 450 grams / 1 lb. light brown soft sugar
  • 120 grams / 4 ½ oz butter, cubed
  • 125 ml / 4 fl oz milk
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Prepare a square tin and line it with baking paper.  Also, place a glass of cold water in the freezer.
  2. In a large, dry saucepan, combine all the ingredients, except the salt.  Cook over low heat while continuously stirring.  Continue until the butter has melted and the sugar is fully dissolved.
  3. Slowly bring the mixture to a rolling boil over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, while still stirring continuously.  Make sure to check that the mixture doesn’t catch on the edges and the bottom of the pan to keep it from burning.
  4. Once the mixture has reduced and darkened, dip a teaspoon into the mixture and drizzle it to the prepared glass of iced water.  It should become a soft, pliable ball once dropped into the iced water.  If it sticks to the glass or your finger once you press it, continue to boil and test the mixture every two to three minutes, until it reaches that soft, pliable stage in the water.
  5. Add a pinch of salt then beat the mixture.  Leave it to cool in the saucepan for about 10 minutes.
  6. Beat the mixture again, making sure that you break the top that had previously set.  Leave it for about 5 minutes.
  7. Beat the mixture again.  Pour the mixture into the lined tin and level.
  8. Refrigerate until the mixture sets and gets firm or for at least 3 hours.  Remove the fudge slab from the tin and transfer to a chopping board.  Cut it into the desired size and number of pieces.

Nutrition

DV%

  • Serving Size: 1 Serving
  • Calories: 69.9 3%
  • Carbs: 13g 4%
  • Sugar: 12.4g
  • Fiber: 0.3g 1%
  • Protein: 0.4g 1%
  • Fat: 1.8g 3%
  • Saturated Fat: 1.1g 5%
  • Trans Fat 0g 0%
  • Cholesterol 2.4mg 1%
  • Sodium 7.6mg 0%
  • Vitamin C 0mg 0%
  • Vitamin A 27.0IU 1%
  • Calcium 8.3mg 1%
  • Iron 0.3mg 2%
  • Potassium 22.8mg 1%
  • Vitamin B6 0mg 1%
  • Vitamin B12 0μg 1%
  • Vitamin E 0.1mg 1%
  • Magnesium 6.1mg 2%
  • Phosphorus 12.1mg 1%
  • Manganese 0.1mg 4%
  • Copper 0.1mg 3%
  • Zinc 0.2mg 1%

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