Fudge Problems? Learn How to Fix Them. (2024)

Fixing Soft or Grainy Fudge

By

Elizabeth LaBau

Fudge Problems? Learn How to Fix Them. (1)

A professional pastry chef, cookbook author, and writer, Elizabeth LaBau has published more than 600 articles on baking and candy making.

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Updated on 01/5/20

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Fudge Problems? Learn How to Fix Them. (2)

If you're having trouble with your fudge, you're probably following a recipe for old-fashioned fudge—candy cooked to a specific temperature, cooled, then beaten until thick. Old-fashioned fudge can be fussy, especially on your first or second attempt. Some home cooks complain that their fudge is grainy, crumbly, or burnt while others complain that their fudge never sets properly. If you've encountered one of these problems, don't worry—you can probably save your fudge.

None of the following solutions or tips applies to the so-called quick fudge that involves marshmallow fluff or condensed milk. In fact, if you're nervous about trying to make old-fashioned fudge again, you should start with one of those foolproof recipes.

Fixing Fudge

Sometimes old-fashioned fudge never sets, even after hours in the refrigerator. You wait patiently, only to discover that it's still a sticky, gummy mess. But don't despair or throw out the entire pan of fudge: You can probably remedy the situation.

Fudge usually behaves this way when it's not cooked to a high enough temperature (due to oversight or a faulty candy thermometer).

If your fudge is tough, hard, or grainy, then you may have made one of several mistakes: You may have overcooked it, beaten it too long, or neglected to cool it to the proper temperature. Don't throw out the whole pan, because you may be able to melt the fudge down and try again. Of course, if your fudge has a distinctly burnt or scorched flavor, you'll have to start over with a fresh batch.

To fix soft fudge or hard fudge, simply follow these easy steps:

  1. Scrape the fudge back into a large saucepan and add 1 1/2 cups of water.
  2. Stir the fudge over low heat until it dissolves. Carefully taste the mixture, as the water probably diluted the flavor. Add more flavorings if necessary.
  3. Increase the heat to medium and bring it to a boil, washing down the sides of the pan frequently with a wet pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Do not stir the fudge.
  4. Cook it to the proper temperature specified in the recipe (most likely between 237 F and 239 F).
  5. Take it off the heat, and follow the recipe's instructions for cooling and beatingthe fudge. As you beat the candy, remember that the mixture should lose its sheen and thicken before you pour it into the pan.

Tips for Fudge Makers

  • Before you make another batch of fudge, it's a good idea to test your candy thermometer. Place it in boiling water to make sure that it registers 212F. If it doesn't, you should calibrate it or invest in a new one. Many people overcook fudge because of faulty or broken thermometers.
  • Once the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has come to a boil, do not stir it. If you do, the sugar can crystallize, giving your fudge a gritty texture.
  • As you beat the fudge, pay attention to color and texture. Once the fudge loses its sheen and thickens, put down your spoon. If you continue to beat the fudge, it will go from “perfect” to “rock hard” in minutes.
  • If you're making a lighter fudge that doesn't involve any chocolate, you might notice that the recooked batch has a darker, brownish color, thanks to caramelized sugar crystals. This change may alarm you, but the fudge should still have a lovely, mellow flavor and silky texture.
Fudge Problems? Learn How to Fix Them. (2024)

FAQs

Fudge Problems? Learn How to Fix Them.? ›

To fix oily, hard or grainy fudge, scoop the fudge back into a pot with about a cup of water. Cook it over low heat until the fudge dissolves. Then bring the fudge back up to the temperature specified in the recipe and follow the remaining steps. The flavor may be slightly diluted, but the texture will be improved.

Can I fix fudge that didn't set? ›

OPTION 4) If you think the reason it didn't set was because you didn't heat it to the right temperature, you could try putting it back into the pan and re-cooking.

How do you bring fudge back to life? ›

Grab the saucepan that you initially used to cook the fudge and toss the fudge back in along with 1 ½ cups of water and a splash of cream. Adding some cream of tartar is a helpful way to keep the sugar crystals at bay as well — it's not essential, but if you have some, definitely pour a little in.

What to do with failed fudge? ›

My advice to you is to just pour it in a jar, call it something else delicious, and pretend you meant for it to be that way. The nice thing about my “failed” fudge is that it tastes absolutely delicious! A spoonful of the delectable treat will make you want for more. It's all in your perspective.

What is the secret to perfect fudge? ›

Valuable tips for successful fudge
  • Don't stir during cooking. Fudge can be cooked on the stove or in the microwave. ...
  • Avoid crystallization. During cooking, sugar crystals can stick to the sides of the pan. ...
  • Let cool before beating. After being cooked, the sugar must crystallize again to create fudge. ...
  • Beat the mixture.

How do I fix messed up fudge? ›

To fix oily, hard or grainy fudge, scoop the fudge back into a pot with about a cup of water. Cook it over low heat until the fudge dissolves. Then bring the fudge back up to the temperature specified in the recipe and follow the remaining steps. The flavor may be slightly diluted, but the texture will be improved.

Can you fix dry fudge? ›

You have one option to make it soft, which is you have to put the fudge pieces in a plastic bag along with the paper towel or a bread slice. Secure the bag and leave it overnight, next day you will get a softened fudge.

Why is my 3 ingredient fudge not setting? ›

Why won't my 3 ingredient fudge set? This often happens when the condensed milk and chocolate chip mixture isn't hot enough to start. Everything must be completely melted before it is transferred to the pan to cool.

What happens if you don't stir fudge? ›

By letting the fudge cool without stirring, you avoid creating seed crystals. Stirring would help sucrose molecules "find" one another and start forming crystals. Stirring also introduces air, dust, and small dried bits from the walls of the saucepan—all potential seeds for crystal formation.

Why did my fudge turn out chewy? ›

If the fudge is very soft and slightly chewy then it is possible that it did not quite cook to soft ball stage and next time the mixture should be cooked to a slightly higher temperature (soft ball is 112-116c/235-240F and a sugar or candy thermometer can help).

Should you stir fudge while it's cooking? ›

Don't stir!

Once the fudge reaches soft-ball stage on the candy thermometer, remove from the heat and let the temperature drop to 110°F. Keep that spoon or spatula out of the pot until this happens. If you stir too early in the process, you'll make the sugar crystals too big and end up with grainy fudge.

How long do you boil fudge to get to soft ball stage? ›

How long does it take to make fudge:
  1. about 18 min to reach boiling.
  2. about 40 minutes to reach soft ball stage.
  3. 60 minutes to cool.
  4. 28 minutes to beat in a KitchenAid (your time for this may vary)
  5. 4 hours to set.

What ingredient makes fudge hard? ›

Too cooked

At this temperature, the sugar is too concentrated and there is not enough water left to form syrup around sugar crystals. The result is hard and brittle fudge. To save the fudge, put it in a saucepan with 45 to 60 ml (3 or 4 tbsp.)

Can fudge be melted and reset? ›

Don't panic if your fudge is grainy, nothing is lost it just requires some more work. Pop the grainy fudge back into the pan along with some water and a little cream and melt the fudge back down to a liquid and re-boil it to temperature.

Why does my fudge stay soft? ›

there is too much leftover water in the syrup and the resulting fudge is soft. To save the fudge, put it in a saucepan with 15 to 30 ml (1 or 2 tbsp.) of 35% cream and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar is completely melted. Then let it boil until the thermometer reaches 114 to 115 °C (237 to 239 °F).

How long does it take fudge to set in the refrigerator? ›

Let the fudge rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before placing in the refrigerator, uncovered. Refrigerate until the fudge is firm, about 2-3 hours (or overnight), before slicing and serving.

Can I freeze fudge to make it set? ›

We like to set this fudge in the freezer to make it quicker! Once you add the fudge to your pan it will need just 30 minutes in the freezer to set.

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