I tried making fudge for the first time today. with this recipe:
I used my sugar thermometer, and cooked to the soft ball stage, then took it off the heat. It was in a heavy cast iron saucepan, so It continued to bubble for a bit once I took it off. When it had stopped bubbling, I added some vanilla essence, which spat and fizzed when it went in....
Then, after about a minute, something really weird happened. The mixture started to bubble and puff as if something was making air bubbles, it went really crazy bubbling, and then seemed to transform before my eyes, into a pan of sand!!!!
It was as if all the moisture just bubbled out. I added a little milk and beat it, but it came out very grainy with tiny hard lumps of sand, and hasnt set. Disaster
can anyone tell me what happened here? I really wanted to make fudge as extra presents for family for christmas!! Is a recipe that uses condensed milk easier to do?
my guess, and it is a guess, is that the fudge kept cooking once taken off the heat with the cast iron pot they hold heat alot longer then a regular sauce pan. I have a stainless steal 3 quart sauce pan that i make fudge in, it cost a bit but was worth it.
Now that said, when my fudge is done cooking i place the pan in an ice water bath, to bring the temp of the fudge down.
I really couldn't tell if the recipe was to blame cause i really don't know my metric measures that well.
I always take mine off the heat a few degrees before it's "done"...you will have a few degrees of carry-over heat. Also put a lid on it for a few minutes while it's bubbling and the condensation from the steam will roll off the lid and down the sides of the pan and get and sugar crystals off of there. One sugar crystal can set off a chain reaction and send you on a one way trip to the sandbox. I've never had fudge bubble and puff but it sounds like it could have been too hot. If you can catch the episode of "Good Eats" where Alton makes fudge it's well worth your time to watch it! Good luck with your next batch!
Never, never, never make your fudge in a cast iron pot. It just gets too hot. Try again, but use a regular saucepan. That should be the end of your problem.
thanks so much everyone, I will give it another go with the normal saucepan, and will heed all your other advice. I had to LOL at "one way ticket to the sand box" comment, very funny! Thanks again everyone, I'll let you know if I run into any more problems!!
once you remove it from the heat, cool until luke warm, with out stirring, that is most important if you want smooth creamy fudge.
thanks, Katiekake, will do!
Always calibrate your thermometer before each use. Place in some boiling water-should read 212. If not, you know to adjust the temp you're cooking it to