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Volume I
May 22, 2002

Fudge Making Secrets

         I have a recipe that has been handed down to me. All of my family member who have made it are now in "Cookin' Heaven". I need a little help. This "white" fudge recipe is cream and sugar. You bring it to the "boiling" point, pour on a large plate and shape. The problem is that last year it was too sugary. I reduced the sugar some. This year - It didn't get hard enough. I need help! -- MargiMille

Dear MargiMille:

         I've been doing some research on your fudge questions and here's what I've come up with. There's more science to making fudge than I realized, thus not allowing for any "fudging" on the recipe. :-)
         Too sugary a fudge can be caused by multiple problems, listed in the paragraphs below as "grainy" texture. Don't reduce the sugar, but follow the guidelines below instead.
         A fudge that fails to set up is usually the result of too much butter, the substitution of margarine for butter (too high water content), or results when there is too much water in the fudge (not boiling enough, rainy weather, etc.)
         First of all, bring the milk and sugar ingredients to the correct temperature in order that you can super-saturate the milk with sugar (to 234 degrees F.) {Rule of Thumb: For high altitude boiling, reduce the 234°F by 2°F for each 1,000 feet above sea level.}. (Make sure your candy thermometer is calibrated correctly, if you consistently have trouble making candy.)
         Stir the fudge mixture constantly until it reaches correct temperature. You also need to wash down any sugar that sticks to the sides of the pan during the boiling process. Use a wet pastry brush to keep those sugars in the pot or they can cause a grainy texture.
         Remove from heat and stir in butter. Adding the butter with the milk and sugar mixture impedes the syrup's ability to "super-saturate" which could cause a grainy end product. Stir the butter in until dissolved (for only 30 seconds or less) and then STOP stirring.
         Let the fudge slowly cool to 110-115 degrees F. Don't stir, don't touch, don't let a speck of dust fall in it! If you do, the sugars will crystallize and cause a grainy end product. Cooling too fast can cause a grainy, lumpy texture.
         Next, beat it until it turns glossy and begins to harden. This is an important step to create the creamy texture of fudge. Pour into your already prepared buttered, foil-lined pan. Let cool completely.

         * DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

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Fudge Making Secrets
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Optical Illusions

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Printing Multiple Recipes

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Lightin' up the BBQ
Now I'm Cook' DVO

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