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Mom of five lovely daughters, wife of one dashing man. Born in Utah, grew up in Oregon, live in Georgia.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Fudge Failures

David's grandmother was known for her fudge. I never got to meet her, but for the past 14 years David has raved about "Nana's fudge." It was creamy and soft and the perfect combination of peanut butter and chocolate. (Or so he says.) I have tried several different fudge recipes over the years, but according to David none of them are even close to Nana's recipe. But a little while ago we got a recipe from his sisters that is supposed to be close. So we have set out on a mission to make fudge like Nana's. So far we've met with big fat fudgey failure. Last week David tried to make a batch-- his first attempt at fudge. And it turned out to be a grainy mess. Then today I tried. I made two different batches. I tried to follow the recipe with exactness. I documented everything I did. (Kind of like a science project.)

The first batch turned into a grainy, goopy, glob. (But my kids did eat some of it.)

The second batch was looking good until I turned around to tell Chloe to not use the dog as a pillow. In that time the fudge completely hardened and I had to scrape it off the bottom of the pan with a knife.

The frustrating thing is I really don't know what I'm doing wrong. I measured carefully, cooked it slowly, didn't stir once it started boiling, cooked it to exactly 232 degrees (what I thought might be under-cooked), and let it cool before beating it. Aaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!

But even though I really want to-- I am NOT going to give up. Lots of people make fudge. And if they can do it, so can I. (I hope.)

Does anyone have any advice for me?


Michelle Pyne said...

Forget about the fudge and go into writing. I especially liked "bit fat fudgey failure." Very poetic! And Chloe is still using Knightly as a pillow??? Poor Knightly. I really do admire your stick-to-it-ness though. But if you get really good at making fudge, then I will want to eat it, and then I will have to exercise strong will-power not to eat too much, and that would be hard. Maybe your fudge isn't coming out well to spare me such a difficult challenge.

Sally said...

How funny! I've been trying to recreate Brad's Grandma's Infamous Potato Salad for twelve years. I even have her exact recipe and had her tutor me on it before she died--still no go.

As for the fudge, my parent's neighbor at Christmastime noticed when she was making fudge that the great value brand of sugar didn't dissolve as well as the name brand did, thus making it more grainy. I might try switching the sugar or peanut butter. Good luck with the fudge!

Ginger said...

Mmmm, fudge is so good, isn't it? My mom has a recipe she made for years with never a problem, but then a few years ago we started having issues with it. I have finally given up on it. I think maybe recipes from long ago worked with ingredients from long ago, but many ingredients are being made a little differently now.
Also, I think if a thermometer is not calibrated correctly, that can ruin persnickity candies such as fudge.
We had one batch that tasted good, but was a little overcooked, so we chopped it up and added it to homemade vanilla ice cream. YUM!
Good luck!

Ginger said...

Oh yes, Sally's comment reminded me: There is a difference between cane sugar and beet sugar. Make sure you always buy cane! (If it is store brand, or doesn't say, it's probably beet. The bishops' storehouse by me only has beet.)

Jen said...

So, I need to get this recipe from my father in law, but he has one that involves marshmallows, sweetened condensed milk, chocolate chips, and the MICROWAVE. And it is some of my very favorite fudge.

I know for caramel the weather makes a difference, cloudy days make grainy caramel, supposedly.

Shana said...

This is HILARIOUS JEssi! Seriously, just because last week I tried to make fudge because I wanted to make X's and O's out of it for Vday for my neighbors. I was sooo sad because I made a chocolate fudge and PB fudge, and NONE of them worked out!!!! I was SOOO upet. Every time I have EVER tried to make fudge, I fail!!
The worst part.. We threw away the fudge in the garbage, and the dang dog got into it and ate the WHOLE pan of it!!! He was up throwing up ALL night long. It was the most discusting thing ever. We had to rent a rug dr and clean our whole carpets!!!!!! It was THAT bad.
I have a friend who makes the best fudge ever and she says she will come over and help me. So I will let you know once I figure it out! ;)

Elaine said...

I now have Mom's Rocky Road down to a science. It is sooo easy and has not failed for yrs. I make it every Christmas and everyone LOVES it. This year I only made one batch and then forgot to get it out for our Christmas Eve Party. So I put in the freezer and just finished the whole batch nearly by myself. Thus the extra 10 I am trying to shed. I love fudge and could never make it work until I used mom's recipe.

Audra said...

I admire you for not giving up!

MS Strong said...

I have a fudge recipe that is foolproof, easy and so good you can go into chocolate shock if not careful. I have a semi-sweet version and dark chocolate version (my favorite):
4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
12 oz. bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts (optional)
1 cup milk
25 large marshmallows
12 oz. bag semi-sweet or milk choc. chips
Mix milk, sugar, vanilla and butter in large pan. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil 2 min. Turn off heat and add marshmallows; stir until melted. Add chocolate, one bag at a time and stir each until well blended. Add nuts and stir. Purt into buttered 9 x 13 in. pan. Refrigerate until firm.
I add 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares instead of one 12 oz bag of chips and use dark chocolate chips for the other. I add walnuts and my blood sugar skyrockets. Love it.
I can't make the old fashioned fudge. Gave up trying. You have to be some kind of fudge genious to do so.