Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Night Before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through my house, something was stirring. Me, stirring up a pot of sugar, evaporated milk, and butter, because I decided to try making the Carnation Famous Fudge Kit again.

You may remember that last year I ran into a bit of trouble with the kit, and instead of creamy glossy candy-shop fudge I ended up with fudge that I described as "an old pioneer woman's face".

What kind of fudge is that? Rocky road?

It's more of a, uh, Ma Joad, actually...

This year, though, I decided that it would be different. I thought through the instructions and the way I had cooked the fudge last year, and came up with two changes:

The first is


Last year when I made it, I used margarine, and even though people say it's the same I know that it's not because chefs are saying on TV all the time that "If it calls for butter, you should just use butter". I had a little bit of butter left over in the fridge from last time I made delicious scones, so I figured I might as well use the real thing and see if that made a difference.

The other change was pre-opening the chips and marshmallows before it was time to use them:

chocolate chips and marshmallows

The instructions say that as soon as you remove the sugar/milk/butter mixture from the heat, you immediately stir in the marshmallows and chocolate chips. Last year I pulled the mixture off the heat, opened the marshmallows and poured them in, then opened the chocolate chips and poured them in, and then began stirring. Is it possible that those precious seconds make the difference between smooth, glossy fudge and grainy, unattractive fudge? I'm not sure, but I was willing to try.

Unfortunately, it came out better, but still not perfect:


Swirls? Yes.

Creamy texture? Yes and no:

fudge square

The inside is perfect, but the top is still slightly grainy.

Next year, I'll try boiling the sugar/milk/butter mix at a slightly lower temperature, as I now think that it's so hot that it's crystallizing some of the chocolate sugars when I add the chips.

Either that, or I'm just bad at making fudge.

1 comment:

Rod said...

I'm of the opinion that no fudge is bad fudge, as long as it's not burned or filled with rat poison.

So, if you need to unload any of your fudge "failures," I can give you my address. :)