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How to Make Fudge

To pieces of equipment and a quick buttering step help you make the best fudge ever.

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-I'm Sue with the Better Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen. You wouldn't believe the request we get during the holidays for Fudge recipes. Turns out, this old-fashion candy is still pretty high in everyone's holiday baking list. Here are some secrets to success that'll help you make the smoothest, most delectable Fudge this year. For perfect Fudge, you need 2 key pieces of equipment; a heavy sauce pan and a good quality candy thermometer. Temperature is critical in candy-making and having these 2 things are definitely worth the investment. Before getting started, butter the inside walls of the sauce pan. This step will help prevent the sugar and the mixture from crystallizing and making the fudge grainy. Next, cook the fudge mixture according to the recipe you're following. Many call for simmering it to the soft ball stage, which means that when you drop a small amount of fudge into a cup of ice water, you should be able to shape it into a soft ball, like this. But in the Test Kitchen, we always rely on the thermometer. When it hits 236 degrees, we can be sure it's done. Beating the cooked mixture is another critical step towards smooth, creamy fudge. So once it's cooled to 110 degrees, start beating it with a wooden spoon. This is a great arm workout but pay attention to how the fudge starts to look and feel. Overtime, it'll start to lose its shine and will become noticeably thicker and harder to stir. If you under beat, the fudge will be soft but chilling it will help firm it up. And over beaten fudge may be a little crumbly but it'll still taste great stirred into ice cream. Finally pour the fudge into a pan lying with foil or parchment paper then shake it to spread the mixture evenly. Now let it set until firm before cutting. Making home-made fudge really is worth the workout when you know the Better Homes and Gardens' secret to success.