|Place of origin||United States|
|Serving temperature||Room temperature|
|Main ingredients||Sugar, butter, milk|
|a 100 gram serving may have over 450 kcal|
Fudge is a type of sugar candy that is made by mixing sugar, butter and milk, heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F (116 °C), and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. In texture, this crystalline candy falls in between fondant icing and hard caramels.
Fruits, nuts, chocolate, caramel, candies, sweets and other flavors are sometimes added either inside or on top. A recent trend has been to create novel flavors of fudge, giving vibrant visual appeal at the same time.
Fudge is often bought as a gift from a gift shop in tourist areas and attractions.
Fudge originated in the US during the late 19th century. Recipes were printed in many periodicals and advertisements during the 1880s. Its popularity was partly due to the decreasing cost of refined white sugar, and partly due to the ability to make it at home without special equipment. Its inexpensive, unrefined qualities made it popular among people looking for a candy alternative that fell in between expensive, fancy candies and the cheapest sweets.
Fudge shops in tourist places such as Mackinac Island in Michigan began opening during the 1880s. In a letter written in 1921 by Emelyn Battersby Hartridge, she recounts the purchasing of a box of fudge for 40 cents a pound in 1886 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Fudge-making was popular at women's colleges. A student at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, claimed to have introduced it there in 1888 by selling her own 30 lb (14 kg) batch. The diary of another student mentions making "fudges" in 1892. An 1893 letter from another Vassar College student describes "fudges" as containing sugar, chocolate, milk and butter. A recipe for "Fudges at Vassar" was printed in The Sun in 1895. Despite describing the confections as "Vassar chocolates", the recipe given comprises sugar, milk, butter and vanilla extract. Wellesley College and Smith College have their own versions of a fudge recipe dating from the late 19th or early 20th century.
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In forming a fondant, it is not easy to keep all vibrations and seed crystals from causing rapid crystallization into large crystals. Consequently, milkfat and corn syrup are often added. Corn syrup contains glucose, fructose (monosaccharides), and maltose (disaccharide). These sugars interact with sucrose molecules. They help prevent premature crystallization by inhibiting sucrose crystal contact. The fat also helps inhibit rapid crystallization. Controlling the crystallization of the supersaturated sugar solution is the key to making smooth fudge. Initiation of crystals before the desired time will result in fudge with fewer, larger sugar grains. The final texture would then be grainy, a quality normally indicative of low-quality fudge.
One of the most important attributes of fudge is its texture. The end-point temperature separates hard caramel from fudge. The higher the peak temperature, the more sugar is dissolved and the more water is evaporated, resulting in a higher sugar-to-water ratio. Before the availability of cheap and accurate thermometers, cooks would use the ice water test (aka, the cold water test) to determine the saturation of the confection. Fudge is made at the "soft ball" stage, which varies by altitude and ambient humidity from 235 °F (113 °C) to 240 °F (116 °C). Butter is added, and then the fudge is cooled and beaten until it is thick and small sugar crystals have formed. The warm fudge is sometimes poured onto a marble slab to be cooled and shaped.
Flavors and similar candies
Fudge-making evolved a variety of flavors and additives. The favored flavors vary by place. In the US, chocolate is a default, with peanut butter and maple popular alternatives to it; in the UK, rum and raisin, clotted cream and toffee are popular.
When it is made from brown sugar, it is called penuche. This type of fudge is typically found in New England and the Southern United States. Pralines include nuts but not usually chocolate. Scots tablet is a Scottish confection with similar ingredients.
Hot fudge (sauce)
"Hot fudge" sauce in the United States and Canada is a chocolate product often used as a topping for ice cream in a heated form, particularly sundaes and parfaits. It may also occasionally be used as a topping for s'mores. The butter in typical fudge is replaced with heavy cream, resulting in a thick, pourable chocolate sauce while hot, becoming more viscous as the sauce cools. Commercial syrups (flavored with natural or artificial flavorings) are generally thinner and formulated to be usable at room temperature. One also encounters "hot caramel" or "hot butterscotch" but these commercial formulations are not very similar to fudge or hot fudge sauce.
- Barfi – an Indian type of fudge made from cooking milk and sugar into fudge consistency; additions include coconut, carrot, or nuts
- Clotted cream – an ingredient used to make traditional hand-made fudge that is frequently used in the UK and Ireland.
- Condensed milk
- Fudge cookie
- Knäck – a Swedish toffee confection
- Krówki – Polish confection similar to fudge
- Goldstein, Darra (2015). The Oxford Companion to Sugar and Sweets. Oxford University Press. pp. 287–288. ISBN 9780199313396.
- Hatala, Greg (2014-01-14). "Made in Jersey: Fudge is a chocolate confection with a Plainfield connection". NJ Advance. Retrieved 2020-12-21.
- Benning, Lee Edwards (1990). Oh Fudge!: A Celebration of America's Favorite Candy (1993 ed.). New York: Owl Books. pp. 3–18. ISBN 0-8050-2546-4.
- Quinion, Michael. "Fudge". World Wide Words. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- Martin, Elma (22 December 1892). "Diary". Vassar College Digital Library. Poughkeepsie, New York, New York. p. 33. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- Mansfield, Adelaide (12 November 1893). "Letter". Vassar College Digital Library. Poughkeepsie, New York, USA. p. 6. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
- "Fudges at Vassar". The Sun. New York, New York, USA. 23 December 1894. p. 1, col. 4. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
- Werner, Edgar S. (1915). Werner's Readings and Recitations. 54. Edgar S. Werner and Co. p. 159. ISBN 1-145-32274-3.
- Reed, Anne (13 April 2016). "Tradition lives at Gulf Coast Fudge Co., North Fort Myers". news-press.com. Retrieved 18 August 2016.