My husband, the baker, always says that cooking is an art, while baking is a science. And, many times it seems that people either love to cook OR they love to bake, for that very reason.
The art of cooking is many times, a pinch of this with a dash of something else. Sometimes, we just look in the refrigerator and throw together a few leftovers and come up with a pretty good meal, right?
Well, baking- and especially candy-making, demand precise measurements, temperature levels and timing, in order for all the chemical reactions to produce the desired result. Hence, the sciency part!
One of the most important attributes of good-quality fudge is its smooth, creamy texture or “mouth feel”. It’s the compliment we hear most often in our store and in notes from our online customers.
Most of us have probably tasted fudge a one time or another that had a kind of “grainy” texture. Sometimes Grandma’s fudge was a little dry and crumbly. (Sorry, Grandma.) That dryness comes from rapid crystallization of the sugar molecules.
So, controlling the crystallization process is key to making smooth, creamy fudge. The other critical factor for that creaminess is the peak temperature. Fudge is made to the “soft ball” stage, 235 degrees to 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Any higher than that, and you’re making caramel.
So, you see fudge-making is quite scientific, isn’t it? Next time, we’ll talk more about the actual ingredients that we use to make fudge that keeps our customers coming back again and again!