On Candy Making

I mentioned before that I have been asked to bring a dish to Thanksgiving dinner. The request was recently amended to bring a dessert. A non-pie dessert, even, with the suggestion of something chocolatey. That is, chocolatey in the sense of containing chocolate, not chocolatey in the sense of a chocolate substitute.

So I decided to bring the essence of chocolate, fudge. Wisely, I decided to make a test batch before creating a production batch. Last night, I attempted my test batch, which came out not so much as chocolate fudge, but as a chocolatey sludge. If only I’d had some vanilla ice cream…

After some thought, I realized that I may not have cooked the test batch to the proper temperature. Equipped with a new thermometer, I tried again tonight. The result was certainly not sludgey this time. It was actually quite plastic and stretchy coming out of the pot, and I was afraid that I’d made a giant Tootsie roll. But after it cooled, I discovered that it had become a hard, crumbly slab. The texture reminded me of something, something that I vaguely remember being maple-flavored, but I couldn’t name it.

With my dreams of becoming an amateur confectioner deflating like an abandoned bagpipe, I decided to press on to Plan C– claiming partial credit for a tray of Golden Grahams Indoor Smores made by another member of my household.

Anybody want a slightly used candy thermometer?

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10 thoughts on “On Candy Making”

  1. I can definitely relate to you experiences in candy making, although, in general, I have been more successful.

    I never used a thermometer, I always use the cold water candy test to determine how ready my sugary confection is. And then I agonize over whether I’m at the thread stage or soft-ball stage, etc.

    The main trick in candy making is to cook slow and allow the batch temperature to remain constant.

  2. Sorry it didn’t work out. I have never attempted to make anything like fudge, but I have to say that I am super hungry for fudge right now with no way to satisfy my craving. Thanks! :)

  3. Erik – the best recipe is on the back of the Jet Puff marshmallow creme! I don’t even use a thermometer – the trick is to cook it on medium high. Keep stirring it until it starts boiling (you want it really boiling where it’s bubbling and popping). Cook it for exactly four minutes and take it off the heat. Then just mix the rest of the stuff in and it’s perfect.

    I always omit the nuts, I just think it’s better that way.

    Anyway, for next time. Hope your thanksgiving was good!

  4. Oh yeah, fudge can be tricky. Last Christmas, I had to work, so I left my husband in charge of making the peanut butter fudge for some event we were to attend. It turned out not so good, and we never did figure out what he did to mess it up (other than melting a rubber spatula in it, which I’m sure didn’t help!). I came home from work, took one look at it and started to make a new batch. Mine turned out better. lol

    (I love those indoor smores, though!)

    Happy ICLW!

  5. You picked a tough one to make fudge. It is kind of a chore. I would have made cheesecake. I’ve got those down to a science. :) I’d still like a taste of your fudge. I bet it may not look right but still has a great chocolate taste and smell.

  6. Sorry the fudge gave you such a fit. Next time use the recipe on the back of a container of marshmallow fluff. It is super easy and really good.

  7. Ha ha Erik ….yep you & I in same boat this week! The desserts I made didn’t turn out exactly the way I wanted them too either. We should have made cake!

    Hope your Thanksgiving was nice though …..hey you get credit for trying hard, don’t forget that!

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