What is Fudge and can you freeze fudge? – Fudge is usually bought from the gift shop or sent as gifts during the holiday season. It is a soft sweet confectionery made up of milk, sugar, butter, and flavor. Although it is mostly made with chocolate flavor and hence many times, both are used interchangeably, but fudge is not necessarily chocolate flavored. It can be made in many different flavors.
The most commonly nuts, chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallow, walnut, raisins, maple syrup, icing sugar, whipped cream, etc are added as toppings. There is a trend to create the most visually appealing fudge.
Yes, there are many varieties of fudge that do not include any chocolate.
The fudge itself is defined as being a crystalline candy and it is controlling the crystallization of the sugar solution which is usually done by beating and temperature control. This gives fudge the required texture which is so different from that of caramel and other candies.
Surprisingly, fudge has not been around for that long, although the word fudge has been in existence for much longer. The word ‘fudge’ can mean nothing, it can be used to express annoyance with something, or it can also mean to fit in together in a clumsy manner or state.
A recipe for chocolate candies was published in an 1870 Maryland cookbook and this recipe was nearly similar to today what we call fudge. Some suggest that fudge was first developed from a poorly made batch of a recipe that had been over-stirred. So, instead of it turning out as a smooth and chewy caramel with proper consistency, it turned out as a crumbly and creamy fudge.
Whatever way freeze fudge evolved, it was known, from a letter that was found in the archives at Vassar College, New York that it had been sold at a Baltimore grocery store for 40 cents a pound in 1886. The letter writer was able to obtain the recipe of that fudge from the store and after making 30 pounds or 14 kilograms of it for the Vassar Auction Program, she extended its popularity not only at Vassar, but also at other women’s colleges. It was know as the tasty candy spread. Wellesley College successfully experimented with marshmallows to their fudge recipe, while Smith College did it with molasses and brown sugar.
The recipes for fudge at this time were delicate. But over time, the recipes turned out to include other ingredients like corn starch and sweetened condensed milk instead of cream and milk. This made the recipes give more consistent results to home cooks who didn’t have access to equipment such as candy thermometers and other mechanical instruments.
Since fudge was so difficult to prepare at home, confectioners began to market their fudge at popular places where there were crowds. These places included large events and vacation destinations. These are the places where those on vacation would spend money on items that they could not normally buy at home. Fudge can be stored and traveled in an extremely proper way. This made it popular for souvenir gifts.
By the late 1880s, fudge shops were found in popular destinations such as Niagara Falls and Atlantic City. This helped society to firmly establish fudge as a vacation souvenir, a choice still popular today.
Homemade freeze fudge is popular for the holiday season, especially for gifting and it must be mentioned that homemade fudge is usually much nicer to gift or receive than the one found in the local grocery store.
Unfortunately, homemade fudge does not stay fresh if you can freeze fudge.
How is Fudge Made
While making fudge, you must critically take care of all the vibrations and seed crystals, because there’s a significant possibility of rapid crystallization and that form into large crystals. As a consequence, we often see that milkfat and corn syrup are added to the process. Corn Syrup contains different types of sugars such as, glucose, maltose, and fructose, which interact with the sucrose molecules. They eliminate the process of premature crystallization by adapting the sucrose crystal contact. The milkfat also helps to inhibit the process of rapid crystallization.
To make the smoothest fudge, you’ll have to find a way to control the process of crystallization of the supersaturated sugar solutions. If the crystals star-forming before the desired time, will result in the fudge having larger sugar grain, and consequently the final texture of the fudge would turn out to be grainy. This would be marked as a low-quality fudge.
The texture is one of the most crucial aspects of categorizing fudge. The serving temperature of the fudge should ideally be separating the hard caramel from the fudge. If the peak temperature is high, it results in more sugar being dissolved and more amount of water is been evaporated, which eventually results in a higher sugar to water ratio. Before the time when thermometers were available for cheaper costs and gave accurate readings, the chefs would use the “Ice water test” also known as ‘the cold-water test’. This was used to determine the saturation levels of the sweet.
A very basic fudge is made by dissolving the added sugar with the butter, and milk, and then heating it to the time it reaches the softball stage, a temperature in the range from 235°F (113°C) to 240°F (116°C).
Butter is added to the processing fudge before cooling it down. Once cooled, it’s then beaten until it is thick, and small sugar crystals have started to form. To shape the fudge, they’re sometimes poured on the marble slab, this eventually also cools it. The fat content in the butter also prevents the sucrose molecules from joining up and forming large crystals.
Adding ingredients like condensed milk, or marshmallow creme will also help to make a smoother fudge and eliminate the grainy texture. Once the fudge is well mixed and cooled, It is poured into a shallow pan, the similar one used in making brownies. They’re left to cool down, before being cut into small individual pieces.
In the recipe of chocolate fudge, pieces of baking chocolate, or ordinary chocolate chips are melted along with the milk, sugar, butter, and a few other ingredients.
Types of Fudge
Fudge is a very simple recipe made from milk, sugar, and butter, so there is a lot of options for customizations. Each ingredient you change, you get a different kind of fudge and not to mention the innumerable kinds of flavorings available in the market.
For fat content, cream cheese, peanut butter, whipped cream, canned pumpkin, or vanilla frosting can be used instead of butter. Liquids like molasses, condensed milk, heavy cream, half and half, etc can be used. Sometimes people also use alcoholic drinks like bourbon or amaretto for boozy fun.
Ordinary granulated sugar can be replaced with brown sugar or demerara sugar which gives a different flavor to the fudge.
The combination of each of these ingredients can give a unique type of taste to the fudge. Many such combinations can be made and this makes the flavoring endless.
Then the combinations do not stop here. People combine two or more flavors by either layer one over the other or in the form of swirls. This gives more than one flavor at the same time.
Chocolate VS Fudge – How can we freeze chocolate fudge.
Chocolate fudge is the favorite type of fudge. Everyone loves them. People want to gift them. This has created a lot of confusion as Chocolate fudge is actually chocolate, but in general, Fudge is not all about chocolate. Chocolate and Fudge are a lot different in reality.
Chocolate is available to us in many different forms, chips, bars, candies, etc. The main source of chocolate is the Cacao Tree. The process of making chocolate from the fruits is very labor-intensive and requires highly specialized equipment. Making chocolate items that require unsweetened chocolate like cake, brownies, cookies, etc also takes a lot of time, effort, and ingredients. Sugar is the highest amount out of all the ingredients used as chocolate in its raw form is very bitter to taste. Then from there, different types of chocolates can be made depending on the amount of cacao and milk. High Cacao content gives dark chocolate whereas high milk content gives milk chocolate. By the way, it is interesting to note that milk chocolate fudge is also a popular kind of fudge.
Fudge, from its very texture, is different from Chocolate. Chocolate, in its normal state, snaps when broken whereas fudge is soft and bends. It is malleable to be exact. It is, at its very basics, made from milk, sugar, and butter. Chocolate is just a flavor added to give it more taste. Additional items like chocolate chips, butterscotch, peanut butter, coffee, white chocolate are also added for a combination of flavors. In general, making fudge is not a very tricky job. The only issue is melting and getting to sugar to the right consistency. That’s the only problem beginner bakers face. People also add topping like icing sugar, Nutella, Whipping sugar, etc. With this understanding, we now know the difference between fudge and chocolate.
- Hot Fudge
Despite its name, Hot Fudge is not actually a fudge. It has the same glossy finish but it doesn’t set in or solidify like a fudge. In one sense hot fudge can also be called a failed fudge. It can be very easily used as a dessert topping like on ice cream, sundaes, etc. Just hoping that someone uses it as a topping for fudge itself. A Hot Fudge topped Fudge..!!! That would be one of a kind.
Storing Fudge at Room Temperature
If you are sure that you will use your fudge within a few weeks, you can store it at room temperature in a container. It stores just fine at room temperature. If you want to be extra sure whether or not your fudge is safely stored or if you like it chilled, you can always just keep it in the fridge. And if you think you want it for even longer, the freezer is the best option.
Here are your steps for storing fudge at room temperature. The main thing to avoid is to keep your fudge from drying out. Place fudge into an airtight container or seal into a bag. You can store at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Storing Fudge in the Refrigerator
Storing fudge in the fridge is a simple process. The fridge will keep your fudge cool and keep it away from drying out when stored properly. If you don’t store the fudge properly, it will turn dry and crumbly.
Follow these steps to store your fudge in the refrigerated effectively.
Wrap fudge (individually or all together) in a layer of plastic wrap or parchment paper. The plastic wrap provides the best protection. Place wrapped fudge into an airtight container or a sealing bag. Store in the fridge for up to 1 month.
You can just take your fudge in and out of the fridge and it won’t hurt anything. If you wrap your fudge pieces properly then it will be very convenient to just pull out one piece at a time and enjoy as you please.
The most important thing to remember is to keep it as airtight as possible in order to avoid drying out of the fudge. The fridge is one of the best ways to keep fudge moist and spongy for a reasonable duration of time.
Storing Fudge in the Freezer
Here are the instructions for storing fudge in the freezer.
You can store in individual pieces or as a whole although, it is recommended to use individual pieces unless there is a purpose for the whole block. This just makes it simple when you take it out of the freezer. However, if you are storing a whole block, keep it uncut until you pull it out of the freezer.
First, wrap the fudge in plastic wrap to seal in the moisture of the fudge. Place the wrapped fudge into an airtight container or a heavy-duty freezer bag. If you wrap them individually, you can place all of them together into your storage device.
Labeling with a date before you seal your fudge would be good. The Fudge will probably be fine up to a year but for best results, 6 months is the recommended duration.
Can we Freeze Fudge
We all love Fudge. It’s rich and sweet and the major reason behind fudge being the most famous desserts is, it is the easiest crowd-pleasing sweet anyone can offer to any crowd. Doing so will ensure that the crowd will be satisfied. Imagine it being Frozen! How cool is that? Very cool!.
What Should be Considered Before Preparing Fudge for Freezing?
Although the options for fudge flavors and ingredients are many, there are a few things that are worth knowing before making fudge that you want to freeze.
How well the fudge will store at room temperature, a refrigerator or a freezer is not only dependent on how it is wrapped but also on what extras items that you have put into it.
Depending on the type of milk or cream used, there is a risk that the fat in the milk or cream can get separated from the other non-fat/water components. Although this will not change the taste of the fudge, it can change the texture up to some extent when thawed. This is not much of an issue when condensed milk is used.
A traditional dense fudge will freeze better than light fudge such as the type made in the microwave. Spices such as cloves, cinnamon, or nutmeg will intensify in flavor when frozen, while an imitation vanilla flavor used in fudge will not hold up. So try your best to use a pure vanilla extract if you want to freeze the fudge.
A heavy hand with powdered sugar can cause the fudge to end up dry and crumbly. Moreover, if you put nuts on the outside of fudge, it more likely that they will come loose during freezing. You can resolve this by mixing nuts well into the fudge during the preparation or just top the thawed fudge with nuts when you are ready to eat it.
Fresh fruit in fudge can cause problems as they contain a lot of water. This can alter the texture when frozen and thawed. Dried fruits are more stable in fudge, but can lose their flavor when frozen
Proper Fudge Freezer Storage
To reduce the chances of the fudge get freezer burn or it is dried out, it’s recommended to put the fudge in an airtight, freezer-safe container or bag. Additionally, you can wrap the fudge in wax paper to help retain the moisture that may get lost while freezing.
Try to avoid, storing, or preserving the fudge in any packaging that will deflate or add-on any flavor to the fudge. For example, consider cardboard, it is not a good choice. Cardboard can absorb the moisture content and also create a nasty cardboard-ish flavor from a molecule known as Trans-2-nominal.
Stacking the fudges into layers is definitely a bad idea again. This will stick the layers of fudge to one another when even left for a short amount of time. If you’re trying to use lesser space, please consider placing wax paper between two fudge layers.
It’s also suggested, to not continually defreezing and refreezing the fudge. This can ultimately lead to loss of flavour and unattractive texture qualities, including loss of moisture. Cut your fudge into pieces, only of the quantities that you feel would be sufficient and comfortable taking out just for around a week or 10 days.
How to Defrost Fudge without spoiling it
Refrigeration to defreezing the fudge. The change of temperatures from extreme conditions, that too drastically can have undesired effects on the texture and flavor of the fudge. Refrigeration also helps to preserve the fudges until the time you know you’re ready to eat them. Take out of the refrigerator 2 hours prior to the time you’re ready to serve. This ensures a perfect serving temperature.
Cutting the whole fudge into smaller squares will allow you to take it out one by one of the freezer. Make sure you don’t cut them too small. Keeping the fudge in larger blocks creates less surface area to dry out, and eventually, it doesn’t lose its flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions – Here are some of the more common questions related to fudge storage.
Can You Freeze Fudge with Condensed Milk?
Yes, you can freeze fudge made with condensed milk and have successful results in the sense of taste and texture. Do remember, it’s all in the packaging as explained earlier.
One way few people freeze fudge that is made with condensed milk is with three items. First, wrap the fudge with plastic wrap. Next, wrap the fudge pieces with aluminum foil, and then, at last, throw them into a large freezer bag. Suck the air out with a kitchen pump, seal the bag, and lastly place it into the freezer for the next time.
Most people claim that when the frozen fudge has thawed, it tastes the same, that is, as fresh as the original in the sense of texture, flavor, and consistency.
Can you freeze fudge to set it?
No, you cannot freeze fudge to set it. Sure, you could try it and hope for good results, however, the Candy experts say, that a failed fudge can be worked upon and then stored in the refrigerator for the setting.
For example, if your fudge has failed to solidify then something has gone wrong in the mid-way process. The professionals advise beating in some confectioners’ sugar or icing sugar and beating it well until it gets firm. Make sure not to go over with the powdered sugar, or you will end up with dry, crumbly fudge.
Trying to re-heating the fudge by adding a little evaporated milk or corn starch along with water for more consistency can show some positive results. Just make sure to beat it more when it cools down.
If all that fails, then you can make delicious truffles or chocolate bark out of the failed fudge that stubbornly won’t set, even in the freezer.
What Can I Do with Extra Fudge?
What better it can be? Obviously, the common mainstream desserts should ideally be the first priority, but on a lighter note, if you’re left with a lot of extra fudge, I must tell you that the fudge cookies taste absolutely delicious.
Fudge Cookies- If you are bored of eating just the fudges and want to use them to do interesting experiments, there are always plenty of options open to do so. Some good suggestions for using up that fudge to make something interesting could be cooking fudge brownies, fudge cheesecake, and fudge cookies.
There are quite a lot of ways to utilize fudge, without just eating the fudge. Don’t be afraid to try out new interesting things. Fudge is typical chocolate, so quite evident that it can be used for cooking things that involve chocolate as one of their ingredients.
How Do You Know if Fudge Has Gone Bad?
We always advise taking sight and smell tests. In case there is any hint of something that looks ANYTHING other than fudge, I highly recommend you throw it out without taking any risks. You can always re-cook it, as It’s a cost-effective and easy procedural dessert that can be made in just a couple of hours.