Monday, December 14, 2015

Rescuing Renegade Fudge

The other day, we made our first batch of fudge for the year.  We've got a pretty robust recipe, so the ingredients normally yield a flavor that's to our liking.  But with the first batch of the year, we often get humbled on the mechanics of making it perfect. Such was the case this year, when it set up too quickly as we were pouring it into the pan.

"No problem!" we thought. "We'll just stick it in the oven for a few minutes to get it to soften up again, and when it cools down, it'll have a nice smooth top like a lake frozen on a clear, windless night."  So, we stuck it in the oven.  And it would have been alright if 1. we had set the oven to the lowest setting (170 °F) or 2. we had stayed focused on the fudge and not sat down to eat pizza, assuming we'd only need five minutes to scarf it down.

By now, you can probably see where this is going.  When we checked on the fudge, it was nearly boiling over the pan like an angry chocolate lava pit, and the top was anything but smooth.  Fortunately, we're happy to report that we didn't have to throw out a single crumb.  (House rules: don't waste chocolate!)  Here's how we brought our overcooked fudge back from the brink.

First, check to make sure it needs saving.  Ours was definitely overcooked, but the middle was more like a Tootsie Roll, and the edges had a slight S'more flavor because the sugar started to caramelize.  Not necessarily bad flavors.  We ate almost half the pan as it was before we decided we really ought to to something else with it.  Of course, if it had tasted burnt, it might have been better to stick it back in the oven and take it all the way to biochar.  (Well, maybe not the indoor oven.)

Option #1: Put it on oatmeal.  Katie added peanut butter to hers.  Actually, this works with good fudge, too.

Option #2: Make fudge sauce!  We chiseled out about 9.85 oz. from the pan, and added half a cup of milk, then put it on a low heat.  To be honest, if we had wanted to, we probably could have omitted the milk and just reprocessed it into straight fudge again.  This article suggests that fudge can sometimes be rescued that way, and if it came back with a non-fudgy texture again, then we could have gone the sauce route.

After a little while, stirring frequently, it had all melted and was nice and homogeneous.  We transferred it to a 1-pint canning jar and stuck it in the fridge.

Right out of the fridge, it was pretty stiff.

With about a minute in the microwave, it was much more saucy.

Perfect consistency for banana fondue!

Or, you know, other types of fondue, too.

How do you rescue overcooked fudge?


  1. Excellent save! I can't imagine anything more unforgivable than wasting chocolate. ;) Actually I don't make fudge, although Dan is a fudge lover. I love all your ideas for it though.

    1. I'm pretty sure it was Aristotle who said, "Fudge is a terrible thing to waste." Who am I to argue with Aristotle? ;-)