Every year, my mother used to make chocolate fudge to give to friends and family for the holidays. It was rich, dense, creamy, and oh so chocolatey—most of the time. Occasionally, even though she used the same recipe, the fudge would turn out grainy. Why this happened was always a mystery. Fast-forward to the present: Determined to solve the “grainy” puzzle, I put my food science knowledge to work. What I found were not only answers but also a foolproof method for amazing fudge.
Making melt-in-your-mouth chocolate fudge is simple: You boil sugar, heavy cream, and chocolate, let the mixture cool, and then beat it to the right consistency. As the mixture boils, the sugar crystals dissolve, and the sugar concentration gradually increases. Then, once beating starts, the sugar begins to recrystallize. If the crystals stay small, the result is a smooth fudge. But if larger crystals form, the fudge will be grainy. Because large crystals can form at any time during fudge making, you need to be vigilant. Here’s what to do every step of the way for perfect results.
Against the grain: secrets to smooth fudge
Web extra: In this video from Fine Cooking‘s Culinary School, Nicki Sizemore demonstrates the art of making smooth chocolate fudge from scratch and shares the Test Kitchen’s secrets for keeping the size of the sugar crystals in check, ensuring the proper texture.