Candies have always been an important component in the culinary world. When eating any sugary food, the sugar components will raise blood sugar, making people feel temporarily more energetic.
There are countless types of candies worldwide. Chocolate, gummi bears, marshmallow, Kraft caramels, fudge, etc., are famous top names.
However, chocolate fudge has its fair share of popularity because it is utmost delicious yet absolutely easy to make.
However, it might be common to come across grainy fudge the first few times you make it. Such an irritating experience causes many people to wonder: “Why is my fudge crumbly and dry?”
So, let’s dive into the problem, clarify the question, and hopefully, make the ultimate chocolate fudge!
Why Is My Fudge Crumbly And Dry?
Chocolate fudge is quite demanding; only with concise and proper treatment you can attain the perfectly chewy and soft fudge.
However, many ended up with crumbly and dry fudge even though they have carefully followed the instructions. Here are the 5 main reasons that make the fudge crumbly and dry.
#1. Lack of Moisture
When cooking the sugar, butter, and milk, they start evaporating. And if left boiling for too long, all the water can later turn into steam.
In this scenario, what is left in the pot is no longer liquid from milk and butter, but just seed crystals from sugar. To make matters worse, these crystals aren’t even what you aim for; they are big seed crystals.
Hence, the fudge becomes crumbly and dry. Just imagine growing a tree without watering it. The resulting tree will be so crumbly, right? It’s the same case for fudge.
#2. Incorrect Stirring Process
The next cause may lie in the incorrect stirring process. After cooking the fudge, you must let it cool for a while.
Only when the surface starts turning thicker, you shall quickly and constantly stir the mixture. If you don’t take action quickly at the time, the chocolate fudge will cool down gradually.
When it reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit, the crystallization process will happen. But the sugar crystals created in this case will be thick and big, making the fudge crumbly and dry.
That’s the opposite of the seed crystal’s standard size that a perfect fudge should have.
#3. Let The Fudge Cool Too Soon
One of the most common reasons is letting your fudge cool too soon, not reaching the proper temperature.
After the fudge is heated to 233 degrees Fahrenheit – the soft-ball stage, it needs to cool down without disturbance to around 109 degrees Fahrenheit in room temperature. The reason: the disruption in the cooling process can create seed crystals.
What is a seed crystal, and why does it make your fudge crumbly?
A seed crystal is where sugar molecules can attach themselves to, being a piece of dust, air bubble, or stuck sucrose molecules. When the seed crystal forms itself, it will constantly grow in size as the fudge is cooling.
Therefore, if you interrupt this cooling period too early, the seed crystals will appear and turn your fudge into a grainy and crumbly treat. The cooling process is absolutely important for making fudge and other chewy sugary desserts as well.
#4. Cook At The Wrong Temperature
Another reason that can cause your fudge to fall short is the wrong temperature. How exactly, you may ask. The answer awaits below.
Why does heat make fudge crumbly?
Heat is an important factor to take into account when cooking fudge. The intention of boiling fudge is to achieve the liquid vaporization and sugar concentration. This will make your fudge texture more condensed and creamy.
Research shows that the ideal temperature to cook fudge is 237 – 239 degree Fahrenheit or 113 – 115 degrees Celsius. Failing to meet the right heat will disrupt the fudge mixture and its moisture, leading it to become too hard or too mushy.
When making fudge, you need to pay close attention to the heating process. The reason why: the heat significantly impacts your fudge texture. Usually, when cooking fudge, you need to put an accurate candy thermometer in the saucepan and cook to the right temperature.
If your fudge is way over the safe temperature range, there won’t be enough liquid left to create the syrup, and the sugar is too concentrated. Thus, instead of a chewy and crunchy taste, your fudge will become hard, brittle, and dry.
How To Fix The Dry Fudge?
Fudge turning crumbly is a common case if not properly treated. But don’t be frustrated if your candies have already turned dry – we come to your rescue.
First, prepare for the procedure. What you need is a medium saucepan, crumbly fudges, freshwater, and a stove. Now, let’s start fixing the dry fudge.
Place the saucepan on the stove and turn it on. We recommend setting the heat to medium – between the 237- to 239-degree Fahrenheit range. Otherwise, it might be too hot or cold to create seed crystals later.
While the pan is slowly heating up, scrape the dry chocolate fudge into the pan and pour in one and a half cups of water. The water temperature is irrelevant; you can grab whatever is most convenient.
Next, continue to melt the mixture over medium heat until you see the fudge slowly turning soft.
To check, use a spoon to push the mixture slightly and carefully watch the reaction if the fudge is concave, bingo! It has already softened.
After many experiments, we have concluded that reheating the fudge is simple but can still be tricky if you don’t know the following tips:
- Use a candy thermometer to test the proper temperature: As the fudge is quite stubborn and demanding, the heat range must be between 237 to 239 degrees Fahrenheit for it to start melting. It’s a must to have a thermometer to ensure the appropriate head.
- Have a lot of kitchen paper within reach to wipe down any splash on the pan’s side: When cooking, the fudge can melt and stick to the pan’s side. In this case, it will become so hard to remove later. Not to mention the early crystallization process.
- When cooking, pay attention to the color and texture of the fudge. As mentioned, there is a specific heat range to make the fudge soften.
However, if you let the heat go beyond that limit, the sweet will slowly meltdown, and the texture might turn from brown to black. In other words, that fudge is burned.
Continue letting the fudge get even softer while repetitively using a kitchen paper to wipe down the sides of the pan to prevent any sugar crystallization. Remember, do not stir the fudge!
When the fudge reaches your desired softness, turn off the stove and take the fudge out. Let it cool down and store it in an airtight container.
Chewy Fudge vs. Crumbly Fudge – Which Is Better?
The standard perfect fudge is chewy. When reading and watching cooking instructions, professional chefs always favor the chewy, soft ones because they bring the fullest taste of the original fudge that everyone knows and loves.
To be specific, the fudge, when being chewy, has a sugary taste and sticky texture, making it a great choice for break-time snacks.
The fudge is also an excellent treatment for people of all ages, from your granny to your little cousins, who will certainly be over the moon with some home-made fudge.
Meanwhile, the crumbly fudge is quite unsatisfying to eat. Compared to the standard fudge, this version is dryer, more fragile, and easier to break.
Just with a gentle bite, you can break fudge into pieces. Besides, when the fudge is crumbly, most of the time, its sugar is destroyed, making the fudge taste bland. And, what is the meaning of candy if it isn’t sweet, right?
How To Make Soft And Chewy Fudge?
The fudge is made by boiling sugar and other ingredients and flavorings to the softball stage. When the mixture reaches an appropriate temperature, it will slowly cool down and agitate.
And this condensing stage is the key to make a good chewy fudge because, in the meantime, the structure of the sweets is formed. So, when melting the fudge, please consider this.
Here are some tips to makes the perfectly soft and chewy fudge, based on our experiences:
- Use a big, deep pan to allow the evaporation process to occur faster.
- Let the mixture cool down 15 minutes after cooking and before beating. By doing so, it has time to thicken but not crystalize.
- Continuously beating the fudge’s surface after letting the sweets cool down. Repetitively do the process until the mixture starts turning matte.
- Store the fudge in airtight containers to avoid oxidation and bacteria infection.
Wrapping It Up
Above are some discussions regarding the question “Why is my fudge crumbly and dry?” and, of course, the solutions when you encounter this sticky situation.
The method mentioned above is just our recommendation, and there are so many other ways to do the same tasks, so please feel free to seek more information.
Is this article helpful enough for your cooking? We hope that you can apply our tips to make a successful, tasty batch of fudge.