Fudge is the classic treat that makes everyone light up. It makes a great gift and it’s too tempting to resist for anyone with a sweet tooth. But it’s also deceptively simple. Actually trying to make fudge can be a bit of an experience. You have to use a double boiler and get everything to melt just right.
You can’t let it get too hot but you also can’t let it get too cool. There must be an easier way. Well, there is. You can actually use a super simple hack to make an easy fudge recipe in any color you want. It will taste great, it will look great and you don’t have to tell anyone that you used a really, really easy shortcut to make it happen.
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So if you don’t immediately know what a double boiler is, then you don’t make candy very often and you may struggle with your first batch of fudge…or your first few batches. Fudge is super tricky stuff. It’s a delicate balance of chocolate and sugar heated to a precise point.
Then it’s got to be cooled, cut, and served — and you better hope it holds up! If your fudge wasn’t heated to the proper temperature or you didn’t use just the right amount of ingredients, you’ll end up with a sticky mess or a hardened lump. Either way, not very tasty.
Making fudge from scratch is a bear of a task that can be very time-consuming and very attention-taking. You better not try to do anything else while you’re making fudge on the stove. So cheat instead. There’s a much easier way to make fudge that doesn’t involve getting out multiple pots and watching chocolate melt.
There are all sorts of things that can go wrong that will make your fudge not set or come out grainy. Usually, this is a heating problem or the ingredient mixture is a little bit off. If fudge is too grainy, you didn’t melt the sugar If fudge doesn’t set, meaning that it’s too soft, you didn’t melt enough chocolate. But none of this will be a problem if you use a simple hack and cheat your way through making fudge.
Cheating Through It
You really only need two ingredients to make fudge and you can get them anywhere: chocolate chips and cake frosting. Forget about all the cups of sugar, the cream cheese, the condensed milk, and all those fudge recipes that are going to make your sweat over the stove.
If you have these two things and a microwave, you can become an acknowledged candy master and use this easy fudge recipe over and over. And if you’ve got a little food coloring, you can make fudge in any color you like. That makes it even more impressive…especially if you don’t tell anyone that you actually made it in the microwave.
Leave the pots on the shelf, turn the stove to the “off” position and get yourself a sturdy, microwave-safe glass or ceramic bowl. Pour a 12-ounce bag of white chocolate chips in there and cover it with a paper towel. Now, heat it up in the microwave slowly in bursts. If you throw the chips in the microwave for a minute, you’re going to burn your chocolate and get a big mess in your bowl.
So heat it up in 10- or 15-second spurts, stirring after every two or three bursts of heat. This process may take you a couple of minutes but it will be worth it. Also, it’s still way easier than melting your chips on the stove using the dreaded double boiler method.
Heat the chocolate until it is smooth and totally melted. While it’s still hot, add an entire 16 ounce can of pre-made frosting to the mixture. Stir! You’re going to get your workout mixing these two ingredients together but keep stirring until the consistency is smooth, even, and fairly thick. Toward the end of the stirring, your arms might be aching and the mixture will thicken.
While you’re working with it, the chocolate you melted is going to be cooling so you need to work consistently. Don’t take a break midway through. Once you start heating chocolate, you can’t stop until the entire process is completed.
Mixing the Fudge
You can get pre-made frosting in a huge variety of colors and flavors. Get a flavored variety of frosting if you want to create fudge in this flavor, or choose a specific color that you like. You can add your own color by getting plain white frosting and adding food coloring while you’re stirring up your fudge. Just add drops of color until you get the exact shade you want.
When the mixture is well-stirred and you’ve reached the right color, get a plastic spatula, and spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet that has been covered in wax paper. If you’re going to make candy at all, you’re going to use a lot of wax paper, so get familiar with this kitchen staple.
Use the spatula to spread the fudge out in the pan completely. You can spread this mixture to just about any thickness up to about three inches high. Just remember that each piece of fudge will have this thickness, so keep that in mind while you’re spreading. You can always get out another baking sheet if needed.
Once the fudge mixture is all spread out, place it in the refrigerator to cool. You can cover the fudge with another sheet of wax paper to protect it while it’s in the fridge if you like. Either way, you want to let your fudge cool for several hours. Let it chill overnight and it should be ready for you to work with the next day.
How to Make Fudge
Once the fudge has chilled in the fridge, you can remove the baking pan. First, place a sheet of wax paper to completely cover the top of the fudge if you haven’t done so already. Working carefully, remove the entire block of fudge and the wax paper on top and on the bottom of the block.
You’re going to move the entire block onto a cutting board. But when you go to place the fudge on the board, flip it upside-down. This is why you added a top layer of wax paper because you can touch the wax paper with your hands without getting fudge all over yourself.
Now, you can easily pull the wax paper that was on top of the fudge (now on the bottom) away from the cutting board. The fudge will still be pretty attached to that wax paper you placed on the baking sheet, so it should move solidly and easily for you if you simply lift up the wax paper that’s now facing up toward you.
Once that paper is gone, make sure the fudge is centered on the cutting board. Working deliberately, slowly peel off that other sheet of wax paper. The slower you move, the less chance you have that the paper will rip. You want to try to get all the wax paper off the fudge because you don’t want to feed people paper.
When the wax paper is peeled away, get yourself a knife and cut a grid of small squares into your fudge block to turn it into real pieces of fudge. You will notice that the cut sides of the fudge are a little gooey. That’s okay. Work quickly, switch knives if you need to, and cut it all into pieces.
When it’s all cut up, go back to your baking sheet and place a brand-new sheet of wax paper on it. Now, place your pieces of fudge on the wax paper and let the fudge chill again. You want the pieces to chill in the fridge for at least three hours so those gooey edges will harden. When that’s done, you’ve got fudge!
Fudge that’s made properly can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge. Just remember that fudge is harmful to dogs because it’s made with chocolate, which is toxic to these fur babies.
Mastering the Art of Making Fudge
It’s a lot of steps, but making fudge this way is super easy and it will turn out to be very tasty with great consistency. After you master this fudge hack, you can always make homemade candy and impress everyone you know whenever you want. Once you get used to making fudge, you can start to play with this basic recipe to add nuts and other extras as you like. After all, candy should be fun!
KC Morgan has been a professional freelance writer since 2006. Over the last decade, KC has published thousands of articles and blog posts that have been read by millions. A DIYer in her free time, KC has written hundreds of how-tos, guides and tutorials for different DIY and improvement projects around the house.
KC’s articles have appeared in “Popular Mechanics,” and have been featured on Bob Vila’s website. KC has written in-depth DIY articles for Sears.com and Overstock.com, as well as dozens of other websites. When she’s not writing or DIYing, KC enjoys watching college basketball, playing with her cats and experimenting with new cupcake recipes. Follow KC on Twitter @KCMorganWrites.