This internationally known and popular soft sweet treat is based on cooking sugar, butter and milk to a soft-ball stage (115C), after which it is whipped to obtain the ideal fine-grained texture. The light browning of the sugar and of the butter give a light golden colour and enhanced flavour to the simple ingredients.
Milk gives good basic results but richer variations use cream, clotted cream or evaporated and condensed milk. Both salted and unsalted butter can be used.
The sweet, rich-but-bland mixture is suitable for flavouring with anything, and often is. Vanilla is widely favoured as a simple version.
Fudge’s ingredients make it particularly calorie dense.
A great homemade favourite in markets and fair stalls, fudge is also widely available in shops and online.
Choose the best
If you can taste in advance, hope for a very fine-textured mouth feel. Anything less indicates poor technique and can leave clagginess in the mouth.
Best stored at cool room temperature. Fudge can get sticky if refrigerated.
Buy a sugar thermometer and practise making a plain fudge first, so you are certain of the several stages, especially the final beating to obtain the optimum fine texture. Only then experiment with flavourings and coatings such as chocolate. The addition of toasted nuts means that each mouthful has comparatively fewer calories. Flavourings will be fresher and stronger if added before the whipping, rather than being cooked in the very high temperature before then.
As it’s so rich and calorie dense, it’s kinder and makes more enjoyable eating if fudge is cut into smaller rather than bigger pieces. Try our best ever fudge recipes, from traditional flavours to modern twists.
Watch our video and learn how to make fudge: