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Old 10-19-2011, 09:08 AM   #1
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ISO tips for dry crumbly fudge?

I made fudge for the first time last night. I used the Alton brown recipe as well as watching that episode of "good eats". I believe that I followed all of the instructions and tips from the episode but I may have missed something.

My results were dry and crumbly. I was able to cut them but they are hard rather than soft.

I'm new to making fudge obviously. It seems like temperate is the main factor in the hardness of the end result. I was very careful with the temperature although I am at about 5,000 feet. Does boiling temp need to be adjusted for altitude?

I'm not even sure what else it could be.

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Old 10-19-2011, 09:23 AM   #2
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another possible cause. After the mixture cools on the stove top I'm supposed to stir it until the "sheen" turns into a dull matte appearance. I stirred it as hard as I could but couldn't identify a change in the appearance. I eventually put it into a pan when it started to harden up a bit. I didn't want it to set up in the pan.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:30 AM   #3
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It's possible the temp may have been too high due to your elevation.
From allrecipes:
Quote:
Originally Posted by allrecipes
As with most cooking at high altitudes, there are modifications that need to be made to candy recipes.
For every 500 feet above sea level, decrease the temperature by one degree. If you live at an altitude of 3500 feet and the recipe calls for cooking to 234 degrees F (112 degrees C), cook it to 227 degrees F (108 degrees C).
You'll notice that's a 7 degree difference (500 x 7 = 3500).
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:13 AM   #4
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So, my recipe says to take the fudge to 234 degree and I'm at 4500 ft. I adjust it down 9 degrees to 225 degrees?

My recipe says that after boiling I should let it sit and cool until it reaches 138 degrees before stirring. Should I also adjust that temperature? It's not boiling at that point so my guess would be to leave it at 138.
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Old 10-19-2011, 10:16 AM   #5
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9 degrees sounds about right if following Allrecipe's formula. Perhaps those who live at altitude will also chime in. I'd think the 138 shouldn't change as the point at which to start stirring.
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:05 AM   #6
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I read another method of determining the correct temperature. I put my candy thermometer in boiling water and let it sit for 5 minutes. The boiling point today is showing as 200 exactly on my candy thermometer. That's a 12 degree difference from standard.

Should I subtract 9 degrees or 12 degrees? I'm sure that some of that difference may just be calibration issues with my thermometer.
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Old 10-19-2011, 01:03 PM   #7
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It's actually only a few degrees off as at your altitude your water won't boil at 212 anyway, but at some lower temperature. Maybe only 3 degrees, eh?

Wow, that's a toughie as you don't know if the 12 degrees is indicating the thermometer is 3 degrees off, or if you should actually use 12 instead of 9 due to your elevation. Do you have some way to measure a known temperature with your thermometer to determine its actual calibration?

So, if your thermometer is 3 degrees low, then when you cooked your candy to 234 you were most likely at 231. Either way, still too high for your elevation.

Any high elevation candy makers care to chime in?
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:21 PM   #8
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I can't help with the high elevation part, but to help with the crumbly part: add more corn syrup. Corn syrup is like a type of invert sugar that helps prevent crystallization. Fudge, when over-stirred, tends to crystallize more and can lead to the dry, crumbly texture you spoke of.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chocotuile View Post
I can't help with the high elevation part, but to help with the crumbly part: add more corn syrup. Corn syrup is like a type of invert sugar that helps prevent crystallization. Fudge, when over-stirred, tends to crystallize more and can lead to the dry, crumbly texture you spoke of.
Would the corn syrup help if the cooking temperature of the fudge was too high? Meaning that the recipe calls for it to be just above thread and just below soft ball stage. But, that temp would be at sea level. So, what ended up happening with Mr Dove is the temp was more like firm ball to hard ball stage due to elevation. That was my thinking as to the higher temp causing the problem because the fudge was cooked to more like a harder candy and then stirred which broke the harder candy. Would the corn syrup have helped prevent it in that case? I'd read about corn syrup helping with some issues, but couldn't remember high temp as being one thing it would help with.
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Old 10-19-2011, 05:54 PM   #10
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Based on his post, I'm not sure if he did take it to the higher temp or if it was a problem of over-agitation. If more corn syrup was added at the beginning of the cooking process, it could help with the final texture of the fudge. But if you try to add it at the end of cooking, when it is already a hard candy, then it won't mix in.
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