How to Use Cream of Tartar to Set Fudge

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Correctly made fudge is soft and chewy.
Correctly made fudge is soft and chewy. (Image: almond fudge image by Stephen Orsillo from Fotolia.com)

To make fudge correctly, recipe instructions must be followed carefully or the fudge will become too grainy and hard. Many bakers use cream of tartar in their recipes to help set the fudge. The cream of tartar helps the fudge to set by breaking the sugar's sucrose into glucose and fructose, thereby making crystallization of the fudge less possible. This helps the fudge remain soft and chewy.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. butter or margarine
  • 1 tsp. black walnut flavoring
  • 1/2 cup nuts, chopped (any kind)

Combine salt, cream of tartar, sugar, and milk in a heavy-bottom pan. Cook until the mixture is a soft ball.

Stir the mixture frequently and watch it to avoid scorching. To prevent crystallization of the sugar, wipe down the sides of the pan with a water-dipped silicone brush.

Remove the pan from the stove. Add the butter to the mixture. Cool the mixture but do not stir the butter until the temperature of the mixture is lukewarm, about 110 degrees F. Add flavoring and nuts before stirring and pouring into an 8-by-8 greased pan.

Tips & Warnings

  • Watch the mixture as it heats on the stove to avoid scorching.

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