Fudging it up – part 1

So many baking blogs and websites show the perfect photo of the perfect cake, with the perfect ingredients set on the perfect plate…it is after all a perfect world, isn’t it?

Sadly no, things are good but they are not always perfect and so I wanted to share some of my own personal stories with you of when things are not perfect and go horribly wrong in the kitchen. We are not just talking a little wrong here, I am talking throw it away and never want to make it again wrong.

For me it is more than okay when things don’t work out quite as I had hoped or planned in the kitchen.  My many baking ‘mishaps’ have taught me a great deal – what went wrong, why it went wrong, which recipe books to avoid and things I never want to try ever again, not ever, in particular making fudge.

It is with this particular disaster in mind I have chosen to title this post ‘fudging it up’.

Lets start with the fudge debacle.

What could sound simpler, add some water and sugar to a large saucepan, throw in some butter and condensed milk and wait for it to form a small ball when the mixture is dropped into a glass of water. Add a drop of vanilla, pour the mixture into a 8″ x 8″ pan, let it set for an hour and voila I will have some beautiful vanilla fudge.

I had a feeling making fudge was a far more complicated process, my husband even asked me if the recipe was correct? Given that it came from a tried and trusted English Cookbook I said “of course it is”.

Well, after over an hour of messing about waiting for it form the magic small ball, before finally getting it into the pan and waiting the allotted time for it to set, I was very excited to see how my fudge would taste. I had big plans and was going to make specially gift wrapped bags for Christmas presents.

That was where the dream ended, firstly we could not get it out of the pan, it was easier to pour it out as a big soggy mess. Secondly after one spoonful (yes it was so loose we had to eat it with a spoon) it was so grossly sweet it was inedible. So that was it, out it went and I vowed never to make fudge again. Sadly I did not take a photo of the result as I was too annoyed at the time.

fudgeThe next day we were watching an episode of ‘Good Eats, Fudge Factor‘ with Alton Brown explaining the long, complicated and laborious process it takes to make fudge successfully.

I never stood a chance with my recipe, but I did learn a very valuable lesson – I never want to make fudge again. As for the Christmas presents. I went to Costco and purchased Belgium chocolates.

We will continue with the ‘fudging it up‘ story – part 2 – next week, with three more cooking mishaps – steamed pudding, flapjack and mini chocolate ginger bites.


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