chocolate fudgeThis chocolate fudge has a rich, deep flavor and thick, creamy texture. It holds together well without being too hard and melts in your mouth when you bite into it. The recipe is vegan (dairy-free, egg-free), grain-free (gluten-free), soy-free, and refined sugar-free.

There is something about fudge that fascinates, yet strikes fear into the heart of the home cook. And I will admit, a lot of physical chemistry is involved in making old-fashioned fudge. The recipe calls for combining and boiling milk, bitter chocolate, and sugar together until the temperature reaches 237°F/114°C (known as the “soft-ball stage”), pouring the seething mixture into a bowl, cooling it to 110°F/43°C, and then beating the candy until the surface shine disappears.

To look at a simple fudge recipe, you’d think that making this kind of confection would be a breeze. You aren’t just heating up the mixture, though, and that’s where potential problems start. Good fudge is all about the sugar crystals. That is, you want sugar crystals to form when you make fudge, the opposite of your goal when making caramel, toffee, or brittle. However, you want the crystals to be tiny, much smaller than the original sugar crystals. 

Sugar crystals vary in size from so tiny that they give the finished product a creamy texture to huge rock candy crunchy crystals. This is why a traditional fudge recipe comes with so many instructions:

  • Wash down the sides of the pan either with a wet pastry brush or by putting the lid on the pan about 2-3 minutes after the mixture starts boiling – this is to remove any sugar crystals clinging to the sides of the pan; otherwise, the sugar will start to recrystallize too soon, causing large crystals to form.
  • Use a thermometer – fudge boiled below the soft-ball temperature is too soft to hold its shape, and fudge boiled above this point becomes too firm.
  • Don’t disturb the mixture until it’s cooled to 110°F/43°C – this is the magical temperature at which you will get tiny creamy-feeling sugar crystals. If you start stirring before then, the crystals will be too big, producing grainy fudge. If you let the fudge cool too much, it will set up and be difficult to beat.
  • Once cooled, beat the mixture until it thickens and begins to look matte – the beating ensures that crystallization starts in as many places as possible and small sugar crystals have all attached to each other, forming an evenly smooth mixture.

If you don’t follow the recipe instructions carefully, you will likely wind up with a coarse, gritty mass instead of creamy fudge.

The good news is that this chocolate fudge is much easier to make. 

chocolate fudge

Tips for Making Chocolate Fudge

Ingredients

So, what exactly is in this chocolate fudge recipe? 

  • Chocolate: use chocolate that you enjoy eating. If you don’t like the flavor of chocolate or chocolate chips straight out of the package, you won’t like it in this fudge either. This chocolate fudge is all about the chocolate you use. Yes, this recipe has a little maple syrup, but it’s not enough to add sweetness. I use 70% dark chocolate, but 45% – 60% chocolate is typically used for fudge.
  • Coconut milk: the problem with mixing chocolate with maple syrup is that the mixture can easily seize. When melted chocolate comes into contact with even the tiniest amount of liquid, the dry particles become moist and begin to stick together, quickly forming a gritty, rough paste. This is because when the water joins with the sugar in the chocolate, a syrup is formed, which attracts the cocoa particles and makes for a grainy texture. The way to fix seized chocolate is to add more liquid to it. Adding the right amount of coconut milk will dissolve the sugar and cocoa and make it a fluid consistency. Use full-fat coconut milk; otherwise, the fudge will not set properly.
  • Almond butter: smooth nut butter adds creaminess to the fudge. It also transforms hard, snappy chocolate into a firm but melt-in-your-mouth fudge. You could substitute almond butter for any other nut butter you like.
  • Salt: salt is often added to chocolate recipes because it complements and accents the flavor of chocolate. A pinch is all you need, but you can add more if you like salted fudge.

ingredients for chocolate fudge

How to Make Chocolate Fudge

When I said this chocolate fudge is easy, I meant EASY. All you need to do is:

  • Set up a double boiler. Add a few inches of water to a medium saucepan and top it with a stainless-steel bowl slightly larger than the circumference of the saucepan. The bowl should create a seal with the bottom saucepan to trap the steam produced by the hot water. Ensure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water – this would cause the chocolate to get too hot. Bring the water to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Once the water is hot, turn the heat to the lowest setting. 
  • Mix the ingredients. Add the chocolate, coconut milk, almond butter, maple syrup, and salt to the stainless steel bowl set over the saucepan and melt the chocolate, stirring constantly, until the mixture is completely smooth. 
  • Pour the mixture into a pan. Transfer the mixture to a parchment paper-lined baking dish (I used a 6.5 x 6.5 inch/16.5 x 16.5 cm glass container) and smooth it out by gently tapping the dish against the kitchen counter a few times. 
  • Chill. Transfer the fudge to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 2 hours. Once firm to the touch, remove the fudge from the baking dish (by lifting the parchment paper) and cut it into squares. If the fudge is too firm to cut, let it thaw slightly and/or run your knife under hot water for easier cutting.

how to make chocolate fudge

How to Store Fudge

  • Refrigerating: transfer the chocolate fudge to an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 1 month.
  • Freezing: transfer the chocolate fudge to an airtight container and freeze it for up to 3 months.

Chocolate Fudge Variations

To make this fudge a bit fancier, swirl some almond butter into the fudge before transferring it to the refrigerator. If you like fudge with some texture, stir in some chopped almonds. Of course, you can match the nuts with the nut butter. For instance, if you use peanut butter instead of almond butter, stir in chopped peanuts instead of chopped almonds. 

Another option would be to use extracts, such as peppermint extract or even orange extract.

chocolate fudge recipe

More Fudge Recipes

If you’re looking for more raw fudge recipes, here are a couple to get you started:

  • Coconut fudge: this coconut fudge is sweet with a coconut-chocolate flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. It stays solid at room temperature, so unlike many raw fudge recipes, it’s also portable.
  • Cocoa (almond butter) fudge: while this raw fudge doesn’t taste like traditional fudge – this fudge is based on dates, so it’s more fruity – it’s still rich, creamy, and delicious.

If you try any of these recipes, please leave a comment and rate the recipe below. It always means a lot when you do.

chocolate fudge
5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Fudge

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 16 pieces
This chocolate fudge has a rich, deep flavor and thick, creamy texture. It holds together well without being too hard and melts in your mouth when you bite into it.

Ingredients
 

Chocolate Fudge

Instructions
 

  • Set up a double boiler. Add a few inches of water to a medium saucepan and top it with a stainless-steel bowl slightly larger than the circumference of the saucepan. The bowl should create a seal with the bottom saucepan to trap the steam produced by the hot water. Ensure the bottom of the bowl isn't touching the water - this would cause the chocolate to get too hot. Bring the water to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Once the water is hot, turn the heat to the lowest setting. 
  • Mix the ingredients. Add the chocolate, coconut milk, almond butter, maple syrup, and salt to the stainless steel bowl set over the saucepan and melt the chocolate, stirring constantly, until the mixture is completely smooth. 
  • Pour the mixture into a pan. Transfer the chocolate fudge to a parchment paper-lined baking dish (I used a 6.5 x 6.5 inch/16.5 x 16.5 cm glass container) and smooth it out by gently tapping the dish against the kitchen counter a few times.
  • Chill. Transfer the fudge to the refrigerator to firm up, for about 2 hours. Once firm to the touch, remove the fudge from the baking dish (by lifting the parchment paper) and cut it into squares. If the fudge is too firm to cut, let it thaw slightly and/or run your knife under hot water for easier cutting.
  • Store. Leftover fudge keeps well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. For longer-term storage, freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Notes

*The fudge will be as sweet as the chocolate you use. The amount of maple syrup in the recipe isn't enough to sweeten the chocolate.
**Nutrition information is approximate and may contain errors. Please feel free to make your own calculations.

Nutrition

Serving: 1of 16, Calories: 168kcal, Carbohydrates: 13g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 11g, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 9g
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keywords: chocolate fudge, chocolate fudge recipe, easy chocolate fudge, fudge