simple tips to make easy fudge

Tips for making easy fudge in the microwave (and slow cooker)

I love fudge. So much so that it was my diet failing during lockdown 1.  So I’m back on my diet and trying to avoid it. But N likes it, so I will occasionally make a small batch for him and the OH to eat over a few days. I can’t do that – I’m an eat more than one piece at a time person! While it’s not hard to make proper fudge, why would you when you can make easy fudge so much faster, with less effort and ingredients.

Here I’m sharing all the tips for making easy microwave fudge. If you don’t have a microwave you can still make easy fudge, just use a slow cooker instead. It takes longer which is why I rarely bother with that method, but with a bit more chocolate added, and a lot more beating, you’ll still get a great chocolate fudge. And your house will smell like chocolate.

simple tips to make easy fudge

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You can find all my fudge recipes further down this post. Once you’ve got the basic recipe with the 2 ingredients – condensed milk and chocolate – the skies the limit with your choice of flavours.  The fudge recipe will just need slight tweaks depending on how much liquid or what fillings you’re adding.

Tips on making easy microwave fudge

What’s the basic easy fudge recipe?

  • 397g condensed milk
  • 450g milk or dark chocolate, or 500g white chocolate, chips or broken into squares
  • Optional 1-2 tsp vanilla extract

Put all the in a microwavable bowl, heat in short bursts until the chocolate is melted, stirring regularly. Once it starts to come away from the edge of the bowl and has thickened, put the fudge into a lined tin or silicon tray. Leave to set in the fridge for 2-3 hours. Remove from the tin and cut into small squares.

Cadbury mini eggs put into micrwave fudge

What equipment do I need to make fudge?

You only need basic kitchen equipment that most people have.

  • 20x20cm / 8 inch square baking tin (a brownie tin is good), or you can use glass, plastic or silicone container of a similar size.
  • Microwavable bowl or jug (I prefer using a plastic jug, but glass is fine)
  • Metal spoon or silicone spatula for beating/stirring the fudge
  • Baking paper for lining a non silicone tray. This helps remove the fudge from your tin.
  • Fridge or freezer to set the fudge and store
  • Microwave

Do I need to add butter?

Butter can help stabilise fudge made on the hob, but you don’t need to use it for easy condensed milk based fudge. I don’t generally because it can add more grease if you’re adding liquid. 

What flavourings should I use?

You can add any flavours, it’s just a case of experimenting. Generally with the basic recipe, 1tsp of extract flavouring should be plenty, and won’t require more chocolate. The more liquid you add, the more chocolate you will need to help it set. Alcohol will also be more challenging, so up the chocolate (another 50-100g as a guide).  I add my flavouring generally in with the chocolate and condensed milk, other people add it at the end. You can control it more at the end.

When is the fudge ready to stop cooking?

It only takes a couple of minutes to make microwave fudge (my microwave is 850W, so it might take longer if yours isn’t as powerful). Melt the chocolate in bursts, then stir well each time. You’ll see the fudge thickening as you stir it, and it will easily come away from the edges of the jug/bowl. It will also be matt rather than glossy. Then it’s ready to set.

pecan fudge ready to chill

My fudge isn’t thickening, can I save it?

First is to check you’ve used the correct ingredients. You need sweetened condensed milk, not evaporated milk which is much thinner. Ensure you’re using enough chocolate. If you’ve got more liquid ingredients, you’ll need to up the chocolate level.

My fudge is oily?

This is usually because chocolate with too high fat content has been used. You can dab it off using kitchen towel, and re-beating your fudge (if it’s still in the mixing/melting stage). If it’s set and oily, dab off the oil, and leave it to air dry somewhere cool uncovered. 

What chocolate to use for microwave fudge?

When making this simple fudge, cheaper chocolate is fine to use. Richer chocolate is more likely to end up with oily fudge.  I quite often use own brand chocolate (or even the discount range Molly’s from Tesco). The one good quality chocolate I do like for milk chocolate fudge is the Callebaut callets you can buy in buik. It’s great for every type of chocolate recipe.

How to store microwave fudge

While some of the fudge recipes make a drier fudge that’s stable out of the fridge, it’s generally better to store it in the fridge until a few minutes before you want to eat it. It will stay fresh for up to 2-3 weeks in the fridge – I cover mine, but you can leave it uncovered, especially if your fridge has a tendency to add condensation.

You can also store in the freezer. Wrap the slab of fudge in cling film, then put in an airtight container. It can be frozen for up to 3 months. To defrost, remove and leave out for 20 minutes, then cut up.

How can I decorate fudge?

You can add most extra ingredients to fudge, for flavour or decorative interest and additional texture. Sprinkles or pieces of chocolate or candy can be pushed into the top of the fudge. Or add pieces into the fudge before putting it into the tin to set.  Depending on your topping or extra additions, your fudge might not last as long. For example biscuit pieces will go soft. Adding chocolate into the fudge mix shouldn’t melt the chocolate pieces, but if you’re worried, you can always freeze them for a bit first before adding in.

If you use white chocolate as your base, you can add colouring to the fudge. I use Wilton food colouring* which is really concentrated so you only need a couple of drops.  Sugarflair* is also good.

close up of gingerbread fudge

Can I use moulds to make my fudge?

Silicone moulds* will work well. You can either spoon the fudge in, or some people use a calpol syringe to push the fudge into smaller detailed moulds. Amazon or ebay are the cheapest places to buy moulds.

How can I make multi coloured fudge?

For most coloured fudge you’ll need to use white chocolate because you can easily colour this. You can colour different batches of your fudge before it sets, then dollop different colours next to each other in the tin, then swirl through back and forth using a knife or skewer. Then leave to set.

An alternative with 2 colours (which works well with white chocolate and milk chocolate fudges, or milk and orange (chocolate orange flavour) or green (mint) you can start with either piping in alternate lines of each colour in the tin, then swirling a skewer or cocktail stick through to create a pretty feathering effect.

You can go more complicated and create a rainbow fudge. Just split your fudge into equal amounts in bowls, colour with food colouring. Then spoon into a mould or tin, smoothing each layer in turn. You can leave the first layer to set for a little before adding the next, but if you’re gentle and the mould in’t too large, you should still be able to create even layers.

slices of mint oreo fudge

How to make slow cooker fudge

Using your slow cooker you use the same base ingredients but more chocolate. So 500g milk chocolate or 600g white chocolate with 1 tin of condensed milk. 

Put the chocolate and condensed milk in the slow cooker on high with the lid off until the chocolate has melted, then turn down to low. Every 15 minutes beat the mix vigorously, until there is a crust on top. Beat again, and repeat every 15 minutes until there’s a second dry crust on top.  It will take around 1-1 1/2 hours in total. When you beat the fudge, it should now have lost its shine, and have thickened.  Spoon into the lined tin and refrigerate for 3-4 hours until set.

Similarly to microwave fudge, you’re better off with cheaper chocolate. Make sure you beat the mix hard, especially if it looks a bit wet.  If your fudge looks a bit grainy, add a tiny amount of water, beat hard again and it should bring it back to the thickened and smooth state.

If all else fails, and your fudge doesn’t set, use it as a thick sauce for puddings, ice cream or dipping fruit into.

My easy microwave fudge recipes

All of these recipes are great to give as gifts or just as a treat for your family.

Let me know how you get on.  Which is your favourite flavour?

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