Fudge is one confection that should look homemade, straight from your great-grandmother's kitchen. So, unless you're selling your fudge commercially, don't worry about each slice looking exactly like the others. Dieters want a "small piece" while a growing teen may inhale the biggest hunk of fudge. What you do want is for your hard work to look as enticing as it smells and tastes, so neat, sharp edges are important.
Prepare the fudge in the type of pan called for in the recipe. If you're making it without instructions, choose an 8- or 9-inch square pan, depending on the quantity you're making, so your fudge will be no more than 1 inch thick. Instead of using a 9- by 13-inch oblong pan for a large batch, use two 8-inch pans. Recipes often call for greasing the pan, but you'll have better results if you use parchment paper. Neatly cut the paper to fit the bottom and sides of the pan before you start cooking the fudge. Leave a 1-inch overlap. If you don't have parchment paper, use wax paper, placing one sheet sideways and one sheet lengthwise.
Once the fudge is made and poured into the pan, it needs to cool thoroughly before you try to cut it. Unless the recipe calls for placing the fudge immediately in the refrigerator, place it uncovered in a cool, dry area of the kitchen for two hours. Cooling the fudge is necessary before cutting because warm fudge is too soft and your end product will look messy.
Carefully remove the fudge by tugging the overlapped paper and placing the fudge on a large butcher block or similar cutting surface. To create the neatest cut lines, score your fudge with clean, unflavored dental floss first. Aim for pieces that are 1 to 1-1/2 inches square, but perfection isn't necessary. Cut all the slices in one direction, then make the perpendicular cuts. If your fudge doesn't include nuts or other hard pieces, you can use a disposable plastic knife for cutting. Or, use your thinnest knife after running hot water over the blade. A pizza wheel sprayed with nonstick cooking oil works for fudge up to 3/4 inch thick.
Place the cut pieces of fudge on small plates or slightly flattened paper cupcake liners if you're serving them within the next few hours. If you'll be storing the fudge, wrap the pieces individually in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight, covered container. Refrigerate or store in a cool spot, depending on your recipe.
Substitutions for fudge-cutting tools and methods work if you're out of certain items. If you don't have parchment or wax paper, use aluminum foil. Place it neatly into the pan and spray with nonstick cooking oil. If your fudge is too soft to cut properly after two hours, chill it in the refrigerator for an hour and test it. And, if you make fudge often, buy a metal dough scraper. The scrapers make quick, neat, professional cuts when you rock them back and forth across the fudge.
- 12,167 Kitchen and Cooking Secrets; Susan Sampson
- recipetips.com: Chill Fudge For Easier Cutting
J. Lucy Boyd, RN, BSN has written several nonfiction books including "The Complete Guide to Healthy Cooking and Nutrition for College Students." She is frequently called upon to provide career guidance to medical professionals and advice to parents of children with challenges. She also loves teaching others to cook for their families.