Great fudge is soft and, paradoxically, crumbles in the mouth but not on the plate. As well as smelling and tasting absolutely delicious, outstanding fudge should also look the part.
Cut into small squares of oblongs, its edges should be sharp, and each piece should look like it’s complete, rather than look like a rodent got to it first.
How to Cut Fudge So It Doesn’t Crumble
Properly cooked fudge isn’t crumbly on the plate and won’t crumble when cut. To ensure that fudge won’t crumble is a three-step process. First, cook it properly in a well-protected pan, using the correct proportions of ingredients. Second, don’t try to cut your fudge until you’ve let it cool to room temperature. Third, use the right tool–a sharp knife, wire, pizza wheel, or dough scraper–to cleanly cut the fudge into squares or rectangles.
Think Ahead–Prepare Fudge Properly to Aid In Cutting
Use the type of pan the recipe calls for.
If you’re flying by the seat of your pants and making fudge flying solo, use a pan that’s eight- or nine-inch square because, depending on the amount of fudge you intend to make, you don’t want to produce a brick that is more than one inch thick.
(The thicker the fudge, the more prone to problems that lead to harder-to-cut-cleanly fudge)
If you would like to try my advice, ignore instructions in recipes that say for you to grease your pan.
Really, this introduces unnecessary fats, and since the sole aim of greasing the pan is to aid in the removal of the fudge after it sets, surely it makes more sense to simply line the pan with parchment paper?
All you have to do if you use parchment paper is to trim it to leave a uniform half-inch overlap. Because your fudge will sit on the parchment paper, it will tip easily onto the cutting board.
At the same time, since you have trimmed the edges of paper and provided an overlap, you will be able to easily lift the whole piece of paper from the brick of fudge without introducing structural stresses, which could adversely affect the delicate confection at this critical moment.
Cooling the Fudge
If you try and cut hot fudge, you’ll “learn you some lessons” the hard way, as my dear mother used to say. Hot fudge doesn’t like to be messed with.
Some recipe writers tell you to put your fudge into a fridge immediately. I can never tell if these people are just trolling or have fridges dedicated to nothing else but the occasional cooling of fudge, but absolutely all fridge manufacturers ask you to never put hot dishes straight into the fridge.
Refrigeration isn’t some sort of Hogwarts magical device, and there are strict parameters bounding their operation.
If you place hot fudge in your fridge, you could warm up your refrigerator long enough to kickstart the growth of salmonella and other dreadful bacteria in other nearby foods.
In short, please don’t put anything hot into your fridge. Always let foods cool down naturally first, then refrigerate them.
In most cases, an hour or two will be sufficient to bring the temperature of the freshly cooked food to an acceptable level.
Anyhoo, hot (or even warm) fudge is soft and somewhat gooey (or at least, it should be smooth and somewhat gooey.
If it is hard and crumbly, I’d say you’ve got a boatload of other issues to attend to, pal) and cutting it will be a fraught affair of sticky cutting tools and bendy fudge that gives instead of cleaves asunder. You’ll just end up wishing you hadn’t, is all I’m saying.
Cut the Fudge
Once you’ve let the fudge cool to room temperature, remove it from the pan using the overlaps of parchment paper as I described earlier. Place the brick of fudge on a suitable slab or cutting board.
Mark out the squares or rectangles by scoring the fudge with dental floss (but please ensure you’re using a non-flavored variety of dental floss; nobody wants peppermint mouthwash-flavored fudge, I imagine).
Aim to score blocks that are an inch or an inch-and-a-half square, or even rectangular, if you used an oblong-shaped pan.
The point is to have decent-sized chunks of fudge that are neither too exuberant nor too mealy-mouthed and miserly. After scoring the brick, get ready to cut!
In the end, what tool you use to cut your fudge load depends on the brick’s size and the ingredients used. The thicker and bigger the brick, the sturdier the tool you will be forced to employ.
The same is true if you used nuts or other hard foods. However, nuts will interfere big time with most cutting implements if the instrument has to cut across them.
1. A Sharp Knife
In the main, look to use your thinnest, sharpest knife. Before cutting, first, warm the knife by running its blade in hot water, but dry it thoroughly before you commence cutting.
If you get a brainstorm and think, “Ooh, I’ll dispense with the hot water and just use an open flame instead,” don’t. I did this, and the result was burnt and crackled fudge where the hot knife went in.
2. A Thin Wire
Thin wires that are perfect for garrotting humans are also pretty handy for cutting fudge. I don’t know how you’d know what size wires would be perfect for murder, but I suppose you have your er, legitimate reasons.
Anyhoo, for the rest of us, think thin piano wire, which should do the trick. You’ll need hand and wrist strength to keep the wire well tensioned because if you don’t, it won’t cut properly, and you’ll end up with a mess on your hands.
3. A Pizza Wheel
As long as your brick is only about three-quarters of an inch thick, you could opt to use a pizza wheel. I really don’t like this method because the wheel tends to pick up sticky fudge and spread it around unappetizingly.
Supposedly, you’re meant to spray the wheel with vegetable (or non-stick cooking) oil before you start cutting, but who wants dollops of fresh vegetable oil on their fudge, dagnabbit?
4. A Metallic Dough Scraper
A metallic dough scraper is my actual real-life go-to cutting tool. I love the darn thing because it makes life so much easier.
Hold it steady and cut vertically across the scored lines for a perfectly straight edge by gently rocking the scraper back and forth, then turn the cutting board by 90° and repeat for the horizontal cuts, and voila! Perfectly cut cubes of delicious fudge and no fudging with dicey tools.
Three Tips and Tricks for Making the Perfect Fudge
- Ensure your fudge cooks hot enough before you pour it, otherwise, it will turn out super sticky. If you want objective feedback, use a candy thermometer to check that the fudge reaches a temperature of between 235°F and 240°F.
- Beating the bejeezus out of fudge can be excellent for working off some micro aggressions, and it’s indispensable for getting creamy, smooth fudge. However, if you beat fudge when it’s hot, it won’t forgive you, and you’ll end up with a crumbly disaster. Don’t beat up your fudge until it is off the heat and its temperature has dropped to just over 110°F or thereabouts.
Afterword: How to Cut Fudge So it Doesn’t Crumble
Crumbly fudge will crumble, and trying to figure out a way to cut crumbly fudge so that it doesn’t crumble is like figuring out a way to mow a lawn by cutting the grass. In short, it’s an exercise in futility.
Frequently Asked Questions to How to Cut Fudge So It Doesn’t Crumble
What is The Best Tool to Cut Fudge so It Doesn’t Crumble?
To ensure fudge that’s cut cleanly and neatly, you can use either a sharp knife, a thin wire, a pizza wheel or a metallic dough scraper. Using the right tools will help prevent crumbling.
When Should I Cut My Fudge?
Make sure to allow your fudge to cool down to room temperature prior to cutting. Doing this will ensure that it will be easier to cut, and thus will be cut neatly.
Can I Put Fudge In the Fridge Straight from the Oven?
It is not a good idea to put just-baked and still-hot fudge inside the fridge. Placing hot things inside the refrigerator lowers the internal temperature of the fridge which may compromise the other food you have stored inside, and may compromise the appliance itself.