17 December 2013

Eggnog? What the fudge?

Sure, fudge can be for any time of year, but eggnog fudge is seasonal... and 'tis the season.
Eggnog fudge is a versatile treat: stocking stuffer, thoughtful hand-crafted gift, perfect snack for outdoor winter activity.  Go ahead and suggest a potluck hiking or snowshoeing snack with your friends or family over the holidays, just so you can win with this fudge.  Potluck is a competitive sport, right?

Eggnog Fudge

500 ml eggnog
100 ml whipping cream
200 g butter
700 g granulated sugar
2 tbsp rum
freshly grated nutmeg to garnish

Line a square baking pan with parchment paper.

Combine eggnog, cream, butter and sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Heat slowly, stirring frequently until all the sugar is dissolved and the butter is melted.  Raise heat to med-high and bring to a boil.

Boil, stirring constantly, until it reaches the soft ball stage.  We stick to the cold water method (syrup dropped into cold water forms a ball that flattens out, but does not run, when you remove it from the water).  If you have a candy thermometer and you're confident in both the thermometer and your ability to use it, feel free to rely on it.  Either way, the boiling will take 15-25 minutes at sea-level depending on the size saucepan you are using (longer for smaller surface area).  

Remove from heat, quickly stir in the rum, then let cool for 5 minutes.  Stir until no longer glossy, pour into prepared pan.  Sprinkle nutmeg over the surface as a garnish and let cool completely before cutting.


This is an old-fashioned fudge recipe: no corn syrup; no marshmallow fluff; no condensed milk.  Is it absolutely fail proof?  No.  But it's the best fudge you'll every eat (in my biased opinion, anyway).  If you read "fail-proof" or "no fail" in the title of a fudge recipe, it's a lie, my friends.  Things can go wrong.

You use the wrong sized pot or a pot with too thin a base.  Your glass candy thermometer breaks and you can't find the missing glass.  Your metal candy thermometer isn't reliable.  Your fully-reliable probe thermometer is set in the froth rather than the liquid and accurately reads the wrong temperature.  Your cold water isn't cold enough.  Your cold water is too cold.  It's too humid. It's too dry.  You are distracted and miss the soft ball stage.  You are impatient and take it off the heat too early.  A cat gets into trouble exiting a reusable-shopping-bag-play-house and needs rescuing from the noisy laminated fabric chasing it around so you stop stirring just long enough for it to burn.  You're dehydrated from the heat in your kitchen while you try to cook eight million treats for the holidays and your judgement is compromised.

First, don't panic.  We all have to throw a batch of candy out at one point or another.

Second, don't panic.  I have made this fudge a LOT.   It only failed very rarely and always due to, uh, well, user error (that is, when I think I know better than my own recipe).  Follow the recipe, and it will work. 

Third, don't panic.  Perfect fudge is excellent for stuffing in stockings and gifting to neighbours (or teachers or colleagues).  The slightly imperfect fudge, in the rare event it happens, is something you get to keep for yourself.


  1. ohh, dh makes homemade eggnog for the holidays, I'm going to filch some and try this, can I safely halve this?

    1. probably, but why would you? surely he can make more eggnog :p (seriously though, why not half?)

    2. I've been giving this a bit more thought... I think as long as you don't use too big a saucepan, it will be fine.

    3. ok I managed to make off with 500 ml of eggnog and tried it. I used a candy thermometer and the soft ball doomahickey. I got some burned bits and when I added the rum it exploded a little. I'm not sure how hard it's supposed to be, mine has the consistency of a soft caramel - I can cut it, but it's a bit soft. The taste has a bit of graininess also. That's probably because using the metric system to measure food is too unreliable. Or maybe I didn't cook it long enough (I'm sure it's not that though).
      Either way it is delicious, I'll try it again when I can steal some more nog.

    4. oh, yes, it reacts rather strongly to the rum and I think if you're standing too close you'll get rather tipsy suddenly... I don't trust candy thermometers (metric or otherwise). I err on the firmer side of soft (but not firm-ball stage). I've had a soft grainy batch before, and I'm sure it was because I was too impatient for it. I like my fudge a bit grainy, but this one shouldn't be overly so. ~ caribougrrl

  2. Sure, fudge can be for any time of year, but eggnog fudge is ... mooseglasses.blogspot.com

  3. I tried again this year. Is there any way to save a soft mushy (albeit delicious) mound of fudge? I'm asking for a friend.

    1. I don't understand what's going wrong, I really never have much trouble with the recipe. I'm probably to late seeing this, but maybe some more butter and cream would turn it into a decent eggnog fudge sauce...

    2. It's me, I didn't cook it long enough, I put it back in and it worked. I got some more fresh nog, I'll be making another batch.


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