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Fudge stays good at room temperature and doesn’t need refrigeration. Unless your kitchen is as hot as the tropics, you can keep fudge out on the counter.
Keep fudge wrapped in plastic, in a Ziploc bag, or an airtight container. Fudge needs to be protected from moisture, air, and any possible contaminants like fruit flies or foods that have spilled on the counter.
Fudge stored at room temperature should be kept away from light and heat. In other words, keep it far from the stove and sunlight, and in a cool, dark corner of the kitchen.
Plastic containers with lids that snap tightly shut are ideal for keeping fudge in. It will stay fresh for two weeks at room temperature.
Kept too long in plastic, though, your fudge may get mushy. If it becomes a little soft and too moist, take it out of the container and leave it out a few hours to firm up again.
It’s fine to chill fudge in the fridge if you prefer to eat it cold. Just keep it in an air-tight container, to prevent it from drying out in the fridge.
Another danger is that refrigerated fudge may absorb flavors from other foods stored there. Wrap it well and keep it in an air-tight container to prevent off-flavors in your fudge.
For longer-term storage, you can freeze fudge. Wrap it first in freezer wrap, then in foil or plastic wrap, and put the whole thing in a zip lock freezer bag.
Before freezing fudge, make sure it’s completely cool. Icing should be completely dry too.
You may freeze the fudge before slicing it, as one whole block. This is optimal, as it dries out faster when sliced.
Still, it might be convenient to slice it, wrap the slices individually, then freeze them all in a freezer bag. Place sheets of wax paper between layers to keep the slices from sticking together.
The advantage of freezing slices is that you can take out one or more slices, as needed to thaw out.
If you bought fudge and brought it home in a box, remove it from the box before freezing it. The fudge may absorb the taste and smell of the cardboard.
The freezer’s door shelves are warmer than the deep inside of the freezer, so don’t store fudge in them.
You got busy and made several flavors of fudge. Store each kind in a separate freezer container for best results.
Label the container(s) with the name of the fudge and the date. You’ll be happy you did.
How to thaw out frozen fudge
Keep the wrapping on the fudge and let it thaw in the refrigerator. Any condensation forming will stay on the wrapper, leaving the fudge fresh.
Let the thawed fudge sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before eating.
Some people simply take it out of the freezer, unwrap it and let it thaw out on the kitchen counter.
That’s not the safest way. It should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator.
Expect a slight change in the texture and flavor of the fudge that was frozen. Once thawed out, the fudge should be eaten within a week.
Thawed-out fudge should not be refrozen. Keep it in the refrigerator.
Can fudge go bad?
Fudge has a high sugar content, which you’d think would preserve it for a very long time. It also has a high-fat content, and that’s what can cause the fudge to spoil eventually.
Homemade and commercially bought fudge kept in an airtight container at room temperature should keep 1-2 weeks.
You can make it last longer by refrigerating it. Chilled fudge will keep for 2-3 weeks.
Frozen fudge will stay good up to 3 months, assuming it’s wrapped tightly and stored in an airtight container.
Signs fudge has gone bad
You can tell that fudge was exposed to the air for too long when the surface cracks and looks dry. A little crumbling doesn’t mean it’s gone bad, just deep cracks.
When the fudge has gone very soft, especially if there’s anything slimy about it, toss it out. It’s been exposed to moisture for too long and has gone bad.
Hard fudge that shows an oily shine on the surface has gone bad. Throw it out.
If a little moisture forms on the surface of thawed-out fudge, it’s still fine. Pools of liquid or anything that looks slimy are not fine and the fudge should be thrown out.
Help! Failed fudge!
Let’s say your fudge is never set. Can you put it in the freezer to make it harden?
No, freezing a messy fudge won’t set it. But there are some tricks you can try to coax it into shape.
Beat powdered sugar into the soft fudge – beat it really well. When the fudge starts firming up, slow down and add more powdered sugar by tablespoons.
Too much-powdered sugar added to soft fudge will make it dry out and crumble.
Another way to rework failed fudge is to reheat it. Add some evaporated milk or water mixed with a little cornstarch, and continue beating, even after it cools.
If nothing works, get creative. Don’t let your delicious, chocolatey stuff go to waste.
You can roll spoonfuls of the mass in cocoa powder to make truffles. Or make luxurious chocolate bark.
To make chocolate bark, beat in the chopped candied peel, chopped walnuts or pistachios, raisins, sunflower seeds, dried fruit chopped fine (apricots are especially special), or whatever you have on hand.
Spread the mass onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. It may harden into a stiff layer by itself, or it may need encouragement to harden in the fridge.
Either way, crack the bark into large pieces and set them on a shallow dish. The pieces of dried fruit, etc. look pretty in the bark, and the taste is delicious.
Nothing is wasted, and you have an unusual sweet that everyone will love. No need to tell anyone it came out of a failed fudge!