Sweet stuff generally doesn’t get forgotten about in the back of a cabinet. We have a tendency to devour it as soon as it gets in the door. The same is mostly true for fudge too. When we buy some at the store, the bag is normally demolished within a few days, tops! But, what if you have made two full trays of the stuff at home? How long will that keep? Well, the good news is that you won’t have to gorge on it all straight away. It can be kept for later. In fact, it might just come as a surprise just how long it can last.
Does Fudge Go Bad?
All good things must come to an end, or so they say. Your fudge will only really last as long as the shortest living ingredient will. In a lot of cases, that will be a nut of some sort. Still, this won’t exactly happen in the course of only a few days. If you store your fudge correctly, it will last you a very long time. In fact, in some cases, it won’t even really go bad. Instead, it might just lose some of its flavor instead. We explain how to store your fudge and how long it will keep, below.
How Do I Store Fudge?
Fudge is actually quite easy to store, and it can be done in a few different ways. It really just depends on how long you need to keep it. We will go through each method so that you can choose the one that suits you best.
Short-term storage at room temperature
Fudge can actually keep pretty well at room temperature if the right approach is taken. The only real consideration is keeping it away from the elements. Fudge, like most foods, doesn’t like too much air, heat, or moisture. It also won’t survive very well if it is in direct sunlight. So, the worst thing you can do is to leave it on the countertop for people to pick away at. The fudge will eventually melt and become all sorts of distorted under these conditions. So, the best way to store it is in an airtight container. You can even stack it up if you put grease paper between the layers. After this, it can be tucked away in the pantry or a kitchen cabinet. Just make sure that the kitchen cabinet is away from the cooker.
Should You Refrigerate Fudge?
The fridge is a great place to keep fudge. In hot climates, the pantry solution might not be the best idea, so this is a good remedy for that. It is also a good option if you happen to have a crazy amount of fudge. It just keeps longer at this temperature. So, even if you prefer it at room temperature, this is a better option for long-term storage. Some fudge manufacturers will specifically state that their fudge should be stored at room temperature. In this case, it is always best to heed that advice. Always check if your fudge can be stored in the fridge before doing so. If it can, the only thing you need to do is make sure that the moisture in the fridge can’t get into your fudge. Airtight containers and freezer bags are the way to go!
Can You Freeze Fudge?
If you need to keep your fudge for the longest possible time, freezing will be the best option for you. In fact, it works quite well! You might expect that the texture would change after freezing, but the change is barely noticeable. There is one thing to look out for though. The freezer can really damage your fudge if it isn’t protected properly. We usually put chunks of fudge into freezer bags and then put them into airtight containers. Wax paper is also a good stand-in for the freezer bag if you don’t happen to have any in the house. Getting the fridge ready for eating is no hassle at all. When you want to nibble on some, simply thaw it in the fridge for a few hours. It can then be sliced up into bite-sized portions.
How Long Does Fudge Last?
Fudge stored at room temperature
We mentioned earlier that fudge will only last as long as the first ingredient takes to go off. Fudge is generally made from just three ingredients; milk, sugar, and butter. Of these, the milk and butter will begin to go off first – especially at room temperature. But, this won’t happen as quickly as you would expect. The cooking process toughens up the ingredients quite a bit. So, depending on the recipe, your fudge could last anywhere form a week to two weeks. The shop-bought varieties are impossible to put a date on. Every company makes their fudge differently, with different amounts of preservatives. Really, the best thing to do is to follow the manufacturers’ advice.
Fudge stored in the fridge
Storing fudge in the fridge will buy you a considerable amount of time. So long as no moisture gets into the fudge, a homemade variety can last from anywhere from 3 to 4 weeks. Again, it is impossible to put a date on the store-bought varieties of fudge. There are just too many types of fudge out there, each with their own sell-by dates. Some brands may even state that you should never refrigerate their fudge. Always check first.
Fudge stored in the freezer
Freezing fudge is the best option when you simply have too much of it. You can freeze fudge in one big block or in convenient single portion servings. The only thing you need to remember is to always make sure it is double-wrapped before freezing. By doing this, it can last for upwards of 6 months. After this point, it will still be safe to eat, but it will have lost some flavor. The best thing to do is to label your fudge before you freeze it to avoid this situation. When thawing, thaw in the fridge and not at room temperature.
How Do I Make Fudge Last Longer?
No matter where you are storing your fudge, our tip for making it last longer will apply. The best way to keep fudge for a long time is by keeping it isolated from the elements. This means heat, air, sunlight, and moisture. Always wrap your fudge in wax paper and then store it in an airtight container. Apart from that, the only real trick is knowing the signs that your fudge may not be the best anymore. Luckily, that is precisely what the last section of this article is about!
Signs That Your Fudge May Have Gone Off
Though fudge is pretty resilient, it is inevitable that it will go off at some point. The dairy content just won’t survive the test of time. Luckily, it is pretty easy to tell when your fudge has gone off. Bad fudge will show the typical signs of spoilage. In the worst-case scenario, there will be discoloration and mold and a rotten dairy odor. However, fudge goes bad pretty slowly. There are more subtle signs. Sometimes it will become incredibly dry. Other times it will be damp to the touch. In both cases, the fudge might be safe, but it won’t be any good. It is best to throw it out. If you have had the fudge in your freezer for more than 6 months, it won’t show any signs of spoilage. But, it won’t be good either. Best to throw it out for quality purposes.