I tried making a batch of fudge last week, suign a recipe given by a friend, it seems to be a fairly standard recipe perusing the net.
It looks terrible, but tastes great, albeit nearer to tablet than fudge.
Reading various recipes and methods, if you stir after 116 degrees, the fudge will be grainier. Some recipes state stir, some don't. I guess that part comes down to taste preference?
A number of recipes advise you don't don't pour/beat until the fudge is 110F. I left mine to cool until it was considerably warmer than 110F. and it was solid in the pan. The only thing that would have beaten that fudge was a drill.
The children loved getting it out of the pan, but it was an aesthetic disaster.
Am I missing something? The only explanation I can come up with is they mean 110C not 110F, but it's not just one recipe that advises it.
I know it doesn't really matter, but I am curious now.
For the technicalities you need the Time Life Confectionery book. It's out of print, but Amazon have loads of copies.
It all depends on the temperature of the mixture when you start beating. From memory, could be wrong, if you start beating straight away after you take the pan off the heat, you get grainy fudge, but if you let it cool to a certain temperature and then start beating, you get creamy fudge.
Bit covered in flour at the moment, but will have a look later.
For a firm fudge, the syrup should be beaten just after cooking: beaten while hot the syrup forms large crystals, which produce a coarse granular consistency.
For a smoother creamy fudge, as soon as the soft ball stage is reached, dip the base of the pan in cold water to stop the syrup cooking further and allow to cool to 50°C. Then beat the syrup until it thickens before turning into the tin.
Confectionery - Time Life Books
Has loads of recipes and a section all about technique. Am yet to master tempering chocolate. Still, can't complain as I get to eat the failures.