OK, so I'm trying to make fudge. The recipe which I'm following doesn't give all that much in the way of directions. So I'd like clarification of a few points, so I know what I'm aiming for.
Am I right in thinking that the objective is to heat the mixture as slowly as possible, and then cool it down again as slowly as possible?
Some sources seem to claim that you want to stir the mixture until everything disolves, and then stop stiring it and just let it boil. Is that correct?
The plan appears to be to heat the stuff until it hits the magic temperature of 115°C or 116°C (depending who you ask), and then stop heating it and let it cool down again. (?)
How crucial is it that it's exactly 116°C? I mean, obviously if it was way hotter or colder, that would be bad. But what kind of tolerance are we looking at? Is 2° either way going to matter, for example?
The recipe talks about letting the mixture cool for a while, and then stiring it "until the gloss finish disappears". Is it crucial exactly when you do this? Does it have to cool to a specific temperature or something? (I've seen recipies that seem to suggest constant stiring all the way through, and others that say to only stir once cool...)
In the past, I've bought fudge and left it unwrapped, and it dries out and becomes inedible. How do you stop this happening while you're waiting for your freshly cooked fudge to cool down? Should it not be a problem?
Flavourings should be added at the end. (?) Should it be while the mixture is still hot, or once it cools down a little? (Currently I'm using vanilla essence, but obviously I'd like to try some other things - if I ever get the fudge itself to work...)
I guess that's quite a lot of points for just one question, but I think it shouldn't be too hard to answer them all in a fairly short answer.