I've made the Vanilla Fudge recipe twice, the first time it was absolutely perfect! Lovely crumbly melt in the mouth fudge just the way I like it. Second time not so great. It's definitely fudge but it' the creamy bendy kind, not at all crumbly, I'm so disappointed! I did everything the same as the first time, can anyone tell me why this batch didn't get that crumbly texture?
Nigella's recipe for Vanilla Fudge (on the Nigella website) is a fairly traditional fudge recipe and all fudges get their texture from the cooking process. Firstly the mixture must be boiled until it reaches soft ball stage (116c/240F) and it is easiest to use a sugar or candy thermometer for this. You can also drop a very small amount of the mixture into a glass of cold water to cool it quickly. If the mixture forms a ball that can be squeezed between your fingers then it is at soft ball stage. If your sugar thermometer is old then check its accuracy by dipping it into a saucepan of boiling water (it should read 100c/212F).
The mixture is then cooled slightly and beaten. This helps to give a more grainy texture as beating causes some of the sugar to form into small crystals again. If the fudge is not beaten then it will be smoother in texture, and it may be that the fudge was not beaten enough. The mixture should be thick and also the surface will turn matte (rather than looking shiny). If you are using an electric mixer this can take 5 minutes but can be a bit longer if you are beating by hand.