Do you love milk candies? Then, the melt-in-your-mouth fudge must be one of your favorites! Whether you make it at home or stock on store-bought ones, this chocolate delight is the mid-night snack that you just can’t put down. But is fudge gluten free and safe for celiac patients?
The ingredients in fudge do not have gluten. So it is naturally gluten free. But store-bought fudge may have gluten-rich additives, especially the flavored ones, and run the risk of cross-contamination in the facilities.
However, besides questions regarding its gluten status, fudge raises a whole lot of other queries in mind. Is it a type of chocolate? Are there flavored fudges that are healthy? Let’s find the answers to these questions!
Table of Contents
Is Fudge Gluten Free?
The inviting richness of fudge may make you a glutton. But if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, you must ask yourself – is fudge gluten free? The basic fudge has three ingredients – sugar, butter, and milk. None of these contain gluten. So, fudge is a naturally gluten free candy.
However, there are a few factors that you must consider. When it comes to store-bought fudge, there’s a chance that the item contains additives like flavors, texturizing agents, preservatives, etc. These might be the source of hidden processed gluten content in your favorite fudge.
Cross-contamination is also a possibility. The ingredients might come in contact with gluten ingredients at the facilities during the processing, making, or storage. This can happen anywhere – in your own kitchen, a local confectionary, or the units of any well-known company.
Are the Popular Flavors of Fudge Gluten Free?
The most popular flavor of fudge is chocolate. There are many varieties of chocolate fudge, from Rocky Roads to Pure Chocolate. Since chocolate is a gluten free item, it cannot act as a source of gluten to any fudge variety. So plain chocolate fudge should be naturally gluten free.
Other varieties of fudge that should be naturally gluten free include peanut butter, nuts, raising, etc. However, in the case of different types of these fudge varieties, other ingredients in the candy might be questionable. There might be flavor enhancers and thickeners in these items.
You need to be particularly careful about flavored fudge types like strawberry, red velvet, vanilla, etc. The flavoring agents used in the sweet may contain gluten. So check the ingredients list or talk to the manufacturer to know what ingredients they use and if they guarantee a gluten free status.
Steer clear of fudge varieties infused with cookies. Since cookies contain wheat, fudges like cookies and cream also contain wheat, i.e., gluten. You also need to be careful about maple-flavored fudge as the recipe may not always have pure maple syrup but flavored syrup with gluten.
Also Read:- Is Trix Gluten Free?
What is Fudge?
Fudge is a candy with a soft texture that everyone loves. Its creamy texture, delicious richness, and sweet yumminess come from its ingredients – sugar, milk, and butter. It is made by dissolving sugar in milk and butter. The process of making fudge can be quite complicated.
This is because fudge-making involves lots of ups and downs in temperature. To dissolve the ingredients, they are heated to a temperature of 234-240 F. Then, as the temperature drops to 110 F, the mixture needs stirring. This gives a creamy fudge instead of a grainy one with large sugar crystals.
Butter, too, contributes to the smoothness of fudge without grains. Sometimes, other ingredients are also added to fudge to give it a silky texture- like corn syrup, marshmallow creme, or condensed milk. So, it ends up having a marshmallowy texture rather than a hard candy bar-like item.
The most common flavor of fudge is chocolate. Most fudge varieties contain some form of chocolate – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate. Chocolate fudge is so popular that many people tend to think that fudge is a type of chocolate – which, of course, is an erroneous idea.
There are many other flavors of fudge that you’ll commonly find. These include peanut butter, strawberry, marshmallow, crumbled cookies, nuts, raisins, etc. But chocolate in fudge is so well-loved that even some of the other flavor variants of fudge sometimes have chocolate in them.
A lot of people make fudge at home. That’s because even though you need to understand how sugar responds to fat and temperature, you only need a few ingredients. Plus, you don’t have to use special tools. It is also easy to find in local confectionaries and bakeries. You can even buy packaged fudge.
Did you know that fudge is an American candy that originated in the late 19th century? It became a household dessert because commercially made fudge often came with recipes. Plus, it was extremely pocket-friendly and was an easy choice when it came to an alternative for fancy candies.
How to Check if Fudge is Gluten Free
The easiest method of ensuring that store-bought fudge is gluten free is by looking for the “Gluten Free” label. The label suggests that the product and its facilities have been tested thoroughly and found to contain less than 20 ppm of gluten, making it safe for celiac or gluten intolerant people.
If it is not certified, find out about the brand’s statement regarding the product. Do they guarantee naturally gluten free ingredients and safe and clean facilities where other gluten products are not prepared? Many brands do not prefer to go into the hassle of getting tested.
That doesn’t mean they are not safe for you. Many brands make it a point to mention gluten ingredients clearly in the ingredients list. So check the label properly. On the other hand, many brands also state clearly that they do not guarantee gluten free products, ingredients, or facilities.
Avoid such brands, especially if you are severely allergic. While you can try naturally gluten free products in small amounts to observe your body’s reactions, this is not recommended if you are critically intolerant. It is always a good option to make fudge at home in a clean environment.
Make sure that you do not double-dip, i.e., use the same utensils that you use for preparing gluten-based food items. Also, store your gluten free fudge in clean containers. When you order fudge from local stores or restaurants, find out about the measures they take to make the candy safe.
Gluten Free Fudge Alternatives and Brands
It may not always be easy to trust the commonly available fudge options on the market to be gluten free due to the presence of additives or trace gluten added by cross-contamination. However, all hope is not lost! You’ll find quite a few reliable options. These include the following:
Are you a chocolate and candy fanatic? Then, you can choose from various brands that offer gluten free confectionery. While there are a few certified brands, other reliable companies produce naturally gluten free products that should be safe – and mention gluten content separately.
Ferrero, Ferrara Candy, Hershey’s, Justin’s Nut Butters, etc., have products that they consider gluten free. Then there are brands like Dove Chocolate, Enjoy Life, etc. You can also choose chocolate bars from Alter Eco and Endangered Species Chocolate, both certified gluten free brands.
Gluten Free Fudge Recipe
For most people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, preparing food at home is often the safest option. You can do the same with fudge. Thankfully, you can easily make some gluten free fudge at home! We have a recipe that you will love – and your favorite candy will be ready in no time!
- Condensed milk – 1 can (397 g)
- Demerara sugar – 450 g
- Butter – 115 g
- Take a large non-stick pan. Put the three ingredients into it.
- Turn the heat on to Low and start stirring the ingredients gently.
- Once the sugar dissolves, bring the mixture to a boil.
- Let it simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Keep stirring to scrape the pan’s bottom.
- Take a small amount of the mixture and drop it in a bowl of ice-cold water.
- If you see a soft ball forming, your fudge is ready. If you don’t, stir for a little longer.
- If you have a sugar thermometer, use it to check if the mix has reached 118 C.
- Once ready, remove the mixture from the heat and give it a beat to make it thick.
- Once it starts to set after about 10 minutes, pour it on an oiled baking sheet.
- Leave it to cool. Once it sets, cut it into fudge squares.
Is fudge gluten free? Fudge produced by non-certified companies or local confectioners might contain gluten. So it’s crucial that you always double-check before your sink into the delicious little cubes. If you can’t find certified varieties, you can always make gluten free fudge at home!