Three strikes on trying to reach the Soft Ball Stage!

by Michaela

Three strikes on trying to reach the Soft Ball Stage!

Sorry for the attempted dumb pun, but it's actually very accurate! I am trying to use the simple recipe for homemade milk chocolate on this website, but I've run into one huge problem! I can't reach the soft ball stage (234-240 degrees F)!

The ingredients that I have been trying to boil up to that stage are 3 cups of sugar, 3 cups of milk, and 5 Tbs of cocoa.

The directions were very short and direct and simply said to bring the mixture to a boil while stirring and until it reaches that stage. Here's my problem: I can't get the mixture above 220 degrees!!!!

When I said three strikes, that was literal! I have tried three times, trying to heat it up slower or faster or any way it took to get the heat up, but even after standing at my stove stirring for nearly an hour I could not get the temperature up.

The other part of the problem is that because I can't get it up to soft ball stage, I can't get the chocolate to set. My last batch actually got to a frosting-like consistency instead of watery like the first two batches, but I couldn't exactly give my boyfriend that for Valentines Day. =(

Can anyone help?

Hi Michaela,

I loved the pun, but I'm very sorry you are having such difficulty with your candy making.

To be honest, so many people have had trouble with that recipe that I'm tempted just to take it off the site!

That basic chocolate recipe isn't meant to create a chocolate bar type of candy, but it IS supposed to set so that you don't end up with syrup or frosting. ;)

I don't use the basic chocolate recipe myself. I tend to use chocolate bars, chips, or melts if I'm making something dipped in chocolate or that calls for melted chocolate.

For a homemade treat, I opt for chocolate fudge. There are some excellent fudge and truffle recipes that are much more reliable.

I know that it's no small comfort for you after you've gone through three strikes on trying to reach the soft ball stage, but maybe you can try something different to dazzle your boyfriend with.

Just don't give up on your candy making. It's too wonderfully yummy when you get the hang of it.


Comments for Three strikes on trying to reach the Soft Ball Stage!

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Feb 17, 2010
My Favorite Fudge Recipes
by: Angie

Hi Michaela,

Glad to help! I have a couple of fudge favorites, but one of the easiest that I've found for beginners is what is commonly called Fantasy Fudge.

You can make it on the stove or in the microwave. I don't usually like using the microwave for food prep because I don't like the radiation, but I admit that when it comes to making this fudge I almost always do. It's just too easy. And let's face it, fudge doesn't really fall into the "healthy" category anyway, so it's not like the microwave is destroying any healthy benefits. Grin!

Here are the links to that particular recipe, both ways...

Fantasy Fudge - microwave recipe
Fantasy Fudge - stove top recipe

Enjoy! And let me know how your fudge turns out. In fact, I think I'll whip up a batch this week myself! :)

Feb 16, 2010
Thank you so much!! =]
by: Michaela

Firstly, I think it is so cool that you personally answer people's questions, that is so wonderful of you!! =]

I will definitely go with fudge then =] I love making candy so i definitely won't give up!! No worries there! I'll browse the fudge recipes but if you have a personal favorite then i'd love to hear it! Thanks so much for answering my question!!

Michaela =D

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