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OMG--the first batch was an unmitigated disaster! I waited and waited for the candy thermometer to reach the soft ball stage. Boiled and boiled. It didn't even come close. I tried turning up the heat... well....THAT didn't work----not only did it fail in getting the thermometer to budge. it ended up burning the bottom of the batch. I had given up on waiting for the temperature to reach the correct line on the candy thermometer and decided to go ahead and add the marshmallow, white chocolate (I was using the pricier Ghiradelli, not Nestle) and the walnuts. Thankfully before I added the rest, I noticed the little dark brown pieces of burnt sugar just as I was stirring in the marshmallows (I didn't have enough creme so I was using the regular marshmallows). Despite the apparently overcooked sugar mixture, the marshmallows weren't even melting after I added them.

So....I dumped the entire batch (what a waste of sugar and butter) headed off to the store for more evaporated milk and the marshmallow fluff I didn't have when making the first batch (the full jar I thought I had in the kitchen was really a 90% empty jar) and tried again. I decided to ignore the candy thermometer and to use a thicker pot. Well I haven't tried it yet (it's going to the relatives with me on Thursday) but everything seemed to go much better.

I looked up the Marshmallow Fluff site for their fudge recipes after this disaster was now just a bad memory, and noticed this is the FAQ section:

Should I use a candy thermometer to test for the "soft ball stage" when cooking fudge ?

No. Candy thermometers are unreliable for determining the softball stage when cooking fudge.

Yep--learned that lesson the hard way!

Just warning you folks....forget the candy thermometer if you're making this or any other fudge recipe!
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