The Real Difference Between Nutella, Fudge and Chocolate Candy
Posted: October 12, 2018
In case anyone is planning on giving us a chocolatey gift any time soon, let us be clear that we don't discriminate against cocoa in any form. But when it comes to chocolate candies, fudge and chocolate spreads, there are notable differences that some may prefer over others. In order to really step up your edible gift-giving game and raise your chocolate IQ, we're revealing the real differences between Nutella, fudge and chocolate candy.
Also, good news for our furry friends, while chocolate is always a no-go due to the compound theobromine found in cocoa, any fudge without cocoa (almost any other flavor) is totally fair game! Although we recommend sticking to pet food when feeding animals.
Now that you know the differences between the Nutella, chocolate candy and fudge, there's no reason not to dig into your favorite. We're here with endless supplies of all your favorite chocolate treats to make sure you never run out!
The Scoop on NutellaIt's not hard to identify Nutella's notable differences from the other two chocolate treats in this comparison (ie. it requires a utensil to eat), but not everyone is aware of what's really in the delicious spread. While manufacturers heavily focus on the three main ingredients as hazelnuts, cocoa and skim milk powder, there's a little more to Nutella than that, which you don't have to go farther than the container label to discover. Nutella is popularly marketed as a healthy breakfast item or snack, but it actually is composed of 55% sugar. This puts it very close in nutritional ranking to any chocolate candy on the market. But you won't find any artificial colors or preservatives that some chocolate candies sneak in for aesthetics and sustainability. What gives Nutella that smooth, spreadable texture is the presence of vegetable oil, specifically palm oil, which you won't find in the solidified textures of fudge or chocolate candy. But one commonality you will find is an emulsifier component, which eliminates the frictions of each of the solid ingredients found in all three. This allows for a better 'feeling' in your mouth. The actual ingredient is known as soy lecithin, which not only reduces viscosity, but also carefully prevents the separation of the ingredients while on the store shelves.
Chocolate Candy vs. FudgeThis one-on-one comparison is slightly more tricky than that of our spreadable friend Nutella. At first glance, and possibly first taste, chocolate and fudge are very similar. But in reality, chocolate candy and chocolate fudge are two very different desserts. While there are endless forms of chocolate candy, we most commonly categorize bars, chips and wafers as the main types. Unsweetened chocolate is usually best for baking as it melts well into other ingredients. But when it comes to indulging in a chocolate candy treat, sugar is key (regular chocolate boasting about 20x the amount in unsweetened). For candy-making, there are multiple chocolate options with varying percentages of cocoa that blend differently with other ingredients and textures. Dark chocolate, for example, has a higher percentage of cocoa than milk chocolate, creating a more intense taste. And when it comes to making fudge, these higher percentages are also more common to achieve its much bolder, robust flavor. This is just the start of the friendly differences between chocolate candy and fudge treats. Aside from the more profound flavor, the texture of fudge is very unique. While chocolate bars and discs easily snap when broken, fudge is much denser, allowing for malleability and softness. This is largely due to the high content of sweetened condensed milk. This texture also requires a slightly more scientific process with many traditional recipes involving the use of a candy thermometer. This helps the fudge maker achieve the exact temperatures needed to heat the sugar mixture to hold a ball-like shape which is then placed in cold water bath to solidify. If that was a lot to digest (pun intended), here's a helpful recap of their main differences:
|Texture||Smooth, hard, breakable, shell-like||Soft, dense, thick, sponge-like|
|Flavors||Dark, milk or white (due to varying amounts of cocoa)||Countless flavors, including chocolate or chocolate-free options|
|Ingredients||Milk, sugar, cocoa, cocoa butter||Condensed milk, sugar, butter, various flavorings (one of which is cocoa)|