I have never made soft caramel, or fudge. In fact, I'm a bit scared to even try. You're dealing with melted sugar, which is extremely hot, and sticks to everything. In addition, the home-made caramel I've tried in the past is just not nearly as good as the one you can buy in any store for cheap. So why make it yourself?
Naturally, my mind set is different these days. I can answer the above question very easily. I'm trying to make things myself, because I honestly believe that nothing is good to the point where it cannot be improved. Even Toffifee.
By accident (or at least that's what she claims), my sister made caramel that she was satisfied with. She brought some over, and I have to agree. Not bad at all. It doesn't have that unnecessarily strong taste that home-made caramel has, and it was soft, yet not too sticky.
She says the recipe was: Brown sugar, butter (or margarine), low fat cream, maple syrup. And I'm probably forgetting something... But I'll try this myself in the near future, because this is excellent to use in confect.
I used to believe this was not possible to improve, but who knows?