|Pears Belle Helen Cake with this Chocolate Sauce on top|
Growing up I don't remember ever having the store-bough chocolate sauce or hot fudge. If we ever had that treat, drizzled over cake or ice-cream, it was always homemade. Now my kids have the same experience. I have never, and will never, buy the store bought chocolate sauce or hot fudge because it's just so easy and economical to make it at home - not to mention the fact that it tastes WAY better than anything you can buy at the store!
My grandma used to make this, and then my dad made it for me and my siblings. Now I make it for my family. I haven't changed it much. When I make it for ice-cream I do a double batch, because I like a little ice-cream with my hot fudge. Because of all the sugar in it, it stays good on the stove/counter for a couple days. You could refrigerat it, but then you would have to bring it back up to room temperature to make it pourable again. One batch is enough for most families. :)
The recipe is only 5 ingredients and only takes 5 minutes to make (6 or 7 if you want it thicker and chewier like hot fudge but just 5 minutes for the runny, drizzly, Hershey Syrup kind pictured above).
Here's what you need:
|sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, corn syrup, milk and *vanilla (not pictured)|
I've never in my life measured this recipe, but I tried to today, just for you. (Awww) Take 1/2 cup sugar and put it in a medium pot.
Add a wooden spoonful of cocoa powder (This is really personal taste. If you like more or less chocolate then add more or less cocoa powder.)
Just for you, I dumped my spoonful into a measuring cup. It looks to be about 3 Tbsp.
The salt is optional, but I think it makes the sauce have a more rounded flavor. Just a pinch - maybe 1/8 tsp if that.
Mix the dry ingredients until fully incorporated.
Add about 1 Tbsp of white corn syrup. (This wasn't in my grandma's or my dad's recipes. This is something that I learned from Alton Brown. If you introduce a new/different kind of sugar to the party, then the sauce won't be as likely to go sugary/grainy.)
Add 1/2 cup of milk, cream or whatever you have on hand.
Mix it together, being careful not to get it up on the sides of the pan. This will be the last time you stir it until it's almost done!
Put it on the stove and bring it to a boil.
When you see the bubbles start (like above) start timing. You will boil it for 4 minutes on medium-low heat.
It will bubble up a lot - that is why you need a medium pan instead of a small one. You don't want it to boil over. Watch it carefully. If it looks like it will boil over, take it off the heat and then put it back on a low heat.
After 4 minutes, it will have darkened slightly and bubbled back down a bit. Put in your wooden spoon and give it a jiggle. If the sauce jiggles like jell-o you're done. (If you want a thicker/chewier sauce then boil for 1 minute more, or until it reaches soft ball stage. If you boil it too far, then it will get hard when poured over cold things (like ice-cream). If when you go to drizzle it on your ice-cream and it turns hard, you can always add 1 -2 tsp of cream to the pan and it will soften back up for you.)
I never use a candy thermometer. I just drizzle some sauce over some ice/water. If it sticks together like this . . .
and sticks to your finger, but is still soft and slightly runny then it's done. (If you did boil it too long, and it is hard you can add just a touch of cream - when it's cool - and it will be fine.)
Fill your sink with a couple inches of ice water and put the pan in (move your faucet out of the way, you don't want any water dripping in your sauce.)
Now add about 1/2 - 1 tsp of vanilla. (I just pour it in.) It might bubble up a bit and that is o.k. When you stir it in, don't scrape the sides of the pan. This will cause your sauce to go sugary.
Cool to just warm or room temperature and you're done! How easy was that?
This is the sauce cooked to Hot Fudge consistency (5 minutes, instead of 4). Mmmm. Thick and chewy just like I like it!
Here's the recipe:
Chocolate Sauce - Hot Fudge
1/2 cup sugar
about 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
salt (less than 1/8 tsp)
1 Tbsp white corn syrup
1/2 cup milk
1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla
Combine sugar, cocoa and salt in a medium sauce pot until fully combined. Add the corn syrup and milk, stir until mixed being careful not to get it on the sides of the pan. Bring the sauce up to a boil and cook on medium low for 4 minutes. You should smell the chocolate. Put a spoon in the middle of the sauce, and shake it gently. If the sauce jiggles like Jell-o it's done. (When drizzled over ice/water the sauce should mostly stick together but still be soft and slightly runny. If you want a thicker/chewier hot fudge then cook for 1 minute more, or until it reaches soft-ball stage. When drizzled over ice/water it sticks together in a ball, but is still pliable, not hard at all.) Turn heat off and immediately put pan into ice water bath (2 inches of ice water in the bottom of your sink). Add the vanilla and stir slowly, being careful not to scrape the sides of the pan. When just barely warm, serve over cake or ice-cream.