Hot Fudge Sauce
Rich, Decadent, Not Too Sweet
- Servings: Makes about 1 1/2 cups.
Chocolate sauces come in many forms, but for most of us,hot fudge remains the favorite. To me a perfect hot fudge sauce has a thick, almost-but-not-quite grainy surface that always retains some body, even if it's very hot. I also like one that is aggressively chocolate but not too sweet.
There are many recipes for chocolate sauces, some of which are as simple as melting chocolate chips into heavy cream. But I prefer an emulsion of cocoa, shards of unsweetened chocolate, corn syrup and sugar -- plus a spoonful of instant espresso to add complexity.
The classic combo with hot fudge sauce is vanilla ice cream but it's equally wonderful with other flavors (coffee or raspberry are excellent alternatives) or as a drizzle on fresh strawberries or a slice of store-bought or homemade pound cake.
This sauce can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated until you're ready to gently re-heat it which will also thin the sauce which thickens when chilled.
- 1/2 cup light cream
- 1 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso or instant coffee
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 4 ounces unsweetened (NOT bittersweet) chocolate (sometimes called baking chocolate)
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Add the instant espresso to the cream and stir until the coffee grains dissolve (it's okay if a few still float on the surface).
- Using a large knife, cut the pieces of chocolate into shards and small pieces.
- Cut the butter into 1/2-inch pieces.
- In a large (3 to 4 quart) heavy saucepan combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and coffee-infused cream. Place over a medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon until all the sugar dissolves. The mixture may appear as if the cream has curdled but it's fine and will soon all combine.
- Boil for 1 minute, continuing to stir the mixture. Watch this stage carefully because the mixture will become foamy and rise up in the pot.
- Remove from the heat. Add the pieces of chocolate and butter, plus the vanilla. Stir until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and the mixture has combined.
- Place the cocoa in a large, heatproof mixing bowl. Add a little of the hot chocolate mixture to the cocoa and stir until the cocoa has been incorporated. Add the remainder of the hot chocolate mixture and using a small whisk or wooden spoon, stir until the mixture gradually cools and becomes smooth and shiny.
- As the finished sauce cools it will thicken. Use the sauce immediately or hold it aside at either room temperature or refrigerated until ready to use. If the sauce thickens too much to pour, reheat carefully over a very low heat or else in a double-boiler. Resist re-heating in a microwave because you may end up cooking it more and then can turn the sauce grainy.
Use a large, 3 to 4 quart, saucepan because the mixture will foam and bubble up and you want to avoid the risk of having it overflow at the stove.
The sauce can be made in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.