Serendipity continues. Today I made a batch of Rocky Road ice cream, and I varied the method for processing the chocolate ingredients a bit from what is in the recipe in Food Nirvana. Specifically, I gradually added cream to the chocolate ingredients that were almost melted in a saucepan on very low heat, but I decided not to add the vanilla. In all, I added one cup of heavy cream to the chocolate ingredients, along with ¼ tsp. sea salt and I let it heat while I stirred so that all the chocolate would be well mixed.
When I removed the pan from the stove there was a small amount of steam rising from the top of the mixture, indicating that it was at a scalding temperature, likely around 180ºF. I put the pan into the freezer and returned to use the contents about 20 minutes later.
Everything was quite cold but not frozen. Actually, it was colder than I needed it to be but still workable when added to the sweet cream base for the ice cream. There was some of the cream and chocolate mixture left in the saucepan and I decided to taste it.
Lo, and Behold! I always wondered how to make a great hot fudge topping for a sundae that would rival/exceed the best of the commercial sauces. Now I know. Now you will know too. It was easy to beat even the best commercial sauces as they mostly use corn syrup (bad!) and often cheat on the amount of chocolate used, and they are stupidly expensive! Manufacturers and supermarkets typically cheat those too ignorant to grasp and to control the quality of their lives.
Ingredients: (makes about 1 1/2 cups)
8 blocks of Scharfenberger® 82% cacao dark chocolate (typically used for making chocolate candy) where each block is ½" x ¾" x 1 ½". The weight is 2 ounces.
¼ cup of Hersheys® chocolate syrup (the primary ingredient is corn syrup ... yuck!)
1/3 cup of Ghirardelli® Double Chocolate cocoa mix
¼ tsp. of salt
1 cup of heavy cream (or a bit more after cooking to get the consistency you want)
Chop the chocolate blocks into small pieces and put them into a small saucepan.
Add the chocolate syrup, the cocoa mix and the salt. Mix well.
Heat the mixture on low heat while stirring until the chocolate pieces are completely melted. Remove the pan from the heat multiple times during that process to keep the contents from boiling. Gradually add the cream to the mixture while stirring and while continuing to heat the mixture on low heat.
Stir continuously during the addition of the cream and afterwards until the mixture is completely uniform and starts to emit steam but not boil.
Remove the pan from the heat and allow the contents to cool to about 120ºF. Then, if necessary, adjust the thickness by adding and mixing in some additional cream, but don’t overdo it. Dispense the final product into a one pint canning jar. Put a canning jar sealing insert lid on top and seal it with a screw-on lid. Store the fudge sauce in the refrigerator and keep it there until you are ready to use it.
A minute or so in a microwave oven later (with the lid sections removed first!) will recreate the perfect hot fudge sauce for your hot fudge sundae or other dessert that calls for a hot fudge sauce.