Hot fudge in a jar

Cookbook Roulette #1 – Is Hot Fudge Ever Random?

I experienced a bit of a time crunch conundrum last week after writing my introduction post on Cookbook Roulette. We were due to head out of the house for our bi-weekly grocery shopping trip that evening and I still had a few odds and ends of work to tidy up, as well as the menu to plan and the grocery list to write. There certainly wasn’t going to be enough time in the day to also record the titles of all my cookbooks and decide on my randomization system. So I cheated, just a tad. I know the books too well to actually “randomly” choose one, but my husband was both unfamiliar with my new writing theme and with my cookbook stash (I only recently unboxed the last of them). He genially complied with my sudden request for an arbitrarily selected book and so it began. 

The Cookbook:

His sweet tooth may or may not have influenced his choice, since what ended up in my lap was my copy of Dorrie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours, but I stuck with it. It’s one of my newest books and I’ve successfully made a few things from its cookie chapters. But my usual weekend baking time was already given over to a few days up in the forest with family so I flipped to the back section of basic recipes, hoping to find something inspirational. And I did.

"Baking" Cookbook
Any book with cake on the cover must be good

The Recipe:

Old Fashioned Hot Fudge Sauce

4 TBSP butter

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate

3/4 cup heavy cream

3 TBSP light corn syrup

2 TBSP sugar

1/4 tsp salt

Melt together chocolate and butter, set aside. Mix remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer until the sugars and salt are melted. Pour half of the cream mixture over the chocolate mixture and stir until incorporated. Add the remaining cream in two parts, stirring until the sauce is uniform after each addition. Pour into a heat safe container and chill. Reheat briefly to serve.

I’ve been claiming that I knew how to make hot fudge sauce from scratch for a few months now, so when I saw that recipe title, I knew it was the one. It fit easily into my shopping list, since it’s a quick and simple affair that mainly tapped into ingredients that I regularly stock, such as butter. And chocolate.

I followed the recipe nearly to the T. There were between 6 and 7 ounces of chocolate left in the bag, so I used it all rather than saving out a few pieces. And I zapped the chocolate mixture in the microwave rather than setting up a double boiler. The double boiler is more controlled and easier to walk away from, but it’s hard to beat a microwave for efficiency.

Dorrie’s fudge sauce recipe reminded me strongly of ganache techniques, despite the added fat and sugar. There’s always a moment with ganache where the chocolate and cream look like they will never come together and you will have to find a sly way to dispose of the nasty looking amalgamation of chocolate slugs and brownish liquid in your bowl.

partially mixed ganache
It’s not the most appetizing sight… just keep stirring.

And then, somewhere in the next few stirs, you see a ribbon of smooth chocolate sauce in the center and like magic everything incorporates.

I threw this recipe together yesterday, between the end of my work day and chopping up the potatoes and Brussels sprouts to roast for dinner, and popped it in the fridge to cool until we returned from the evening walking of the hound to serve ourselves bowls of dark cherry ice cream topped with a thick slathering of fudge sauce. Because that’s okay if you’ve just been out for a walk, right? 

The Verdict:

It’s a bittersweet, buttery chocolate sauce, that seems to have more in common with the frosting I made last week than the last jar of store made fudge sauce we consumed, but no one’s complaining about those flavor notes. It was an excellent ice cream topping, isn’t a terrible thing to eat off of a spoon, and came together so easily that I’ve almost forgotten I had to spend time making it. 

This week’s roulette has been a success. Tune in next week to see if the trend continues.