This hot fudge sauce was 100% impromptu and perhaps one of the best decisions that I have ever made at 9:45pm on a random Saturday night. This past Saturday my Chief Culinary Consultant was enjoying some guy time golfing and going to a baseball game, so I spent some quality time with my mom. My first instinct was to see if there were any chick flicks OnDemand. After a quick search, I realized that I forgot that 400+ channels yield virtually nothing in the good movie department. Then it dawned on me – there were actual sports to be watched. Unfortunately for my mom, that meant sitting through the Pirates game (she loathes baseball). She did perk up afterward, though, when I switched to the hockey playoffs to see New Jersey live to play another game. It was during the baseball game (specifically, after the Pirates scored 5 runs in the 4th inning) that I decided ice cream sundaes needed to happen. I still had some vanilla bean ice cream in the freezer from the ice cream sandwiches, and there was a tiny bit of salted caramel sauce in the fridge just begging to be polished off. Whipped cream and maraschino cherries? Check. The only thing missing was hot fudge. I hopped off the couch, grabbed my iPad, and bolted into the kitchen. In less than 20 minutes, we had hot fudge sauce, and not just any hot fudge sauce. The best, ever. I guarantee there will forever be a jar of this stuff stocked in my refrigerator.
When I started poking around for a recipe, I obviously wanted something that could be made with ingredients I already had in the house. Even though I live about 10 minutes from two 24-hour grocery stores, me putting on “real” clothes and going to buy ingredients just wasn’t going to happen. Luckily, I had what I needed for just about every recipe I found. The next hurdle? This couldn’t take forever. I wanted an ice cream sundae almost immediately. One recipe required cooking the sauce for an hour. That wasn’t going to work for me. I finally settled on a slightly merged recipe from one of my cookbooks and Deb’s site. It looked to be quick, fairly foolproof and had great reviews. I’m pretty confident I made the best choice possible, because this sauce is life-changing.
It’s rich, smooth, and the absolute perfect texture for pouring over ice cream. It lays on top, settles in puddles, and straddles the fence between melding into the ice cream and maintaining its own identity. Like I said, I don’t think I could have found a better hot fudge sauce. For all of the ice cream making that I do during the summer, I haven’t spent much time working on homemade toppings. Truth be told, I’m usually an ice cream purist and enjoy a cupful (or a bowlful) plain, without any toppings. I obviously didn’t inherit my dad’s zest for building grandiose ice cream concoctions. He would routinely top a bowl of vanilla ice cream with things like maple syrup and Grape-Nuts cereal (Elf, anyone?!). While I usually enjoy my ice cream for what it is, sometimes nothing beats an awesome sundae, and it totally hit the spot on Saturday night. If only I would have had one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies to throw into the mix ;-)
Once you make this hot fudge sauce you’re going to want to hoard it, hide it in the back of the refrigerator so no one can find it, and only eat it when alone. I totally understand. The awesome news is that since it’s so easy and quick to make, you can whip up batch after batch in no time at all. So I encourage you to share the hot fudge love. Even though we’ve just merely dipped our toe into the warm days of summer, the winter holidays will be here before we know it, and I’m always on the lookout for ideas. This sauce would make a fabulous homemade gift. You could even play around with the flavorings, substituting a ¼ teaspoon of a flavored extract like peppermint, orange, or even raspberry, for a more festive sauce.
Whether you pour gallons of this over your ice cream, eat it with a spoon, or package it up and give it to a friend, this hot fudge sauce will certainly make your world a better place.
In a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the cream, syrup, brown sugar, cocoa powder, salt and half of the chocolate to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low (enough to maintain a low simmer), and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining chocolate, the butter, and the vanilla extract, stirring until smooth. Let cool for 20 to 30 minutes before using (it will thicken as it cools). Store in a jar or airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To reheat, microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute until it's pourable but still thick.