Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Taste of Christmas

If Christmas smells like an orange, it tastes like chocolate.  From the chocolate candies my mother would tuck in the tiny pockets of our homemade advent calendar to the chocolates scattered through our stockings on Christmas morning, chocolate was present the entire month. On Christmas Eve, we would indulge in hot fudge sundaes.  My mother would make ice cream balls and roll some in chopped pecans.  My sister and I didn't like nuts (given how much I love nuts now, I can't believe I didn't like them as a child), so she would roll ours in coconut.  My mother is always good to make sure everyone is happy.

This fudge sauce recipe came from my required, 8th grade, Home Economics class.  I don't know that they have such classes in school today.  We had to make a piece of clothing with a sewing machine.  I have no idea what possessed me to make a pair of shorts.  They never did fit quite right.  Let's just say the best thing that came out of that class was this recipe.  I have tweaked it over the years.  The sauce cascades over the ice cream into thick, slightly chewy, pools.  I will admit, I often have a spoonful straight from the refrigerated jar in the afternoon, when I need a chocolate fix.  It tastes like the inside of a chocolate truffle when cold.

I love dark chocolate - okay, I love all chocolate, but dark is my favorite.  If you prefer your fudge sauce a little less dark, reduce the chocolate to 3 ounces or use semi-sweet chocolate instead of unsweetened.  This fudge sauce is great on all kinds of ice cream, but if you are a purist, it can't be beat on really good vanilla.

If you make pecan or coconut ice cream balls, toast the nuts or coconut first.  It will really enhance their flavor.  If you don't want to be bothered to make ice cream balls, just sprinkle the nuts or coconut (or both) on top.  Whether you choose plain ice cream and hot fudge, or dress it up with nuts and coconut, everything can be made ahead, so this is a great no-stress holiday treat.

Hot Fudge Sauce

6 tablespoons (3 ounces/90 g) butter
1/2 cup (120 ml) water
4 ounces (113 g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup (200 g) sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup

Melt butter and water in a small saucepan over medium heat, once melted bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and add chocolate, stir while chocolate melts.  (Don't worry if the mixture is lumpy.)  Add sugar and corn syrup and let simmer gently for 5 minutes stirring occasionally to keep from scorching the bottom.   Serve hot over ice cream.  Store in the refrigerate in a glass jar.

Melt butter and water and bring to a simmer.  Add chopped chocolate.

Stir until chocolate melts.  Don't worry if it is lumpy at this point.  Add sugar and corn syrup.  Stir until smooth.

Once smooth, boil gently for 5 minutes.  Stir occasionally to prevent scorching.

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