I'm not a fudge fan. There... I came clean and said it... It's like eating a huge lump of cloyingly-sweet chocolate flavored frosting. There is one type of fudge though that has a special place in my heart: hot fudge. I'm usually a minimalist when it comes to ice cream, but a good caramel or hot fudge over a bowl of plain vanilla ice cream is a sublime pleasure that words can't describe.
This Chewy Hot Fudge is the lovechild of my two favorite ice cream toppings, creating a glorious caramel hot fudge to rule them all. It's my answer to those starch-fortified jarred chocolate sauces that look dark and chocolatey but fizzle out with a whimper in your mouth, or the gooey cloyingly sweet numbers used in ice cream parlours. I'm talking a hot fudge with impact; a hot fudge whose temperament shifts with the temperature.
And therein lies the magical beauty of this hybrid hot fudge. On the surface, the fudge is molten and creamy, but the side that's touching the ice cream chills to form a chewy network of meaty robust fudge that puts your molars to work. Not so much as to tire out your jaws, but enough to give your mouth some feedback before the warmth of your mouth turns it back into a potent lake of chocolate.
The process isn't so different from making a regular hot fudge, but by caramelizing the sugar, it not only gives the sauce a caramel-like texture, it also tempers the sweetness of the fudge, while providing oodles of Maillard Reaction induced umami. Cream, butter and cocoa powder go into the caramelized sugar before bittersweet chocolate gets melted in and the sauce is finished off with some vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. The resulting hot fudge tastes of caramel, butter, and of course CHOCOLATE!
Once it's made it can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks. Just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds to melt it again, giving it a stir before pouring it onto ice cream, strawberries, or even bread. Because this hot fudge sets in the fridge, you can also pour it into a parchment-lined mold while it's hot, sprinkle it with some flakey sea salt and then slice it into divinely addictive salted chocolate caramels once it's set. If you do decide to go this route, proceed with caution as it's pretty darn easy to eat all of them in one go.
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup light corn syrup
- ½ cup evaporated cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
- ⅔ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons cultured unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 120 grams bittersweet chocolate (roughly chopped)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt (optional)
- Add the water and corn-syrup to a heavy bottomed pot and bring to a boil. Dump the sugar into center of the pot in a mound making sure you don't get any sugar on the sides of the pot.
- Let this mixture boil until until it reaches 320 degrees F (160 C).
- Add the cream a little bit a time, whisking well to incorporate. If you add too much cream at once, it will boil over.
- Whisk in the butter and cocoa powder and then whisk in the chocolate, a little bit at a time. Finish the hot fudge by whisking in the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.