Raise your hand if you’re surprised that my mother used to make us homemade hot fudge sauce for our ice cream? Right, I see you’re not new here! Welcome back. But really, the crazy didn’t start with my generation, despite the fact that I may or may not have crafted a really elaborate chicken dish this week when sick and not remotely interested in cooking or eating it. So I didn’t waste the ingredients. Also totally my mother’s daughter there.
Is it me, or does something about hot fudge sauce on ice cream seem distinctively retro? I don’t hear much about fudge sauce and their accompanying sundaes these days. Maybe I’ve stepped too far into the Tahitian vanilla bean ice cream in a pool of cognac, drizzled in the world’s most expensive chocolate, covered with shaved white, black and clear truffles, topped with edible 25-karat gold leaf world… Let me fix that right now.
Because really, everyone should have a recipe for hot fudge sauce. There are kids and birthdays and chocoholic family members and, uh, you and spoons and a hunch that it might be good straight from the fridge. You’d be correct. You should totally go for it.
About that ice cream: Earlier in the week, intent upon making this sauce this week, I made a batch of David Lebovitz’s most excellent vanilla bean ice cream. (Which tastes remarkably like frozen creme brulee, evil thing that it is.) But then I got sick and lost my appetite for everything except, well, ice cream and come Friday, we had to go to the store to find something to pour the sauce over. That there is Ciao Bella’s hazelnut gelato, not bad at all. But not the same.
Hot Fudge Sauce
Adapted from Silver Palate Cookbook [Anyone remember this?]
Yields 2 1/2 cups
This is a deep, dark fudgy bittersweet sauce that firms up on ice cream.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons corn syrup
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon rum (or other flavoring, such as a flavored liquer or vanilla extract)
Melt the chocolate and butter very slowly in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring frequently until combined. Meanwhile, heat the water to boiling in the small, heavy saucepan. When the butter and chocolate have melted, stir the mixture into the boiling water. Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt and mix until smooth. Turn the heat up and stir until mixture starts to boil; adjust heat so that sauce is just maintained at the boiling point, stirring occasionally. Allow sauce to boil for nine minutes.
Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the rum and serve warm over ice cream.
Do ahead: Sauce can be easily and quickly reheated in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. Stir and it will be shiny and even again.