Many years ago, I discovered a recipe for the “World’s Best Hot Fudge Sauce” in the Magnum Opus of chocolate books, Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts. With a heavy fluid consistency that turns to wet tar in contact with ice cream, it is probably the finest Hot Fudge Sauce I have ever put in my mouth. I’ve tweaked that recipe to give you my own version below, but I want to be sure to give Credit where Credit is Due. Props to Maida, Chocolate Goddess!
I take my Hot Fudge seriously. One time, I was with She Who Must Be Obeyed and the girls, out for an evening Ice Cream fix at the local Friendly’s. I ordered a Hot Fudge Sundae:
“I’d like a Hot Fudge Sundae, please. Can you make that without the nuts?”
“Sure, no problem.”
“I also don’t want the whipped cream and cherry. Too distracting.”
“OK, sir, we can do that.”
“Tell you what, I don’t even want the ice cream. How about you just bring me a bowl of Hot Fudge?”
“Er, ahhh…OK, sir. If that’s what you want.”
That’s what I wanted. That’s what I got. I ate it all, and I loved every delectable bite. If only they had access to this recipe:
Elisson’s Chocolate Asphalt
3 tbsp butter
½ cup heavy cream
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed (you can use light brown in a pinch)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
½ cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 jigger Cointreau
Heat the butter and cream in a heavy saucepan over moderate heat until the butter is melted and the cream just comes to a boil. Add the sugars and whisk until completely dissolved. Taste the mixture to make sure there are no undissolved sugar crystals.
Now whisk in the cocoa and salt. The mixture will be thick, but be sure to get all of the lumps broken down – mash ’em against the side of the pan with a rubber spatula if necessary. Add a shot of Cointreau (my tweak), stir thoroughly to mix, and set aside to cool if you’re not using it immediately.
Warm this slowly in a microwave or over very low heat and it will get fluid enough to spoon over ice cream. When it gets cold, it will set up like asphalt. Chewy, yummy asphalt.
If you’ve reheated it a few times, it may get too thick to deal with, in which case you can stir in a few drops of water to thin it out. Be sure you store it in a container that can either be warmed or that has a wide enough opening to pry the fudge sauce out of when it’s cold.
You must use Dutch-process cocoa for this recipe to get the right flavor. Dutched cocoa is treated with alkali; it has a different color and flavor than plain, untreated cocoa. Check the label if you are not sure.
I’ve recommended Cointreau, but Grand Marnier works well, too. I think the slightly more bitter pong of Cointreau sets off the powerful chocolate flavor of this sauce better.