Bittersweet Hot Fudge
Motherhood has smacked me upside the head in so many ways. Some of them involve being surprisingly close to institutionalizing myself. Others, however, are actually really lovely in the grand scheme of things, and I don't just mean those moments where I'm suddenly so overcome with love for my child that I want to smooch her and squeeze her until she pops. I'm talking about a new appreciation for the little things, the simpler the better. Like how Little C has started patting my back while hugging me. A glass of wine after she goes to bed and the house is straightened. Time to shave and wash my hair in the shower. And a dish of vanilla ice cream drowned in the most flippin' fantastic bittersweet hot fudge that comes together in mere minutes. Ahhh...it's the little things.
Although to be fair, this hot fudge sauce is not a small thing. No, it is pretty major. It's sort of unassuming in the preparation, though the nearly three-quarters of a pound of chocolate that go into making one batch (I first mistyped that as "bath"... hello, subconscience) of the stuff might tip you off that you're doing something epic.
All that needs to happen to enter into this chocolate sauce nirvana is to melt said chocolate together with a knob of butter while you warm some cream and corn syrup on the stovetop, and then whisk it all together and BAM!
Hot fudge as it is meant to be: Thick and rich, and deeply, darkly chocolatey, becoming almost chewy on contact with cold ice cream. With the one-two punch of phenomenal flavor and hearty texture, it's almost a misnomer to call this a hot fudge "sauce"--melted chocolate truffles is more like it. And the bittersweet edge makes a pairing with vanilla ice cream so perfectly balanced, you may never want to have another dessert again. As Oprah might say, "Life chaaaaang-iiiing!! Life changing, life changing. Life. Changing."
For the bittersweet chocolate, I use 60% Ghiradelli chips rather than bar chocolate because it's more economical and have been perfectly happy, but whether you go with bars or chips, go for a premium brand--you'll get a much more moan-inducing final product. This hot fudge sets up firm when cold, like a refrigerated truffle, so you need to rewarm leftovers to make it pourable or spoonable again after chilling. The original recipe says to rewarm it gently over simmering water, but I've thrown the whole jar into the microwave for a 15 second zap and with a quick stir it comes back to life beautifully.
Makes about 2 cups
10 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I use 60% Ghiradelli chips and am perfectly happy with them) 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits 1/2 cup heavy cream, plus 2 tablespoons extra if needed 6 tablespoons light corn syrup 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine the chocolates and the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Melt them in the microwave on medium power for about 3 minutes, stopping to stir the mixture often. When it is fully melted, set it aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, whisk together 1/2 cup of cream, the corn syrup and the vanilla. Bring them to a simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally. As soon as it comes to a simmer, remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for 2 minutes. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until the hot fudge is smooth. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream if needed to thin it out a bit.
Serve warm immediately, or pour it into jars for storing in the refrigerator for about 10 days.