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Hot Fudge Sauce

by Stephanie Zonis

3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbsp. light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. water
Few grains of salt
4 ounces best-quality unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 to 1-1/2 ounces best-quality semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (see Notes)
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, sliced into thin pats
2 Tbsp. sifted unsweetened alkalized (Dutch process) cocoa powder (see Notes)
1 tsp. vanilla

Combine the sugar, cream, corn syrup, water, and salt in a 1 quart, heavy-bottomed, nonaluminum saucepan. Set aside.

In medium heatproof bowl, combine chocolates and butter. Place over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir often until almost melted. Remove from heat and hot water; dry bottom and sides of bowl. Stir until completely melted and smooth. Add cocoa powder; with a small whisk, whisk in briskly until most lumps are gone (a few small lumps are OK). Set aside near stovetop.

Place pot with sugar-cream mixture over low heat. Stir almost constantly until sugar is dissolved, scraping sides of pot occasionally with heatproof rubber spatula. Increase heat to medium. Stir occasionally until mixture comes to a boil. Boil 6 minutes. The mixture should come to a rolling boil and may boil up to the top of the pan, but reduce heat slightly it if threatens to boil over. Stir occasionally (about once a minute); scrape sides of pan occasionally with heatproof rubber spatula. It may look like there is a layer of foam on top of the boiling mixture—OK. When the 6 minutes are up, remove from heat and place on hotpad near stovetop.

As soon as bubbling has stopped, add all of melted chocolate mixture. Let stand for a few seconds, then whisk gently but thoroughly until chocolate is incorporated into sauce (this will take a minute or two). Be sure to scrape pan bottom and sides occasionally while whisking. Whisk in vanilla.

Cool briefly, then pour into storage container. Chill, covering tightly when cold. To reheat: reheat only as much sauce as you'll use at any given time (repeated reheating and re-chilling will make the sauce grainy). Place required amount of sauce into heatproof bowl, then place bowl above simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir often until melted, smooth, and warm (despite the name, hot fudge sauce should never be truly hot when it's poured onto ice cream). Alternatively, place required amount of sauce in microwaveable bowl; microwave for brief intervals at 50% (medium) power, stirring well after each, until sauce is melted, smooth, and warm.

Generous 2 cups


  • This is not a particularly sweet hot fudge sauce; the extra half ounce of semisweet chocolate boosts the sweetness just a bit. Either quantity will work here.
  • For many years, I had used Hershey’s Dutch process cocoa powder. Unhappily, they have revised their formula, and I think the new cocoa powder is awful. I suggest you use Droste or some other good brand, preferably one with far less sodium than is currently in Hershey’s.

    © Stephanie Zonis, 2002

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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