Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hot chocolate sauce

On Friday night, I made ice cream. Well, I say Friday night but I started at around eleven-thirty so I guess, technically, it was Saturday morning when I finished. I know not many people make ice cream in the middle of the night but when a craving hits, I get a little nuts.

See, on Thursday I shared with you this strawberry ice cream and when I actually posted it, S and I had already finished that batch. When Friday evening came around, after a light dinner, we started thinking of said ice cream. We even sat on the couch, opened up S's laptop and stared at the photographs, something I don't do often, just so you know. Our craving was reaching dangerous levels.

I needed to take matters into my own hands. I had the strawberries, I had the icing sugar, I had the milk, I also had that glare in my eye which indicated I had the right amount of crazy, so I went for it. I even had the energy to cut up some fresh strawberries to put in there. I told you they're a great addition. Just make sure you don't cut them too big, like I did—I mean, c'mon, what do you want from me, it was midnight by that time—, teeny tiny is what you want, otherwise when they freeze, they'll be impossible to bite into.

At around one o'clock in the morning, we had our soft-serve ice cream. No time to freeze it properly as you can imagine, but oh boy was it perfect with that mousse-like texture. Strawberry ice cream cravings were instantly cured and we went on to watch another episode of In Treatment.

The next day, I started on part two of this ice cream saga. Because I'm not that crazy as to make a hot chocolate sauce in the middle of the night. No, I made this the next day.
I promised you I was going to share with you a chocolaty accompaniment for the strawberry ice cream and I always keep my promises.

It's a rich, velvety hot chocolate sauce that you can use not only on top of your favorite icy treat but also waffles, crepes or even profiteroles and meringues. It has an intense chocolate flavor due to the high percentage of cocoa solids in the chocolate (I only use the bitter stuff, 70% cocoa solids) and it's incredibly smooth and creamy. I don't think there's much more you can ask from a chocolate sauce, no?

Hot Chocolate Sauce
Slightly adapted from Sauces: Savoury and Sweet

This is a pretty straightforward recipe but it makes quite a lot of sauce. It's best served the moment you prepare it but I found that if you keep it in the fridge, you can scoop out a little to feed those late-night chocolate cravings. It tastes kind of like dense mousse.

You can surely reheat it in order to be able to pour it over ice creams, but you need to be a bit careful not to burn it. The safe way is to reheat it au bain marie. The less safe but easiest way is to use the microwave. Be careful, it burns fast. You need to set the lowest watt setting and give it mere seconds. Check it and nuke it again if needed.

Here are some ice creams you can pour this hot chocolate sauce over: strawberry, dark chocolate, white chocolate.

Yield: 420 g of sauce, enough for 6-8 people

200 g dark, good-quality chocolate, preferably with 70% cocoa solids, chopped
40 ml cream, full-fat (35%)
180 ml fresh, whole milk
30 g caster sugar
Pinch of sea salt
30 g unsalted butter, cubed

Special equipment: fine sieve

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water and melt, stirring often. The bottom of the bowl must not come in contact with the simmering water otherwise the chocolate will burn. Once the chocolate is smooth and melted, remove bowl from the top of the pan and set aside.

In the meantime, in a small saucepan, add the cream, milk, sugar and salt and set over medium-high heat. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved into the liquid and bring to the boil.

Empty the cream and milk mixture into the melted chocolate and whisk well until incorporated. Return the mixture into the saucepan and let it simmer over medium heat for 10 seconds while stirring continuously with the whisk.

Turn the heat off and add the butter, a cube at a time, whisking continuously until all the butter has been incorporated into the sauce and you have a homogeneous, smooth and shiny mixture.

Pass the chocolate sauce through a fine sieve and serve immediately. Alternatively, you can keep it in the bain-marie if you want to serve it a little later. Be careful to keep the water at a bare simmer and stir often, otherwise the sauce will catch.

Once cooled completely, you can place it in the fridge for up to 5 days, in an airtight container. Take out of the fridge the amount of sauce you need and reheat in a bain-marie or in the microwave as described above.


  1. I've been here craving your strawberry ice cream, and now you show me this chocolate sauce. Goodness. I cannot handle it. I think I am going on a little walk to the ice cream shop.

  2. I had to laugh reading this. Sounds like me. Love the chocolate sauce. Looks sensational!

  3. I swear by hot chocolate sauce! I can't eat ice cream without it.

  4. Magda - what a happy post! First, it is great to know that there are other obsessive people who will make craved-for foods at midnight. Second, it looks (and, I am sure, tastes) fantastic! And, third, your photos are so beautiful I could almost eat them! ~David

  5. Denise — better yet, why not make it yourself? It's healthier :)

    El — I'm glad I'm not the only one! Thanks!

    Spencer — well, I do but a little sauce never hurt anyone.

    David — I'm very happy to find other people sharing my obsessions for late night cooking/ice cream making :) Thanks!

    1. You are so right. I went out for it and it was too sticky sweet. I need to make my own.

  6. I had to comment even before reading your entire post, your ice cream looks deliciously tempting !!!!!!!! Oh man, I guess I am in the craving for some really good ice cream. :) I will read up how u made the ice cream and try it :)

  7. I love to make ganache and next time I 'll try your recipe with the mix between milk and cream! Looks so luscious!

  8. This sauce looks so rich , creamy and decadent! I too, love using Lindt chocolate. The photographs are stunning! I need to try your recipe next time.

  9. What a gorgeous post! I love your photos! I am making this sauce as soon as I get my hands on some chocolate.

  10. Yum, these are beautiful photos! And that's the thing about ice cream... You really do need to start it at random times since it takes so darn long to make! I've been known to churn ice cream at 6:00 a.m. before work :)


  11. Wow, looks so tempting and delicious! This is one of the reasons why I have resisted buying an ice cream machine as the possibilities of making delicious ice cream are infinite.

  12. Oh, how positively sinful. It is my firm belief that no life is complete without a decadent chocolate sauce like this. Thank you so much for sharing! Certainly on my must-make list (wedding diet be damned).

  13. I love how you act on your cravings! terrific looking chocolate sauce.
    I also love In Treatment. Mesmerizing--it really speaks to the excellent writing and acting---that a show essentially centered on people's conversations can be so engaging.