Sundaes remind me of being a teenager with my mom in Bensonhurst. On many a Wednesday we used to walk over to the Carvel on Bay Parkway since it was buy one get one free day for sundaes. I was always a wet walnuts and caramel sauce gal, still am, mostly. My mom was a hot fudge woman, and while it’s been a long time, more than 20 years since those days, my hunch is she’s still a hot fudge fan, too. That’s why when I wrote Homemade with Love, I included a recipe for Hot Fudge Sauce.
Unlike the hot fudge sauce of our Carvel days, this one is dairy-free. Back then it would’ve sounded crazy to have a dairy-free hot fudge sauce, but with the prevalence of dairy alergies and intolerances, and the wealth of dairy-free ice creams on the market nowadays, well, this dairy-free Hot Fudge Sauce deserves a rightful place in the recipe files.
It comes together easily, with just four ingredients. The lack of dairy also means you can keep it out on the counter. You know, just in case you need a reminder to east sundaes more often. It starts by making a simple syrup of water and sugar, which then gets poured over bittersweet chocolate. Use chips or chop up bar chocolate, whichever is easier for you to find.
Let this mixture sit for a minute or two, just enough time for the chocolate to begin to melt. Then in goes some vanilla extract and brown rice syrup. Brown rice syrup is a better for you alternative to corn syrup. It’s easy to find at any healthfood store. The syrup is what lends the thick, fudgy body to this Hot Fudge Sauce.
At first, the mixture will seem curdled, and quite thick. Keep stirring, and don’t worry. It’ll all come together in a minute or so, into a smooth, glossy, pourable sauce. Once the sauce has time to cool, it’ll thicken, and be more scoopable than pourable. Again, don’t fret. Just spoon out what you need, warm it gently in either a microwave with short 15-second bursts, or set the jar, covered, in a pot of very hot water until it loosens into a pouring consistency.
I’ve no idea if that Carve still exists, but that’s the beautiful thing about cooking. Time often feels a foe, not a friend. Bringing moments like this back to life in my own kitchen is a reminder that it is we who are the keepers of own memories, not the tick tock of a clock.
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