Recipe: Make your own perfect parfaits with Julia Child's warm chocolate sauce
Jessica Webster | AnnArbor.com
As we schlep this lucky only child off to his favorite activities, I'm reminded of some of my favorite summertime childhood memories. When I was my son's age, I was the only girl on my Little League team.
I pitched and played first base for Bill Cram Chevrolet in Seneca Falls, N.Y. After every game, the winning team could head over to a roadside ice cream stand called the Tastee Freeze for a free mini hot fudge sundae, served in a tiny plastic batting helmet. It was bliss.
This past weekend we took a wonderful, albeit sweltering, bike ride at Hudson Mills Metropark. (We didn’t see any bears, just a few kind of furry shirtless joggers.) After the ride, we were hot and sweaty and looking for something to cool us down. I found myself craving a hot fudge sundae, and Dairy Queen just wasn't going to cut it.
We headed home to create our own perfect parfaits. We have some prolific raspberry bushes that produce fruit almost faster than we can eat it, so while I started on the warm chocolate sauce, the rest of the family picked berries. In addition to the chocolate sauce and raspberries, I had some frozen blueberries and whipped cream to donate to the cause.
My grandfather swore that the best sundaes always start with a teaspoon of maple syrup at the bottom of the bowl, so I've been building mine that way, in homage to him, ever since. In my youth, a sundae was all about packing a bowl full of the most chocolate and nuts that fit, but my sweet tooth has ratcheted down a bit as I approach 40. Now I am more partial to a fruity parfait with a topping of seriously good chocolate sauce.
I found this recipe in Julia Child’s “The Way To Cook” cookbook. The recipe is called
“Hot Fudge Sauce — Warm Chocolate Sauce,” as though she wasn’t quite convinced that this is an unqualified hot fudge topping. It’s true — it’s not as thick and gooey as typical hot fudge. But the texture is silky, and the chocolate flavor is deep. It works as well as a fruit dip as it does over ice cream.
Julia's preface to the recipe says: "This is that fine type of chocolate sauce that strings up off the ice cream as you lift it in your spoon. It's the boiled corn syrup that does the trick."
Hot Fudge Sauce — Warm Chocolate Sauce
(adapted from Julia Child's "The Way To Cook")
- 2/3 cup light corn syrup
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- a "big pinch" of salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Boil the corn syrup in a small saucepan for a minute or two, until it thickens and forms heavy strands as you drop it off a spoon. Remove from heat and stir in the water.
Sieve together the cocoa and sugar, then whisk them into the corn syrup and water. Simmer, stirring, for a few minutes, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Make sure the sugar is completely dissolved, to avoid the sauce crystallizing later.
Add the baking chocolate and simmer, stirring, until melted. Blend in the butter and heavy cream and bring to a full boil for 15 seconds.
Remove from heat, and blend in the salt and vanilla. Let it cool for about 10-15 minutes; until it is warm but not hot. Serve over ice cream or as a dip for fruit.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups.
Jessica Webster leads the Food & Drink section for AnnArbor.com. You can find her on the nearest bike path or picking raspberries in her front yard, or reach her via email at JessicaWebster@AnnArbor.com.