Good on you if you’ve made it this far (even if you have no plans of actually making this recipe – at least you showed up and that surely counts for something). I had doubts about this recipe, I really really did. The rice syrup took forever to ooze its way out of the bottle, I felt like I aged a day and a half just waiting for the mixture to come to temperature, it split on me (supposedly expectedly, but that didn’t make me feel any better about it)…
BUT, do you know who spent the next three days gleefully scraping the remnants out of a mason jar and eating it by the spoonful during a glorious last-weekend-of-dairy-eating-for-awhile? This gal.
Is this recipe laden with room for mistakes? Yes. Is it possible to almost complete it and then screw up right at the very end? Yes. Is it a magically wonderous fudgy experience that will bring you to your knees? Yes yes yes. This stuff, warm, on ice cream creates a texture that is the perfect balance between chewy and melty, hot and cold, runny yet thick. In other words, magic.
Magic comes at a price though. I cannot recommend this recipe to you if you have not attempted making candy before (or caramel, anything that relies on the precision of temperature and stirring). This recipe also uses an invert sugar that isn’t corn syrup, which is admirable, but let’s face it, more difficult to manage. Are you still up for the challenge? You are either very skilled or very silly. Either way, I like you.
BA’s Best: Hot Fudge
Taken from BA’s Best arsenal, with the most minor of tweaks here and there
Makes ~2 cups of sauce
*Please note: this recipe does require the use of a candy thermometer. I’m not going to pressure you to buy one (oh wait, yes I am), though I will say that these are very handy for a variety of functions. I use mine to deep-fry, make homemade ricotta, bake, and more. They’re honestly one of the cheapest, most useful, and space-efficient kitchen tools to own. Make sure to get a clip-on one that can just hang off the side of your pot.
1 ¼ cups heavy (whipped) cream
2/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup brown rice syrup or dark agave nectar (I used the rice syrup)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
5 oz unsweetened chocolate (those Baker’s boxes at the grocery store are usually divided into 1
oz squares for measuring convenience), chopped
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
¾ tsp kosher salt
Vanilla ice cream + sprinkles, for serving
Combine the cream, brown sugar, syrup/nectar, butter, and ¼ cup water in a medium-sized, heavy pot over medium heat (so one that isn’t very flimsy and thin, since that will throw off even heat distribution). Stir the mixture as it heats, so as to dissolve the sugar crystals. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil. Set your mixing spoon in the sink so you won’t be tempted to use it anymore – there’s a stage in recipes like this, where the difference between swirling something in a pan and actually stirring it is a big deal. Fit the pot with your candy thermometer and cook, swirling the mixture occasionally, until it registers 220 degrees F (for me this took over 10 minutes).
Remove the pot from the heat and detach the thermometer. Stir in the chopped chocolate until it has fully melted and the mixture is smooth. Read this next part through before completing – things start to move more quickly from here. Set the pot over medium-high again, just until the mixture is bubbling rapidly (this may be as little as 20 seconds), scraping down the sides and bottom of the pot with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching. I cannot overstate this enough: once you add the chocolate, the mixture wants to burn, it yearns to burn. Don’t. Let. It. you’ve come this far, you need to NOT overcook it (remember, just until it starts bubbling) and you need to NOT stop scraping and stirring the pot with a spatula. Immediately remove the pot from the heat once the chocolate bubbles and whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt until things are smooth.
Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl, stirring with a spoon to help the sauce drip through. The sauce will look like an absolute mess probably, all oily and dreadful, do not worry, apparently this madness is normal and even EXPECTED. Vigourously whisk 2 tbsp water into the sauce to help it emulsify it. Keep stirring in water by the spoonful until the sauce is glossy, thick, and pourable. Take the ice cream out of the freezer to soften slightly at room temperature until easily scoopable. Serve with generous globs of hot fudge on top and probably sprinkles, unless you’re an animal.