Did you have a day where all of your hopes and dreams came crashing down around you in a hideous pile of burning crap? Hot fudge probably won’t fix that, but maybe the temporary sugar high will propel you through the next few hours until you get to collapse into bed. Let’s hope.
Or perhaps instead of coming here out of desperation for chocolate, you found yourself here on the promise of fudge soda (or general intrigue about what that even is). This recipe comes from the treasure trove known as The Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls, a ring-bound little gem that was originally passed down to me from my Mum’s childhood days. Not only does this book fall hard into sexist tropes from the 50s, but it also teaches you to make such delicacies as “Candle Salad” (a halved banana stuck into a pineapple ring that could not look more overtly sexual if it tried) and “Canned Peas Deluxe” (spoiler: the deluxe part just means boiling the pea can liquid with margarine until a sauce has formed). But even amongst the pages of Bisquick-wrapped sticks and margarine-coated cabbage wedges (yes, both of these refer to actual recipes in the book), there are some diamonds in the rough. Fudge soda is one of these diamonds, albeit one that needed a bit of tweaking to take it from 7-year-old Maciel’s favourite fizzy treat to almost-31-year-old Maciel’s favourite fizzy treat. If you’ve ever been to New York and had an egg cream, this is similar. If you’ve never had an egg cream and think the name sounds disgusting, there’s a reason I’m rebranding this as fudge soda.
Quick Hot Fudge + Fudge Soda
Hot fudge taken directly from Smitten Kitchen
Fudge soda inspired by The Betty Crocker Cookbook for Boys and Girls
Makes ~2 cups of sauce and ~4 fudge sodas (depending on serving size)
Quick Hot Fudge:
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
½ cup light corn syrup or golden syrup
¼ cup dark brown sugar, packed
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp kosher salt + flaky sea salt for finishing (optional)
1 cup semi- or bittersweet chocolate chips
½ tsp vanilla
2 cups ice cubes
~½ pint of good vanilla ice cream (I used a large scooper and took out 3 scoops’ worth)
¼ cup whole milk + more to loosen as needed
1/3 cup Quick Hot Fudge
1 large bottling sparkling water or club soda
Spray can whipped cream + maraschino cherries, to serve (optional but wildly encouraged)
Make the hot fudge first as it needs to cool down a bit prior to fudge soda makery. In a small saucepan set over medium heat, combine the butter, heavy cream, syrup, brown sugar, cocoa and ¼ tsp kosher salt. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low, then cook, stirring frequently, for another 3-5 minutes (until the butter has melted and incorporated thoroughly). Remove from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips, vanilla, and a generous pinch of flaky sea salt (if using). If pairing with ice cream, you can use the fudge right away, though it will thicken up more as it starts cooling down, which I quite like. If you’re gearing up for a fudge soda, let the fudge cool down for 15 minutes or so.
For the soda, combine the ice, ice cream, milk, and hot fudge in a blender and liquefy until thick and slushy (but relatively smooth). Add more milk as needed to loosen the “slush” until it is thick but pourable. Pour the slush into tall glasses, filling each one ~¾ full. Top up each glass with sparkling water or club soda, stirring to blend using a long spoon or straw. Top with whipped cream and cherries, pop in some straws, and brace yourself for the temporary sense of productivity that sets in during a sugar high.