Monday, February 14, 2011

Chocolate Syrup For Your Sweetie

Uh oh, it's Valentine's Day again. Did you forget? You don't want to go home to your special someone and admit that you spaced out. But how can you make this day a special one he or she will love, with only a moment's notice?

I'll tell you. Chocolate syrup!

Chocolate syrup can make an ordinary day extra special for your special someone. Use this syrup to adorn sundaes, thicken it up to make a dipping sauce for fruit, or make your significant other the best cup of cocoa they've ever had.

Start with a large sauce pot. You'll look at the ingredients list and think you're safe with a small pot, but trust me. A medium- or large-sized pot is your friend. Once the sauce is boiling, it bubbles, and you don't want a hot, sugary chocolate mess all over your stove.

Grab your cocoa powder. I used Ghirardelli powder because it was a special occasion, but Hershey's would do the job just fine. Measure some out and dump it into the pot.

Pour a boatload of sugar over the cocoa. And throw in a pinch of salt.

Give your dry ingredients a quick stir to break up any large lumps of cocoa.

Whisk in some water. You could stir with a spoon, but a whisk will ensure that your sauce isn't lumpy.

Add a squeeze of corn syrup. This will keep your syrup smooth and easier to manage once it's cooled.

Now turn on your stove and get everything heating up. You want your sauce to start boiling. Give the sauce a stir once in a while.

Once your sauce is boiling, set a timer for 4 minutes. The longer you let the sauce boil, the thicker it will be once cooled. If you want a thick fudgelike sauce for dipping fruit, I'd let things go as long as 10 minutes.

After your timer goes off, remove your sauce from the heat and add your vanilla.

If you were planning on adding other flavorings, now would be the time. Liqueurs or other extracts (like almond or citrus) would be nice. Or you could use actual citrus zest and a little juice.

Once your sauce has cooled a bit, you can pour it into whatever container you like. I poured some into a squeeze bottle and some into a small, widemouth jar (I'm planning on sharing with our neighbors.) The sauce will thicken as it cools. I can't wait until it cools--I'm looking forward to a glass of chocolate milk later today!

Recipe: Chocolate Syrup For Your Sweetie

3/4 c. cocoa powder
1 1/2 c. sugar
a pinch of salt
1 1/2 c. water
1 tbsp. corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla

In a large pot, combine cocoa powder, sugar, salt, water, and corn syrup. Whisk together. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils. Let boil for 4 minutes (longer, if a thicker sauce is desired.) Remove sauce from heat and add vanilla.

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