Modesty is a charming quality. Unfortunately, in today’s world, it can go entirely unnoticed and unappreciated. At least in business, the trend seems to be a constant search for a new way to proclaim from the rooftops, “I’m the best!”
The message, however, seems not to have reached Switzerland. Many Swiss are aware that not only did they invent the machinery to create the smooth-eating chocolate that the world enjoys, but they also continue to produce some of the world’s best chocolate.
But only a scattering of self-enlightened foreigners, who have experienced the chocolate firsthand, share this knowledge. The reason is simple: The Swiss have created no mystique. They haven’t even told anybody how good it is.
Hot Fudge Sauce, a classic American recipe, happens to be one of my favorite ways of enjoying chocolate. And using Swiss chocolate, such as Lindt, elevates it to its ultimate height of perfection. The addition of cocoa adds depth of flavor and rich dark color.
This hot fudge sets up perfectly sticky when poured over ice cream. I prefer vanilla ice cream as an ideal foil for the intense chocolate flavor. In fact, the coldness of the ice cream is what gives the fudge its ideal consistency and textural contrast. For me, the main function of the ice cream is to glorify the fudge.
By the way, a few brandied bing cherries placed on top wouldn’t hurt, either.
Hot Fudge Sauce
1-1/2 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, preferably Lindt excellence
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar (preferably raw)
2 tablespoons refiner’s syrup or corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place chocolate and cocoa with water in small heavy saucepan (preferably with nonstick coating). Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until chocolate is melted. Add butter, sugar, syrup and salt and simmer, stirring, until sugar has dissolved completely.
Stop stirring and cook at moderate boil 5 to 10 minutes or until mixture thickens and reduces to just under 2/3 cup. Swirl mixture in pan occasionally but, to prevent crystallization, do not stir. Cool slightly. Stir in vanilla.
Keep sauce warm or reheat in water bath or microwave, stirring gently. It will keep refrigerated for 1 month.
Yield: Almost 2/3 cup.
Note: To make hot fudge in microwave, place ingredients (excluding vanilla) in 4-cup greased heatproof measure. Microwave on High (100 percent power), stirring once or twice until sugar dissolves. Then microwave, without stirring, until reduced to just under 2/3 cup (check often, allowing bubbles to settle to measure accurately). Cool slightly before adding vanilla.