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Minimal Monday: Simple Bittersweet Hot Fudge Sauce

I have a very good reason for making hot fudge sauce on a Monday morning.  At least I did.  I needed it for an ice cream recipe I had planned for this week.  It was going to be a coffee fudge ripple.  Sounds good, huh?   But the ice cream didn’t turn out exactly as I’d planned, so I (temporarily) ditched that idea.  But in the meantime, can we talk about this sauce?

My mother loved hot fudge.  It was probably her favorite thing in the world. and I have vivid memories of her tucking in to bowls of half melted vanilla covered with this stuff.  No cherries, no whipped cream, or nuts, just lots of molten chocolate, the hotter and thicker the better.

This sauce is a revelation to me.  I adore chocolate but for some reason never followed my mother’s lead.  It’s been years if not decades since I’ve tasted hot fudge, and let me just say, I’m now a believer.  This sauce is easy and perfect.  It must qualify as the ideal chocolate incarnation, creamier even than a truffle or a mousse, with truly got mind-blowing mouth-feel.  In fact the word mouth-feel, (if it is a word!) must have been invented to describe this stuff.
A silky liquid when first made and still warm, it solidifies into a creamy fudge-like consistency when it cools.  Then, after mere seconds in a microwave, it becomes a smoldering lava flow of pure chocolate.  Wow.  Not for every day, I know.  Not for every week, or even month.  But every now and again, just…wow.  This is my mother’s recipe, tweaked.

Homemade Bittersweet Hot Fudge Sauce

fills 2 8 oz jars
approximately 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 1/3 cups evaporated milk
1 Tbsp vanilla paste (or extract)
  • Melt the butter and chocolate in a small saucepan over low heat.  Add in the sugar and milk and bring back up to a boil.  Lower the heat and cook for about 6 minutes.  
  • Pour into jars and store in the refrigerator.  When ready to use, microwave the sauce VERY briefly to heat it up. 

I originally imagined this thick sauce  swirled into this coffee ice cream. 
I wanted thick rivers of fudge, not wimpy little veins of chocolate
sauce.  I wanted a sauce that would stay soft and plushy in the ice
cream.  

But my coffee ice cream turned out more like a frappuccino; it was icy due to the high amount of strong coffee that I put into my mix.  So, while it wasn’t the right ice cream for a fudge ripple. it was fine as a base for this incredible sauce.

Life is good…

PS — The ice cream has an iced coffee flavor, no sugar, just pure coffee and cream, and while it was on the icy side, it was unusual and pretty good.  Here’s what I did in case pure iced coffee as ice cream appeals to you:  1 cup very cold very strong coffee, 1 Tbsp instant espresso powder,  1 1/2 cups heavy cream, 1/2 cup whole milk mixed together and refrigerated.  Then process according to your ice cream machine’s directions.  No ice cream machine?  Freeze the mixture in large zip lock baggies, then break apart the frozen mass into a strong blender or food processor and process until creamy.   Freeze until firm.

One year ago today—

Oat Crackers

HOT APPLE PIE SIPPER

If you are looking for a way to literally spice up your apple cider, this is the perfect recipe!  I found this recipe in my Taste of Home Holiday cookbook and am so glad I finally tried it!  Add some spices to vanilla ice cream and then add it to your apple cider and your drink will taste like apple pie in a mug….soooo yummy!  
Hot Apple Pie Sipper
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 pint vanilla ice cream (2 cups), softened
4 cups hot apple cider
In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves until light and fluffy. Beat in ice cream.  Cover and freeze until firm.  For each serving, place 1/3 cup ice cream mixture in a mug and add 2/3 cup of hot cider.  Enjoy!   
(I forgot to put the brown sugar in the picture, but don’t forget to include it!)

Minimal Monday: Fresh Lemon Ice Cream

This ice cream qualifies for Minimal Monday status because it takes less than 30 minutes to make from start to finish (if you use an ice cream maker) and it has the simple, clean flavor of tangy fresh lemon. The secret is lots of fresh lemon juice and a tiny bit of pure lemon extract to really bring that flavor out.

I added 2 tiny drops of yellow food coloring, mostly for the sake of the photos.  I hardly ever use food coloring, and when I do I use it very sparingly.  In this case it just takes the ‘edge’ off the stark whiteness of the ice cream, which enhances my appreciation of its lemony-ness.

I love this partly because I’m a lemon addict, but also because it’s such an unusual flavor, at least for ice cream.  There are plenty of lemon sherberts and sorbets out there, but not too many actual ice creams.  I almost added dark chocolate chunks to it, but held back in favor of the pure lemon.  I think I made the right decision.

So far anyway I’ve been focusing on the simplest ice cream recipes, ones that involve no egg yolks, and no cooking.  For this one I just whisk sugar into cold milk and cream, and then I poured the lemon juice in right before I added it to the machine.  It curdled a bit but I figured it would work itself out as it churned, and I was right.

The best part of making your own ice cream is dipping the spoon in while it’s churning.  One taste and I knew I had a winner.  The large amount of lemon juice gives it a kick that you don’t expect from ice cream.

Fresh Lemon Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 cup sugar (I used superfine baking sugar, but you don’t have to)
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 or 5 lemons) 
1 tsp lemon extract
2 or 3 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

  • Mix the cream, milk, and sugar together and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  
  • Add the food coloring if you are going to use it.
  • Make sure your mixture and your lemon juice are cold, and when you are just about to add the cream to your ice cream maker, add the lemon juice and extract.  Pour into the machine and process according to the instructions.  On the basic Cuisinart machine it takes about 20 minutes.
  • You can eat it soft right from the machine, or freeze it longer for a firmer scoop.

Note:  After this ice cream has been in the fridge for several hours it will be quite hard.  Bring it out and let it sit for a while to soften up before scooping.

    You can sprinkle on a little zest as a garnish, but again, I did that mostly for photographic purposes.  I do think this lemon ice cream would be pretty spectacular with some homemade dark chocolate magic shell, or homemade bittersweet hot fudge sauce, though.  Lemon and dark chocolate is a killer combination.

    Recently I bought some quart sized cardboard ice cream containers, just like commercial ice cream comes in, and I love them.  They’re great if you want to share your ice cream, or use it as a host/hostess gift.  And if you have anyone in your house who likes to eat ice cream right out of the carton while they watch tv, letting it get all drippy and disgusting, and then put it back in the freezer, you might want to consider reserving a carton just for yourself.

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    One year ago today—

    White Chocolate Pecan Butter Cups