Sunday, January 1, 2012

Devil's Food Chocolate Sauce

Looking at this picture (note my shiny new cookbook holder!), you'd think I'd reached the end of the book. Well, technically that's true, but actually I still have a few recipes to go. Still, this is the last sauce recipe, and the sauce chapter comes at the end. If you've been following this blog, you know that the sauce chapter had a rocky beginning for me, from Top Secret to White Custard Cream. But this sauce is a winner, though I made some tweaks to it to make sure it really was extra good.

Looking at the ingredients, I saw that this sauce is a lot like Maida's World's Best Hot Fudge Sauce, our family's favorite, and so I decided to change the technique and one of the ingredients: that would be subbing in some brown sugar with the white sugar.

Maida warns several times that this sauce likes to burn, and I could see why: she was cooking the chocolate along with the other ingredients. I decided to sidestep that issue by cooking the butter, sugar, and cream together first, and then adding the chocolate off the heat.

So here you see yummy caramelly butteriness getting ready to meet delicious dark chocolate. It was meant to be.

After a bit of whisking off the heat, it all turns to a lovely, creamy-smooth and very chocolatey sauce, without the worry about the horror that is burned chocolate.
We had this as part of a New Year's Eve dessert extravaganza that involved profiteroles with two kinds of ice cream, salted butter caramel, and toasted almonds. And this sauce won over the (excellent) caramel sauce hands-down. I'm sure that once I recover from the holiday binge, I'll also enjoy it just over ice cream. Actually, yesterday two of my family members had hot fudge sundaes for breakfast. It was, after all, the last day of vacation.
I'm still trying to decide whether I like this sauce, which has more butter and unsweetened chocolate along with the cocoa powder, better than the World's Best sauce. This one has a creamier texture and the other has a chewier texture, but if I don't have them side-by-side (and it would be a terrible thing for me to attempt that!), I don't think the difference is apparent. 
Bottom line: you should make this sauce. The 15 minutes it takes are well worth it.

Devil's Food Chocolate Sauce

1/2 c. (4 oz.) cream
1/3 c. (2.3 oz.) sugar
1/3 c. (2/3 oz.) brown sugar
Pinch salt
1/2 c. (4 oz.) butter
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/4 c. (0.75 oz.) unsweetened cocoa
1 t. vanilla

Put the cream, sugar, brown sugar, salt, and butter in a heavy small saucepan and place over medium heat; cook, stirring often, until the butter and sugar have melted and it's bubbling furiously. If you like a caramel edge to your sauce (I do), let cook another minute or two without stirring. Take off the heat and whisk in the chocolate, cocoa, and vanilla. Let cool for a few minutes and serve over ice cream. You can also pour this into a jar and refrigerate for later--you can either microwave it briefly or put the jar in a saucepan with hot water.

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