Summer Dessert: Classic Hot Fudge Sundae
You’ll be amazed at the difference homemade hot fudge sauce and freshly whipped cream make. This sauce is absolutely amazing, just like the kind you get in an ice cream parlor and much better than the typical supermarket versions. It takes only about 5 minutes to make. So take the ice cream out of the freezer before you start, and by the time you’ve made the sauce and whipped the cream, the ice cream will be optimally soft and scoopable. Once you have everything ready, assemble the sundaes quickly so you can enjoy the wonderful, fleeting contrast of hot fudge and cold ice cream while it lasts. Be sure the chocolate chips you use for this are semisweet, not milk chocolate (they are too sweet). Or swap in some other excellent semisweet chocolate (choose your favorite!), broken or chopped into small pieces.
The sauce will keep in a tightly covered jar in the refrigerator for 2 months or longer. It will become solid, so you’ll need to reheat it in the microwave (or by gently warming the jar in a pot of water over medium heat). You can also just eat it cold with a spoon if you’re urgently craving a chocolate truffle fix.
1 pint heavy cream (that’s the big container, or two of the smaller ones)
½ cup dark corn syrup
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons + 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (some for the sauce, some for the whipped cream)
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons sugar (powdered or granulated)
Excellent ice cream (Vanilla ice cream is the standard here, but feel free to use your favorite flavor, or a combination of flavors).
Measure out 2/3 cup of the cream and pour it into a medium-small saucepan. Put the remaining unused cream back in the refrigerator for now.
Add the corn syrup and chocolate chips to the cream in the pan, and place it on the stove over medium-low heat. Whisk it slowly as it heats and the chocolate melts. Keep cooking and whisking over medium-low heat. Bubbles will begin to form around the sides. When it starts to boil, turn the heat to low and simmer, whisking often, for 3 minutes.
Remove the pan from the heat, and slowly whisk in the 2 teaspoons vanilla and the butter. Cover the pan and set it aside.
Take the remaining cream out of the refrigerator, and pour it into a medium-large bowl. (Extra space is needed because the cream will double in volume when whipped.) Beat the cream—vigorously—with the largest whisk you have. (You can also use a handheld electric mixer; just be very careful not to overbeat the cream, or you’ll have butter.) Be patient, and keep whipping. It will take about 3 minutes for the cream to start frothing. After that point, add the remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and the sugar. Continue to whip, paying close attention to the condition of the cream as it expands and thickens. You get to decide when it’s ready.
Put a teaspoon or two of the hot fudge sauce at the bottom of each serving dish. Cover this with a scoop of the ice cream. Spoon on more of the fudge, and top with a dollop of whipped cream.
Sprinkle on some chopped toasted walnuts or almonds.
Top each serving with a strawberry or a maraschino cherry.
Layer slices of banana in with the ice cream.
Layer in some fresh berries (slice larger ones; leave smaller ones whole), or use frozen unsweetened berries (defrost them in a bowl to collect the juices, which you can drizzle on as a second sauce).
Sprinkle crumbled cookies over the ice cream and again over the whipped cream. Use any kind you like, Italian almond cookies are fantastic.
Garnish each sundae with a small cookie, stuck jauntily into the whipped cream.
How to (re)heat up hot fudge?
There is a simple method you can use to heat hot fudge sauce. Just heat in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, then stir until smooth.
A perfect sundae for me is extra heavy on the whipped cream and toasted nuts. What’s your favorite combination?
If you make this recipe, be sure to share your feedback! Have a great day!