Diana and I share the nickname “Di”. I noticed her name immediately back in my TWD days because you just notice things like that. I started reading her blog Di’s Kitchen Notebook and have been an avid reader since. I was so excited when she agreed to guest blog this week! Be sure and let her know how awesome this hot fudge sauce looks and be sure to stop over at her blog and say hello too!
When Dianne posted on Facebook that she was looking for guest bloggers, I was really excited at the prospect of being one of them. I really enjoy reading her blog. I started following it back when she was also a member of Tuesdays with Dorie. I’m really impressed that she can keep up with posting on a daily basis, and I love the various themes that she comes up with, like Ice Cream Week. In fact, since that was one of my favorites, I thought that it would be fun to talk some more about ice cream, even though it’s still technically winter. Fortunately it’s pretty warm during the day down here in Texas, and besides, any time is good for ice cream. =)
I tend to be pretty minimalist with my ice cream. My husband Jamie sometimes likes lots of stuff in his ice cream, but I like usually like plain flavors. Chocolate. Vanilla. Mint. Maybe throw some chocolate chips in there. Or a swirl of something. So to make my ice cream choice more interesting for everyone else, I like to make some sort of sauce to go with it. Raspberry coulis, or chocolate sauce, or maybe some caramel. I’ve been having lots of fun making caramel at home lately. It’s gotten to the point where I can even multitask while keeping an eye on molten sugar on the stove. I never could have done that a year ago. =)
At the end of February, I made some Salted Burnt Sugar Ice Cream (from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours, though the salt was my addition) to go with another recipe that I made. Afterwards, I had some of the ice cream left, and was looking for something to go with it. Chocolate sounded good, and then I thought about combining the chocolate with caramel to tie everything together. I made some caramel sauce and melted some chocolate into it. The resulting sauce had the texture of hot fudge with an underlying flavor of salty caramel. Mmm.
Caramel Hot Fudge Sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon light corn syrup (optional)
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70%)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Start by putting the water into a medium saucepan. Pour the sugar into the center of the water, so it all gets wet without any crystals getting on the sides of the pan. Add the corn syrup, which acts as insurance against crystallization. Cover the saucepan and place it over medium heat. After a couple minutes the mixture will start boiling; remove the lid.
At first the sugar mixture will bubble like crazy as the water boils off. Once that happens, the syrup will start to thicken and the bubbles will get bigger and pop more slowly. It will even sound different. After 5 or 6 minutes (I think), the color will start to change, first becoming a pale yellow and eventually starting to turn amber around the edges. At that point, swirl the mixture in the pot, watching carefully as the whole thing gradually darkens in color. Once it reaches a medium to dark amber color, slowly pour in the heavy cream, standing back because steam will shoot out as the cream hits the hot sugar.
The caramel will probably seize up at this point. Add the kosher salt and put the mixture back over low heat, stirring until the caramel melts into the cream and the whole mixture smooths out. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the bittersweet chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth again. Let cool until just warm and add the vanilla. Serve over your favorite ice cream. Leftover sauce can be kept in the refrigerator. I’m not sure how long it will keep–but it probably won’t last long anyway. =)
Thanks Diana! And thanks to all who helped me out this week as a guest blogger. I’ll be back next week with all new recipes so stay tuned!