By Marais Vida
As much as I love the variety of ice cream flavors on the market these days, there is simply something wonderful about the seemingly straightforward combination of vanilla and chocolate sauce. When I was little, playing in my grandmother’s backyard, she would make my brother, sister and our cousins plain vanilla cones with chocolate syrup. She would always make a small well with the back of a teaspoon so that the syrup wouldn’t just run of off the ice cream. At the time that seemed like pure genius to me and now that I’m an adult I appreciate the extra effort even more.
I have a super simple recipe here for chocolate syrup, for your cone or to spruce up plain milk. A recipe for a magic shell ice cream topper, that comes together in minutes and a recipe for chocolate fudge that uses pantry staples (hopefully marshmallows are a staple in your house too!) and almost no cooking know-how whatsoever. This last one even led my 11-year-old to claim it was the best ice cream he’s ever had. Always good to hear!
- 1 1/2 C water
- 1 1/2 C sugar
- 1 C cocoa powder (Dutch processed if you have it)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
In a small saucepan, mix dry ingredients until you see no lumps of cocoa. Stir in the water and bring slowly to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the vanilla. This syrup will keep in the fridge for 4 weeks, after that it may start to crystalize. Use this to make chocolate banana milk in the blender!
- 2 C chocolate chips (or 10-12 oz baking chocolate)
- 1/3 C coconut oil
Use chocolate that you like the taste of, quality really pays off here! If you don’t want a pronounced coconut taste, use refined coconut oil. Find a bowl that will fit snugly into a small saucepan without toughing the inside bottom. Put 2 inches of water in the saucepan and your chocolate and coconut oil in the bowl on top. Turn the heat on to medium and stir once the chocolate and oil start melting. Your chocolate shell is ready to use as soon as it’s all melted and mixed smooth. Simply pour into a jar or bottle and reheat by immersing the bottle in some hot water whenever you need to use it! If using sprinkles or other toppings, be quick, this hardens up quickly!
- 3 1/2 C marshmallows (10 oz)
- 2/3 C milk
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 C chocolate chips (10 oz)
Melt the marshmallows and butter together with the milk in a small saucepan over low to medium heat, stirring continuously. Once everything is incorporated smoothly, add in your chocolate and stir to combine while it melts. If your fudge sauce starts looking grainy, whisk in 1 tsp of boiling hot water vigorously until it smooths out. Use immediately or store in a bottle in the fridge and heat up by immersing jar in hot water or gently in the microwave when it’s sundae or banana split time.