For Chocolate Lovers only
 


Wendy's Honey-Chocolate Sauce

Tips: Let me tell you about my wonderful friend Wendy. She is a truly amazing woman who lives in a world that revolves around rare books/manuscripts (see www.prbm.com), medieval music, cats, her charming fiance, and good food—especially good chocolate. She kept telling me that someone she knew had a recipe for a garlic-honey-chocolate sauce, a statement I flatly refused to believe. But the recipe does exist, because it arrived via e-mail one fine morning. I spent 12 days carefully steeping raw garlic cloves in honey as part of the preparation for making the sauce. Despite the promise contained in the recipe that the finished product would not shout “garlic!”, it did…and I want to tell you there is nothing weirder on the tastebuds than a chocolate sauce that is powerfully redolent of that herb!

But that experiment produced a valuable by-product, because I set out to prove that a chocolate-honey sauce without garlic could be much pleasanter, and I think I’ve succeeded. For a simple and delicious springtime dessert, serve this, gently warmed, over vanilla ice cream with strawberries. You must use the best-quality bittersweet chocolate you can find (remember, if it isn’t smooth in bar form, it won’t be smooth in the finished product, either). Despite the use of honey, the sauce is not particularly sweet, although you can adjust the amount of honey to taste. You’ll want to use a light honey for this—orange blossom, clover, or a light wildflower would all be fine choices. Once made, the sauce will keep for at least a week in the fridge, but freezing it adversely affects the texture.

Yield: About 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 4 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small bits
  • Few grains of salt
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tbsp. mild, light honey

Method:

In small heatproof bowl, combine chocolate, butter bits, and salt. Set aside.

In small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over low heat, heat cream until very hot, stirring often. Remove from heat; immediately pour about half of hot cream over chocolate. Allow to stand for a minute or two, then stir or whisk gently until smooth. Add remaining cream in three additions, stirring gently after each until mixture is smooth. Stir in honey. Cool briefly, then chill, covering tightly when cold.

To serve: Scrape only as much sauce as you’ll use into a small heatproof bowl (repeated rechilling and reheating of sauce can make it grainy). Place over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl); stir only until melted and warm. Remove from heat and hot water. (Alternatively, scrape amount of sauce needed into microwaveable bowl. Microwave at 50% (medium) power for very short intervals, stirring thoroughly after each, just until melted and warm).

Serve as desired. Sauce will harden somewhat over ice cream or sorbet.

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