If you look elsewhere in this column, you’ll see a rant against
the use of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Unhappily, it’s
a very common sweetener in chocolate syrups, but it’s easy
to make your own chocolate syrup, and when you do that you have
control over what goes into it.
This is a very chocolatey syrup---so chocolatey, in fact, that
you might want to use less than you normally would in milkshakes
or other recipes. It’s also quite a bit less sweet than store-bought
syrups. You can play with the amount of sugar here, but I wouldn’t
suggest using less than 2/3 cup. I’m not certain how long
this lasts, but I’ve had some in my fridge for over two weeks
now and it still looks and tastes fine.
Yield: Generous 1 cup
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
- Few grains of salt
- 2/3 cup water
- 1 tsp. vanilla
Into a 1 quart, heavy-bottomed, nonaluminum pot, sift together
the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Using a small slotted spoon,
blend thoroughly, pressing out as many lumps as possible. Add about
half of water and stir in well; mixture will be a thick paste. Gradually
add remaining water, stirring in well after each addition. Scrape
down pot sides with rubber spatula.
Set pot over medium-low heat and stir almost constantly until sugar
is dissolved and mixture is warm. Increase heat to medium-high;
stir frequently until mixture comes to a boil, scraping down sides
of pot with rubber spatula occasionally.
Boil without stirring for 3 minutes. Mixture should achieve a rolling
boil; when it does, reduce heat so that a rolling boil is maintained
but mixture doesn’t boil over. At the end of 3 minutes of
boiling, remove from heat. Add vanilla (be careful; it will spatter!)
and stir in.
Scrape mixture into a heatproof, non-reactive container of at least
2-cup capacity. Cool briefly, then chill thoroughly, covering tightly
when cold. As the syrup chills, you might see a “skin”
form on top (as happens with pudding), but if you cover the container
with plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge overnight, the skin
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