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  1. Tuesday, March 26, 2013

    Cocoa Syrup (aka Homemade Chocolate Syrup)

    Friends. I have quite a find for you today. A delicious, chocolatey find that I should have discovered long before now.

    Years ago Nate and I were addicted to the show Good Eats, something I believe I have confessed before. One of the episodes I clearly remember was about making your own chocolate syrup. I wasn’t interested. I don’t really like chocolate syrup. I’ve never really liked it in chocolate milk (Nate disagrees with me on this count, for the record). I also had no desire to put it on ice cream. I’m a hot fudge girl! So, yeah, I didn’t think much about the recipe.

    But the last few years I’ve been finding that sometimes I do wish I had a bottle of chocolate syrup in the fridge. It just comes in handy sometimes. But I want GOOD chocolate syrup, not the regular stuff you get at the store. I don’t actually hate the regular syrup, but, honestly, I’d just rather go without. To me, the taste isn’t worth the calories.

    WELLLLL…Anna wanted me to figure out how to make a Starbucks drink that she’s obsessed with (recipe to come later this week!) and it involves chocolate syrup. So, remembering that Good Eats episode from long ago, I dug up the recipe and gave the syrup a try.

    I compared a few recipes and decided Alton’s looked the best, so I just followed it verbatim. Heavens, this stuff is good. And the name cocoa syrup is much more fitting than simply chocolate syrup. It is rich and has a depth of flavor you don’t get with the usual “chocolate flavor” syrups out there. The cocoa syrup also has the exact same texture as a regular syrup, so it can serve all of your ‘syruppy’ needs. I have decided we will always have a bottle or two of this delectable stuff in the fridge. It, quite simply, is worth the calories.

    So far we’ve used the syrup in milk and on ice cream. It was delicious both ways. A quick squeeze on the finger ain’t too bad, either.

    When you make your chocolate milk, don’t be stingy with the syrup! The more the better. The chocolate milk reminded me a lot of the Cow Girl Creamery chocolate milk in San Francisco. Yep, it’s that good.

    A note about the cocoa I use: For the last several years I have been using high-quality cocoa powder for baking. Scharffen Berger and Guittard have both been wonderful. Yes, it costs more. But it is WORTH IT. Trust me. I made the same exact chocolate cake for both Owen’s and Cate’s birthdays. Owen’s cake was made with the expensive cocoa while Cate’s used the regular cocoa you get at the store (I had to use it in a pinch). I kid you not, they tasted like I used a different recipe, and I have witnesses to back me up. Owen’s cake was amazing. Cate’s was good but nothing special. It was all about the cocoa.

    Cocoa Syrup (aka Homemade Chocolate Syrup)
    Recipe type: Dessert
    • 1½ cups water
    • 3 cups sugar
    • 1½ cups Dutch-processed cocoa
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
    • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    1. In a medium pot, stir together water and sugar and bring to a boil over high heat. Whisk in cocoa, vanilla, salt, and corn syrup. (Jane note: I had everything measured and ready to go so I could whisk it all in at once.) Whisk until all of the solids have dissolved. Reduce heat but make sure it’s still simmering and cook sauce until slightly thickened, 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
    2. Cool to room temperature and pour into squeeze bottles. (Jane note: I bought Wilton squeeze bottles at Michaels, which work well. This recipe fills two of those bottles. HOWEVER”¦the opening is a bit small, so I’m going to be on the lookout for bottles with a larger hole, like you get for ketchup or mustard. I would just cut the ones I have, but then the caps won’t stay on.)
    3. Refrigerate to store. Makes 24 ounces.