Recently I bought a new Preserving book called Blue Ribbon Preserves and I was flipping through it after a chocolate conversation with my friend Andi. Yes, we can have an entire conversation that touches on no other topic other than chocolate. After all she is a chocolate lover extraordinaire. I stumbled across a recipe titled 'Rich Dark Chocolate Sauce'. It sounded perfect and the name alone even got my mouth watering and I have always prefered savory to sweet myself. I decided to attempt it in her honour.
Now if there is one thing I know about preserving is that the better quality ingredient you put into it, the better the final result. But I decided as this was my first attempt that I would ignore my usual rule and just use regular bakers chocolate just to see how it turned out. Then on my second attempt I can invest a little more in the 'good stuff' and really blow Andi's socks off:).
The ingredient list is short and some of you might even find the majority of these ingredients tucked away in your cupboard already.
8 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 1/3 cups superfine sugar *
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1 cup water **
6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
* Now if your local supermarket is anything like mine, they might not carry superfine sugar. Don't sweat it. There is no need to drive all over looking for it. I found that by throwing my regular granulated sugar in the blender, the end result was nice and fine and did the trick.
** You may think that using regular tap water or bottled water would be fine in a preserve recipe that calls for it, such as this one does. But both bottled and tap water contain minerals which can effect the final product. Whenever possible I use distilled water. It makes a bigger difference with vegetables as the colour can be impacted. I am not sure if the end result would have been impacted here, but I had the distilled water on hand, so chose to use it. You decide if you want to be this anal retentive or not.
Combine the chocolate, sugar, corn syrup, water and butter in medium sauce pan. Over low heat, stirring constantly heat until the sugar is completely dissolved and the chocolate and butter are thoroughly melted.
Increase hit to med-low and continue cooking, stirring constantly until the sauce starts to thicken and becomes glossy. Do not allow it to boil or it could taste burnt. About 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla. The sauce thickens as it cools.
Ladle the chocolate sauce into hot jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Using a plastic knife, remove any trapped air bubbles. Wipe the jar rims and threads with a clean, damp cloth. Cover and process in a 200F water bath for 15 minutes. For best result use within 4 months.
Almost as soon as it was done I wanted to taste it. But for me an extremely important ingredient was missing - Vanilla ice cream. My question is this? Isn't vanilla ice cream the reason chocolate sauce was invented?
So I had to wait patiently til the next day when I could buy some ice cream. I chose to boil some water and pour it into a bowl that I could then set the jar of chocolate sauce to warm it up nicely. Popped off the lid, gave it a stir and poured the silky goodness on my ice cream. hmmmm....delicious. Not too sickly sweet. But I could see how buying better quality chocolate would take it up a notch and really bump up the oohing and aahing as you eat it.