As far as ice cream toppings go, I always fall back on the 1950s diner-style sundae toppings: whipped cream, 8-10 maraschino cherries, the occasional handful of crushed nuts, and always, always hot fudge.
There’s something magical about pouring molten chocolate over cold ice cream and the instant Bon Appétit cover-worthy tracks the sauce creates. The chewy chocolate is the perfect compliment to soft ice cream, especially for someone who is obsessed with texture differentials in their food. Plus, there’s never day too cold for ice cream.
I’ve dabbled in hot fudge and been thwarted by its inherently finicky nature. Grainy fudge, seizing fudge, burnt fudge — I’ve experienced it all and cursed the dessert Gods. Then, this recipe came along and I thought it was too good to be true! I promise, this version every bit as good and simple as it seems, even if you don’t consider yourself a baker. With a gift like this, you’re bound to be the envy of your work White Elephant or your Tinder date’s holiday party this season.
Peppermint Hot Fudge (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Makes approximately 2 cups
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 light corn syrup
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract (or to taste)*
In a medium-sized heavy saucepan, whisk together cream, syrup, sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of the chocolate chips. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove saucepan from heat, add butter, the second half of the chocolate, and the peppermint extract. Stir until butter is complete melted and fudge is smooth. Transfer to a glass bowl to cool and thicken, then put into jars or another sealable container. Will keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
*You can sub in vanilla extract for the peppermint to make this a any-time-of-year gift!