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Monday, August 26, 2013

Brownie, Hot Fudge Sundae

Sprinkle with a little cayenne or espelette pepper for the adults ;)

We play a game in our family called ''My favourite''.  A category is given and you have to state your favourite item within the category.  For example: favourite desert, favourite junk food, favourite TV show, etc.  We make it up as we go.  This often helps pass the time when we are waiting in a long line up or to board a plane.  It is  fun, insightful and the answers change as our tastes develop and refine throughout the years.

One desert, however, has consistenly come up as a top choice for many people:  brownies with hot fudge sauce and ice cream.  Who can argue?!  When one person mentions this, others will invariably change their answers or concur that it is also one of their favourites.

What is it about this that makes it so good?  As I was testing this recipe last week - I have to admit that we had a lot of trouble keeping away from the chocolaty brownie, cold, rich ice cream and warm, thick hot fudge sauce that brings together so many wonderful textures, and memories.  

In my opinion, the key is a wonderful hot fudge sauce that must be served warm and gets thicker as it is ladled onto the cold ice cream.  

Here is my version of hot fudge sauce in which I have replaced the corn syrup with maple syrup and white sugar with coconut sugar in an effort to make it a little healthier (it seems that coconut sugar is a low glycemic index food and healthy alternative for diabetics).  The coconut sugar has a lot of flavour and adds a little caramel taste.  The key to getting the sauce to thicken is to cook it to a soft-ball stage (235-240°F or 118-120°C) on a candy thermometer.   I did not have a candy thermometer on hand and allowed mine to lightly boil for about 5 minutes - and it came out perfect (you can spoon a small drop into a glass of cold water and if it forms a ball, it is ready).  
I picked this up at Homesense but can also be found in many
health food stores!

Excellent quality chocolate - available at the bulk food store
at the Atwater Market - or you can use dark chocolate bars/chips

To make it a little different, I sprinkled a little cayenne pepper over the hot fudge sauce for the adults.  You can tailor it to your own tastes by choosing your favourite ice cream (here I used homemade vanilla ice cream),  adding nuts, berries, whipped cream, shredded coconut, bananas,etc.  This is always a hit!  Hope you like it.

Hot Fudge Sauce:  

You will need: for about 1 1/2 cups of sauce

  • 2 tbsp (15g) of good quality cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (65g) of coconut sugar or regular sugar (100g)
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) of 15% cooking cream - this makes it lighter but you can also use heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of maple syrup or light corn syrup
  • 2 tbsp (30g) of salted butter
  • 1/2 cup (80g) of chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips (I used 66% cocoa)
  • if you didn't use salted butter, add a pinch of salt

  1. Place all the ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking ingredients until it reaches a low boil;
  2. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 - 10 minutes (stir every once in while);  the longer it cooks the thicker it will become;
  3. Sauce should be reheated gently before serving (it is quite thick when cold - like soft fudge!)

Rich Dark Chocolate Brownies:  1 8X8 ''(20cm X 20cm)  pan (you can easily double the recipe)

  • 1/2 cup (120g) of salted butter
  • 1/2 cup (100g) of sugar
  • 1 1/3 cup (195 g) of dark chocolate chips (I used 66% cocoa)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) of white flour
  • 2 tbsp (15 g) of cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp of pure vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 F - 180 C, and butter 8 X 8 '' (20cm X 20cm) pan;
  • Melt salted butter (1/2 cup - 120g), sugar (1/2 cup -100g) and dark chocolate chips (1 1/3 cup - 195g) in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, whisking to combine well;
  • Remove from heat and add eggs one at a time stirring in quickly to prevent them from cooking in the hot mixture;
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour (1/2 cup - 60g), cocoa powder (2 tbsp - 15g) and baking powder (1/2 tsp).  Blend together;
  • Add flour mixture to the warm chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.  Add vanilla extract (1.5 tsp - 7.5ml) and stir (it is important to not overmix as you brownies will be tough - stir just to combine);
  • Pour brownie mixture into the buttered pan, making sure it is evenly distributed;
  • Cook for 30 minutes in the middle of the oven.

Smile and thought of the day:


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