Classic Hot Fudge

Once it became clear that Nancy Silverton’s Caramel Ice Cream Sundae With Salty Peanut Caramel Sauce would easily make the cut for the year’s best recipes, discussions of her Hot Fudge Sauce ended. But during our search this summer for the definitive hot fudge sauce for ice cream sundaes, The Times Test Kitchen had a clear favorite. We ran three hot fudge recipes to let readers decide which they liked best, but the staff was nearly unanimous in siding with the Silverton sauce, which provides the perfect slightly bitter balance against the sweetness of the ice cream and the salt of the toasted nuts. It has the right stickiness, too--it won’t slide off your ice cream like some too-thin sauces--but it uses less corn syrup and more chocolate than many other recipes.

“The problem with many hot fudge recipes,” Silverton wrote this summer, “is that they have too much cream. And most of them don’t have enough chocolate or cocoa powder. I like my hot fudge to taste of chocolate, not corn syrup. I also don’t use butter; to me butter is for chocolate sauce, not for real hot fudge.”

Silverton originally published a Hot Fudge Sauce in her cookbook “Nancy Silverton’s Desserts” (Harper & Row), but has made some adjustments since then. The following recipe reflects the changes she’s made over the years.


Nancy Silverton’s Hot Fudge Sauce

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 20 minutes

7 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 tablespoons instant coffee

3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy

* Melt chocolate pieces in large stainless steel mixing bowl (or top of double boiler) over saucepan of gently simmering water. Be sure water does not touch bottom of mixing bowl to prevent chocolate from burning. Turn off heat and keep warm over warm water until ready to use.

* Bring sugar, corn syrup, water, cocoa powder and instant coffee to boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly to dissolve cocoa powder and sugar and to prevent burning on bottom of pan.


* Whisk in melted chocolate. Boil hot fudge for few minutes to reduce to consistency you desire. It should be quite viscous and surface should have glossy shine. Cool slightly and beat in Cognac or brandy.

About 2 cups. Each 2-tablespoon serving: 118 calories; 13 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol; 6 grams fat; 19 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 0.46 gram fiber.