First of all, let me point you in the direction of Small Notebook. Small Notebook is a beautiful blog about simplifying life, getting organized, and saving money. That's where I first saw a post about homemade chocolate syrup that caught my eye. I knew I had to try it.
But why? Why would someone want to make homemade chocolate syrup? I can think of three reasons right off hand.
1) It's probably cheaper than buying store-bought. I haven't taken the time to analyze the actual cost of homemade versus store-bought myself, but this recipe first ran in Amy Dacyczyn's book The Complete Tightwad Gazette, and there is a cost comparison in there. From scratch wins by quite a bit.
2) It's NOT full of stuff that you can't pronounce. Now, I like my processed food. I like my store-bought ice cream and my Taco Bell and my Oreo cookies. But I have been more concerned about eating processed foods lately, and I am trying to limit the amount I eat. Yes, I'm trying to limit the amount of sugar I eat too, so chocolate syrup is still a splurge for me. But I had bought a bottle of off-brand chocolate syrup not too long ago, and the first ingredient in the list was high fructose corn syrup. I had no idea what some of the other ingredients were.
3) It tastes as good as the canned stuff. Really! I didn't think it would. I really didn't. But it does.
Here are a few tips if you make this:
-This boils over easy. Use a medium to large saucepan and watch it.
-I made three versions. The first version was made with regular Hershey's Cocoa Powder. The second version was made with Hershey's Special Dark 100 % Cacao Powder, which I am absolutely in love with.
The one on the left was made with regular cocoa powder and the one on the right was made with dark.
Personally, I loved the dark the best, but both were delicious. The third batch was made with Splenda. I did not like it at all and I'm going to have to work on it to get it right.
-The original recipe in the Tightwad Gazette says that this will keep for months in the refrigerator. I don't know about months, but I'm sure weeks.
-This syrup is very sweet. That's not a problem for me, but it may be for some. I think the sugar could probably be decreased according to taste.
-This syrup gets thicker when it's cold, so don't judge it before it's really cooled.
Homemade Chocolate Syrup
Adapted from The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn
1/2 cup regular cocoa or dark cocoa powder
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk together the cocoa, water, and sugar in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly, and cook for 3 minutes being careful not to let boil over. Remove from heat and add the salt and vanilla. Pour into a sterilized jar and store in refrigerator. Will keep for several weeks.