Friday, March 11, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

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.  

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  1. I'm making this Lorie. I've kind of gotten a thing lately about getting gouged at the grocery store. I make my own salad dressings, croutons, pasta, hot mustard, and I get 3 meals out of one Costco rotisserie chicken. I'm like you, if it makes sense economically, why not make something and know what goes into it? Your post also answered a question I had regarding how good the special dark cocoa is. I almost bought it the other day and passed on it not knowing if it really made much difference.

  2. @Karen Harris

    Karen- I am not a huge fan of dark chocolate, but the dark cocoa powder I really like. I especially love it in buttercream frosting in place of regular cocoa. Children may prefer the regular cocoa version for their chocolate milk, though. Oooh--and it's fantastic blended with milk, ice, and coffee in the afternoon. :)

    I know-with grocery prices rising and all the food additives in everything, I've really been experimenting with making my own 'from scratch' versions of stuff.

  3. First of all, your pictures are always so beautiful!

    Second, this is a lot like making chocolate gravy. You know, the thicker version you sop with biscuits? Great childhood memories there! Mmm mmm!

    Third, I will be trying this! Thanks!

  4. @dora jane

    Janie-I don't think I've ever had chocolate gravy, but I LOVE the name!

  5. just found your blog and I'm so excited bc these look absolutely amazing!!!
    happy baking!
    xo, Mini Baker

  6. @Mini Baker

    Thanks, Mini Baker, for stopping by!