Even for a party of one.

By Maddy Sweitzer-Lammé
June 23, 2020
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One of the great pleasures of summer is a special ice cream—whether it’s soft serve from a truck, ice cream sandwiches from your own freezer, or homemade, there’s no season where ice cream feels quite so special as in the summer. One of my favorite tricks for taking a treat from fun to extra-special is to whip up an easy hot fudge with just a couple of ingredients. It comes together in about 20 minutes with four ingredients. Here’s the simple technique you can keep in your back pocket for the moments when nothing but an ice cream sundae will do.

Don’t sweat the proportions too much here. This recipe is pretty hard to mess up—all you’re doing is mixing together a bunch of ingredients that already taste delicious and cooking them gently until they make a smooth sauce. There’s no complicated chemical reaction we’re looking for, only a uniform texture, which is why a little more or less of any of them ingredients won’t significantly impact the outcome of the hot fudge.

Start by setting a heavy-bottom saucepan over low heat. The heavy bottom will keep you from scorching the chocolate, which can burn easily. Add about 1 cup of chocolate chips and about 1 tablespoon of butter. Ideally, the chocolate chips should be unsweetened so you can control the sweetness, but dark or semisweet chocolate will work in a pinch. Use a spatula to stir the butter and chocolate so that it melts evenly. Once it’s all melted, add about 1/4 cup of cream, half and half or milk, and 2 tablespoons of sugar and stir together. If you’re using dark chocolate, which already has more sugar added, you may find you want more chocolate and less sugar. Feel free to play with the proportions to find something that is pleasing to your taste buds. Increase the heat to medium, and stir often as you wait for the sauce to come to a low simmer.

The simmer ensures that the sugar is melted into the chocolate and that everything is incorporated. Once you hit this point, remove from the stove and transfer to a heat-proof container and let cool just slightly before drizzling it over your ice cream. My preferred combination is vanilla with a landslide of fudge and a sprinkle of chopped, smoked almonds for that crunchy, salty counterpoint. Keep this fudge in your fridge for up to ten days, though I doubt it will last that long.