In the spirit of love and collaboration, my husband Gus has decided to guest post this week. Don't believe a word he says.
Believe me, I am as shocked and pleased by this as you are. I was definitely not expecting my wife Sam to invite me to do this guest post for Valentine’s Day. First of all, I assumed that she already knew how to make hot fudge. I have to admit that I am a bit surprised that she doesn’t, even after graduating from culinary school and so forth, but I am very happy to help her learn. It is so fun to team up as a couple! Love comma cake indeed!
I am doubly surprised because I suggest ideas for this blog all the time, practically every day, in fact almost every time I talk to my wife. To be honest, many of them are more cutting-edge than this one, yet Sam usually rejects them out of hand. That is her mistake if you ask me. One of my recipe ideas was even on Shark Tank recently. No kidding. Two ambitious people went on that inspiring show with an idea very similar to one I had suggested for this blog. Let me just say that they received a warmer reception from the sharks than I did from Sam. That just shows you why she is not a shark on Shark Tank. I can’t say any more about the idea, because the fact that it didn’t get a deal from the sharks had more to do with the execution than the concept, which is brilliant. A cash cow, if you will. That would be funny if you knew what the idea was. But I really can’t say more. Check back with me about this!
Sometimes Sam even seems mad when I suggest ideas for the blog. Last night I told her about a chicken dish I created. I started with a dead, de-plumed whole bird, salted the cavity, and then put lemon quarters and thyme inside. Then I put garlic cloves and more thyme under the skin, brushed it with oil, and rubbed salt all over it. I cooked it on “Bake” for about an hour at 425, and to my relief it really came out great. But Sam was rather short with me when I told her that she could use my chicken dish for this blog or for one of her books. She is so competitive! I suppose the reason she invited me to do a guest post on hot fudge is that she is really interested in learning how to make hot fudge. I don’t blame her! I was too, and that is why I developed this recipe.
I actually call this hot fudge “hot fudge it” because that name sums up both what it is and how I make it. That is not to say that there are not some basic principles to respect. To the contrary, it all comes back to the basics, as I am always telling my wife. “Fundamentals matter,” I always say, to help her learn from her mistakes. For example, do not forget to stir—that is a must, trust me. But beyond that, just have fun, be who you are, and try to let the hot fudge express your essential self!
I start with a can of coconut milk. This is a radical departure from the French method, but a necessary one in this case. I lost the intestinal flora that had allowed me to digest dairy products thanks to the heavy doses of powerful antibiotics I was prescribed after a trip to Sri Lanka in 2010. A real bummer in some ways, but don’t worry, I am making do, as you can see from this recipe!
I pour the coconut milk from the can into a saucepan—copper is definitely best if you have it, but we don’t. Sam is very thrifty when it comes to housewares. Then I precisely measure out about the same amount of bittersweet chocolate chips and throw those in, too. Some people prefer semisweet chocolate, but I like the yin/yang balance established when the warm bittersweet chocolate meets the cool ice cream in the circular bowl. Actually it is like a yin-yang now that I think of it.
I add pinch of salt and melt all the ingredients together over a medium-low flame. The alchemy of three simple ingredients into a single entity, hot fudge, really starts to happen when the fudge reaches a light boil. That boil is what is going to give your hot fudge silky thickness and, if you time it right and stir the proper number of times, that candy-like chewiness in the bottom of the bowl. Oh my god I love that.
As to timing, this part is kind of a mystery to me. I like to give the fudge a few minutes of bubbling bubbling bubbling. Then I take it off the heat, stir in a dash of really good vanilla extract, let it cool for all of Double Jeopardy, and boom shabitty bitty bang bang. I serve it on top of ice cream in a bowl and eat it with a spoon as fast as possible. Sometimes I finish my bowl even before Sam is done scooping her ice cream.
I believe that my ability to make this hot fudge, combined with my wife’s extraordinary ability to consume hot fudge, has been a major factor in my happy marriage. I hope that continues to be the case even though Sam now knows how to make it herself. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Gus' Hot Fudge Sauce
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk
1 bag (12 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1. In a medium saucepan combine coconut milk and chocolate chips over medium. Bring mixture to a boil and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thickened, about 6 minutes, stirring frequently. (Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge but will need a little heat to soften up again.)