Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. I felt heroic surrounded by all those saucepans of newly minted hot chocolate sauce, like Scarlet in Gone With the Wind : "As God is my witness, those beautifully packaged dark chocolate sauces are not going to entice me into spending the kid's college fund. I'm going to live through this and when it's all over I'll never be without bittersweet chocolate sauce again nor any of my folk. If I have to chop chocolate for hours and hours as God is my witness I'll never be without bittersweet chocolate sauce again."

  2. She said that, right?

  3. P.S. Those three pounds of premium quality, bittersweet bar chocolate did not cost what you might expect. See bullet 2 below.

  4. Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce Tips & Tricks

  5. A bittersweet chocolate sauce relies almost entirely on the quality of the bar chocolate used. Use the best you can afford, but there's really no need to break the bank, especially of you are preparing one of the variations with auxiliary strong flavor notes.

  6. I have been very pleased with the quality of the 72% bar chocolate that Trader Joe's carries. It is about half the cost of other premium bittersweet bar chocolate. A clerk at the downtown Portland, Oregon store recently told me that several noted, local pastry chefs come in weekly to buy large amounts of this chocolate. 

  7. If bar chocolate is overheated as it is being melted, it may "seize," meaning that it may begin to look grainy or curdled and lose its smooth, glossy finish. In a chocolate sauce, this issue can usually be reversed by adding additional liquid to the sauce and whisking rapidly. I have noticed that when I try to keep a chocolate sauce warm over barely simmering water for any length of time, it often becomes too thick and then begins to seize. A tablespoon or two of liquid (water is fine) always rescues the sauce.

  8. 30 seconds and check to see if the chocolate is beginning to melt. If not, microwave for another

  9. 20-30 seconds. Stir with a dry spatula or chopstick. If needed, microwave further in 10-second increments, checking after each to see if the chocolate is melting. Remove the chocolate from the microwave before it is completely melted, and stir to melt the remainder.

  10. When making a chocolate sauce, rearrange the recipe if necessary so that the liquid ingredients are heated first. Then remove from the heat and simply stir chopped chocolate into the hot liquid until it melts and is incorporated.

  11. Adding butter to chocolate sauce is not absolutely necessary, but a little does lend a luxurious texture and mouth feel. The same can be said for cream and even milk to some degree.

  12. Most classic bittersweet chocolate sauces are simply heated, thinned (perhaps) chocolate ganache. Any chocolate ganache recipe can be turned into a chocolate sauce.

  13. During the ganache emulsification step, it is important to slowly combine the hot (but not too hot) liquid and chopped chocolate. Use a flexible spatula and stir slowly until the chopped chocolate is melted and emulsified. If you see tiny undissolved particles of chocolate even after most of the chocolate has melted, use whisk briefly to help the emulsion along. But don't overdo it.

  14. If you want the nuances of your bar chocolate to come through most vividly, use water instead of cream or butter in the emulsion. The difference is striking.

  15. Likewise, if you want to emphasize the flavor of a particular fruit with the chocolate, use a fruit juice or puree, chocolate, and little, if any, cream or butter.

  16. Cream and butter soften the flavor of chocolate, which can be very nice if that is what you are after.

  17. The Perfect Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce

  18. This is a basic formula recipe with ten luscious variations. It gives you the ingredient parameters and process, from which you can explore a range of variations.

  19. 1 1/2 cups liquid (water, coffee, fruit juice or puree, coconut milk, caramel sauce, or cream; or combination of two or more)

  20. 1/4- 3/4 cup sugar (white, brown, or combination of both)

  21. 1-2 teaspoons herbs, spices, or flavored tea 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  22. Optional Ingredients

  23. 1 teaspoon vanilla or other extract (flavor note)

  24. 1-4 tablespoons corn syrup (body and silky mouth feel)

  25. 1-8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (richness and silky mouth feel)

  26. 1-2 tablespoons liqueur or liquor of choice (flavor note and kick)

  27. Oh, how I love this sauce. I use the more generous quantity to cayenne to give it a real kick and the optional tequila for added flavor dimension. Because only a modest amount of cream is used here, the chocolate nuances come through bright and bold. This is a stellar bittersweet chocolate sauce. It will be featured in an upcoming post titled, Fried Banana Split with Mexican Bittersweet Chocolate Chile Sauce & Strawberry Mint Salsa

  28. 3/4 cup water

  29. 1/2 cup sugar

  30. 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder

  31. 1/4- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne chile powder

  32. 8 ounces premium quality bittersweet bar chocolate (70%-72% cacao), pistoles or finely chopped

  33. 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract (or other vanilla extract)

  34. 2 tablespoons tequila Blanco, optional

  35. cup premium quality, unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or alkalized) (1 1/4 ounces)

  36. 3/4 cup sugar

  37. 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (or 1/2 teaspoon Starbuck's Via Italian Roast Microground Coffee)

  38. 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

  39. 3/4 cup heavy cream

  40. 3/4 cup milk

  41. 6 ounces premium quality, bittersweet bar chocolate (70%-72% cacao), pistoles or finely chopped

  42. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, room temperature

  43. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


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