Nick's birthday - HAPPY BIRTHDAY NICK! And birthdays call for dessert, right?
I wrote about how easy it is to make your own chocolate syrup at home recently. Once we had used up that first batch of syrup, I wanted to experiment a little, and try a new flavor twist. Spicy chocolate syrup, inspired by Mexican or Aztec style hot chocolate was at the top of my list. I like the grown-up twist of spicy flavors in ice cream - it is unexpected and delicious. For this version, I reduced the amount of sugar, because it seemed the spicy flavor would be better if less sweet (and a bit more intensely chocolate-y).
The issue that arose after I made and cooled the syrup was this: it came out very thick - more like fudge sauce than chocolate syrup, and pretty difficult to work with. It didn't drizzle thinly like the regular syrup - it was too...goopy (yuck.). This problem was pretty easily solved by simply using a bit more water to thin out the sauce. If your sauce cools and is thicker than you would like, you can stir in an extra tablespoon or two of hot water to adjust the consistency.
Both this recipe and the original chocolate syrup recipes are vegan. Most store-bought chocolate syrups seem to include some milk products. However, the vegan-ness depends on the type of sugar used. A natural, unbleached sugar is vegan, but some vegans don't consume bleached white table sugar. If you're vegan, you probably have a favorite sugar product - if you're cooking for someone else who is vegan, ask them what sugars are okay with them. (Also: it is definitely not vegan if you eat it atop regular ice cream, like I do!)
the original, blends nicely into a hot chocolate drink; all the spices add a really fun, gourmet twist. It is also great on top of ice cream - the spiciness is largely masked by the sugars from the ice cream, but the flavor of the chilies shines through. If you want it to make your ice cream really spicy, use more cayenne.
Aztec Chocolate Syrup
This sauce is mild to medium spicy; increase the cayenne if you want spicier sauce, or omit it for mild sauce.
Yield: about 2 cups syrup
1 cup sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup plus 3 tbsp water
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1. In a medium sauce pan, combine sugar and cocoa powder. Stir together,
breaking up any clumps of cocoa. Add the water and salt, and stir.
2. Place pan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and boil for a minute
until the mixture thickens slightly. At this point, it will coat the
back of your spoon and look like you expect chocolate syrup to look.
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Let it cool about 5 minutes, then stir
in the vanilla extract and spices. (If you add the vanilla before it cools, it will
evaporate and not flavor your syrup!). Adjust the heat level to your preference.
4. Pour into an airtight container, let cool, then store in the fridge.
I'm loving our warm weather this week - although I had to photograph this ice cream fast so it didn't melt (too much) on me! I've been getting out for runs with Cooper and Nick, and I'm loving how late it stays light.
I've been doing a lot of planning work for our outdoor container garden, and I'll be telling you all about that soon! With this warm weather, it looks like we might start things off quite a bit earlier than I thought.
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