Ask Peter: Chocolate sauce
I sometimes make a last-minute chocolate sauce, melting chocolate with cream, but I am always a bit nervous in case I get the liquid-to-chocolate ratio wrong (as happened once) and the chocolate seizes. Could you please give me a guideline to follow? And does it matter what type of chocolate you are working with? Kate
I love the simplicity of ice cream and chocolate sauce, and it doesn’t have to be just vanilla ice cream. I quite like a scoop each of raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream, or espresso ice cream with hokey pokey ice cream. Stonefruit and ginger-based ice creams and sorbets go well with a white chocolate sauce, and something like a rich Christmas pudding ice cream goes really well with a dark chocolate sauce (aim for 70 per cent plus), with some runny cream drizzled on as well. Milk chocolate will produce a softer sauce, so reduce the liquids by about 10 per cent.
Generally the thickness of the final sauce will be dependent on the ratio of chocolate to liquids (usually cream, but sometimes milk or water). You can make a chocolate sauce a little more glossy by adding golden syrup or maple syrup to the liquids, which will obviously make it sweeter. Booze can be added which will thin it a little (so add less cream if you don’t want it too thin) and alcohol that seems to work well includes Frangelico, rum, whiskies, Kahlua and other dark flavours. Something like Midori is best avoided.
To ensure your sauce doesn’t seize have the chocolate already melted before you add the warmed liquid — over a double boiler or in the microwave are best. Warm the liquids gently — don’t boil — and then gently pour the liquids on to the chocolate, slowly at first, stirring gently and constantly (or use a smallish whisk) until half the liquid has been added. Then add the rest and stir to emulsify. You can also warm the liquids almost to simmering then add the melted chocolate in two parts, gently stirring it in.
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