Rich and dark with a lacquer-like shine, chocolate sauce is a classic and it is easy. The most important ingredient is clearly the chocolate, so search for the best quality you can find. I use Valhrona, a wonderful chocolate from France, and generally use the 62% cocoa solid version. If I need a particularly intensely flavoured sauce I will use 70% cocoa solids. I serve the sauce with ice creams and some chocolate puddings. The sauce is best when freshly made but will keep in the fridge for several weeks. If I have stored it for a while, I always warm it up gently before serving.

Ingredients

  • 75g best quality chocolate
  • 175ml warm syrup
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract or 1 tablespoon rum

Method

  • Place the chocolate in a heavy heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. I use a Pyrex-type bowl. The bottom of the bowl must not be touching the water.
  • I prefer not to stir the chocolate when it is starting to melt but will use a flexible rubber spatula when it is nearly melted to encourage an even melt.
  • Remove the bowl from the heat and allow the chocolate to cool slightly for 3 minutes.
  • Slowly whisk in the warm syrup and flavouring of choice. Keep the chocolate sauce in a warm place, such as sitting in the saucepan that you melted it in with the heat turned off.
  • Several other flavours to add to Chocolate Sauce: replace the rum in the recipe with whiskey or brandy or an orange liqueur.
  • Omit the rum in the recipe and add a ¼ teaspoon of finely grated orange zest to the sauce at the end of cooking.
  • Replace the warm syrup in the recipe with warm caramel sauce. Omit the vanilla or rum.