Two Pourable Chocolate Sauces to the Rescue

Sheila’s sauce on the left and Kristine’s on the right.

Things were getting pretty dire around here. There was no chocolate sauce for the ice cream, always vanilla, customarily eaten by one of the inhabitants here. This situation is almost as bad as running out of popcorn during the NFL divisional championships, and something had to be done.

For a couple years now, for the family standard chocolate sauce, I have relied on a favorite sauce of mine made with copious amounts of butter, sweetened condensed milk, corn syrup and chocolate chips. It is fudgy, smooth, and rich. Problem is, after being zapped repeatedly in the microwave to reheat it, it becomes remarkably caramel-like and you need a very strong arm to pry it from its jar. From time to time I would intercede and add milk to thin it down. Clearly the solution was to find a chocolate sauce that didn’t stiffen up when cold.

And so last week I inquired of you readers if anyone had a good recipe and, by golly, you did. Kristine Bondeson and Sheila Cookson came to the rescue. The two recipes are actually quite different. Each has its own unique virtue, and I will share both.

Sheila’s recipe came from her friend Kathie. Sheila said, “This is a favorite of mine…I don’t think it will stiffen in the fridge although it doesn’t last long enough to find out.” This is the sauce to make when you need sauce in a hurry. It is quite sweet, and goes together in a flash and remains pourable when cold.

Kristine’s recipe takes a little longer, is richer, and she says, “It’s just so good. Too good. Awfully hard on the hips.” When her son was in high school, she’d find a finger swipe mark in the sauce if she left it out, so she took to putting it away in the fridge. “Although it may not pour as well the second day, it does not crystallize and stays nice and creamy.” I found that it needs to be warm to pour, and could easily be thinned with a little more milk to keep it soft when cold. Perfect.

Generally, I don’t put my chocolate sauces in the fridge. Around here they are consumed quickly enough that they never grow mold, even though they reside in the kitchen cupboard.

Kathie’s Chocolate Sauce from Sheila Cookson

2 cups sugar

½ cup cocoa, sifted

1 cup water

3 tablespoons white corn syrup

pinch of salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine sugar, cocoa, water, corn syrup, and salt, stirring until the mixture is smooth.

Bring to a boil, and boil one minute.

Remove from the heat and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

Use right away or cool and store in a jar.

Makes 2 ½ cups.

Kristine Bondeson’s Chocolate Sauce
Serves: Makes 2 cups.
  • ½ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3-4 oz. unsweetened chocolate or ⅓ cup cocoa
  • ½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate bits chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place butter, brown sugar, white sugar, milk, flour and chocolate or cocoa in a one to two quart saucepan and bring slowly to low boil, stirring gently with a spoon or whisk to prevent sticking.
  2. Let simmer low for three minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.
  3. Remove from heat and add chocolate chips and vanilla and stir until blended.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.