Hot Fudge Sauce

My mother loved to try new things she saw at the Co-op grocery or A & P, so it is very likely that I had my first taste of commercial hot fudge in 1948. That’s when Smucker’s introduced chocolate fudge as one of their spoonable ice cream toppings. She probably made hot fudge sauce before then, because I have loved the stuff for as long as I can remember..

After the Dairy Queen opened in Hayward, I became a regular customer for hot fudge sundaes and hot fudge malts. By the time I was in high school my friends and I would gather at the soda fountain on main street where I even tried hot fudge cokes.

If you think that sounds odd, you did not grow up in the golden age of the soda fountain where you could customize your phosphates and sodas. There were the standards of course–lemon or lime phosphates, lemon/lime phosphates, cherry phosphates and plain Coca Colas. But there were dozens of variations including chocolate cherry cokes, lime cokes and vanilla cokes.

And of course, there was the “Suicide” or “Slop” made with a squirt of just about every flavoring stirred together in a large malt glass. I think that they cost about fifteen cents and were not very good. All the sugar in them, however, made them ideal for dipping the end of your paper-covered straw in the glass and then blowing the paper up to the tin ceiling, If you were lucky, the paper would stick there to make more cleanup work for whatever friend was working at the fountain that day.

Having matured a little, and real soda fountains with tin ceilings almost impossible to find, I no longer try to stick soda straw paper on ceilings. However, I still enjoy eating hot fudge sundaes, especially ones with home made hot fudge sauce.

Many years ago I used a recipe from one of our cookbooks to make what turned out to be the best hot fudge sauce we had ever tasted. I promptly forgot which cookbook held the recipe, and my sporadic attempts to find it proved futile. Then one day I stumbled on it, complete with a “Very good!” note in Jerri’s handwriting.

The recipe is based on one by Jane Buhr from Our Church Picnic compiled by members of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in New Richmond, Wisconsin. Here is how to make it.


4 squares semisweet chocolate
3 heaping tsp. cocoa
1/2 cup butter
2 1/2 cups sugar
A pinch of salt
12 oz. can of evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla


Melt the chocolate, butter and cocoa in a double boiler, stirring frequently to make a velvety liquid. Gradually add the sugar, salt and milk, stirring continuously until the sauce thickens. Stir in the vanilla. Serve warm over ice cream or other desserts.

NOTE. You can store this sauce for several weeks in the refrigerator and warm it when needed.


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