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Extra-Bitter Chocolate Sauce Recipe

Staff Writer
Cocoa Powder

Cocoa Powder

Unsweetened natural cocoa powder is the base for this sauce. Natural cocoa powder, albeit lighter in color than Dutch-processed cocoa, has a more chocolaty flavor.

This chocolate sauce can be used atop a scoop of ice cream, or drizzled over a wedge of cake or a plate of crepes or waffles. You can use it to dip strawberries... Or to make my Dark Varietal Chocolate Drink.

Deliver Ingredients


  • 1¼ cups (5 ounces) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 cups (9½ ounces) granulated cane sugar
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 cup (3½ ounces by weight) light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract, preferably Madagascar Bourbon
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ Madagascar Bourbon vanilla bean, split horizontally


Sift the cocoa powder into a small bowl.

Put the sugar, cream, corn syrup, water, vanilla extract, and salt in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan. Place over medium heat and whisk until all the ingredients are blended. Add the cocoa powder. Reduce the heat to low and whisk constantly. The sauce will get lumpy, but then become smooth as it cooks. Cook until it just begins to boil. This should take about 8 minutes. Be careful that it does not burn.

Pour the sauce into a 1-quart clear vessel. Blend with an immersion blender until smooth.

Either use immediately, or pour the finished sauce into a bowl, let cool to room temperature, pour into a jar, cover, and refrigerate. It will keep for at least 1 month. To reheat, stir over low heat.

Chocolate Shopping Tip

There are so many varieties of chocolate on the shelves today it can be overwhelming to pick one – as a general rule of thumb, the fewer the ingredients, the better the chocolate.

Chocolate Cooking Tip

When melting chocolate, use a double boiler and stir occasionally to avoid scorching chocolate at the bottom of the bowl.

Chocolate Wine Pairing

Sweet chenin blanc, muscat, or amontillado sherry with nut-based desserts; sauternes or sweet German wines with pound cake, cheesecake, and other mildly sweet desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines with sweeter desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines, port, madeira, late-harvest zinfandel, or cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc with chocolate desserts.