Hot Chocolate Fudge Sauce (Gluten Free)

So Easter is over and no longer will we have to endure cute bunnies and eggs taking over the blog World.   If you want to use up your left over Easter eggs then try this  recipe for naughty hot chocolate fudge sauce which is perfect accompaniment to an ice-cream sundae and you can use up any left over easter eggs either in the sauce of by scattering them on top.

This sauce so my family tells me is rich, fudgy and as my son says ‘delish’.  It only took 20 minutes to make and would make a great gift coupled with a small bag of chocolate or fudge to give the gift of a Sundae.  A number of friends have told me I should go on Dragon’s Den with this recipe or sell it to Ann Summers for lickable body paint but I think not.  Of course what you do with the sauce in your own home is up to you.

You are probably wondering why I have not tried any of this sundae if it is so delicious?  Well,  milk and I do not see eye to eye.  In a chemical warfare battle between my stomach and ice-cream – the frozen stuff wins and it is just not worth it.  It was so hard to take these photographs and not lick the spoon or the bowl as I love ice-cream but it would have reaped its revenge on me.  Luckily I enjoyed watching my boys and the surrogate one (Ron) lick their spoons with glee so that made up for it.

The sauce will keep in the fridge for a few weeks (or more) if you use a sealed jar (e.g Kilner or Mason). To use the sauce just scoop the sauce you need into a bowl and heat in a pan or in the microwave for about 30 seconds on medium until it comes back to pouring consistency. I have included the jar label files (scroll down) so you can decorate your jars and make them look all pretty. Just print them out and glue them on I only used a glue stick as they are not going to stay on very long. I have included photoshop editing compatibility on the pdf for those who wish to edit and change the wording or colours – my gift to you.

You could also use the sauce on a cake between the layers for a chocolate fudge experience and heat it up and serve it with ice cream mmmmm.

The Geeky Hunt

I set my family an Easter Egg hunt where for each egg found they were given a binary number as I still on a binary kick (read chocolate & binary – trust me it is the best learning combination).  I can’t say they were initially thrilled at the idea as it required effort but no pain no gain I say and after all Mummy had been to Hotel Chocolat and therefore extra effort to gain these gifts were required.  Once they had worked out the decimal from the binary code (one per egg found)  they had to match the number to the letter in the alphabet (e.g 1 = A, 2 = B) then they had to put the letters in the right order to find out the location of their egg.  Ha ha I loved watching them try to figure it out 🙂 and I am so doing it again next year.

Ingredients (Hot Chocolate Fudge Sauce adapted from BBC Good Food)

To make this gluten or wheat free – use Green and Blacks Cocoa or Nestle – or check the manufacturers label. For more tips see my post – 7 tips for gluten free baking.
200g granulated sugar
140g vanilla sugar or use caster sugar and 1 tsp vanilla extract or 1 vanilla pod (seeds)
85g dark muscavado sugar
1/2 tsp espresso powder
100g cocoa (I use green and blacks)
30g cornflour
1 tin (410g) of evaporated milk
250ml water
50g butter cut into small cubes
2 tsp of vanilla extract (add at the end of cooking)

1. Place all the ingredients into a large pan over a medium heat and stir constantly until you reach boiling point (approx 10 – 15 mins).
2. Continue cooking for a further 5 mins and the sauce will begin to thicken. Depending on how you like your sauce (thick or slightly runny) take it off the heat when you are happy with the pouring consistency. Add the vanilla essence.
3. If you are not using the sauce straight away you can pour into sterilised jars and add pretty labels.

The PDF labels (I have not done this before so please do not yell at me if this does not work!) I believe all you need to do is click on the link to open the file and then right click to save it (you will need a pdf reader).


Learning binary with chocolate to bring out the geek in you

Those of you who follow me on twitter or instagram will know I have been learning binary due to the governments move towards teaching children computing. I spent a whole evening learning how to count in binary which I actually enjoyed in a geekish way until I realised I had written the numbers on my fingers in permanent pen (oops).    Binary is the language computers talk in and is represented by 1’s and 0’s to show on and off currents.  Ok (yawn) so what does this have to do with chocolate?  Read on to find out, join in the quiz for some Easter fun and learn a new game to amuse Kids and Adults in boring car journeys and queues over the holidays!

I was so enthused with Binary I ended up teaching it to my friend and we used it to rate the Hotel Chocolat Sleekster egglets from the Easter collection.  In the last review of HC I choose a premium box but this time opted for the Sleekster as it has a wide variety of flavours designed to suit everyone and is for sharing.  To me sharing and Hotel Chocolat do not mix.

We rated each egglet using binary by showing each other the scores using our fingers. We had quite a giggle actually and it is a great tool for teaching mental maths to children.  Try it out:

As you can see from the image above each finger respresents a number (16, 8, 4,2,1 ) and to count in Binary using your hands you show the amount of fingers that make up the total number you are trying to show.

For example: this image would represent 12 (8 +4) or 01100

Think of 0’s = off or fingers down and 1’s = fingers up or on.  This image above is showing the 00110 as the 0’s are the fingers down and 1’s are the fingers up.  Be wary of doing the numbers 4 and 6 towards someone as you may cause offence which is probably why we were giggling so much.

You can use Binary to count up to 31 on just one hand and it gives your brain a work out.  Watch this 9 year old count to 31 on one hand in 30 seconds!  Why not set your own geeky competition for your children as some Easter ‘stuck indoors fun’ or on car journeys and the bonus is they will be learning computing and mental maths.  Using what you have learnt about binary see if you can work out what scores we gave the chocolates and then you can be a geek too.  If that is not enough for you show them this binary magic card trick – this amused me for hours (little things do it for me).

The Scores (averaged between us and out of 16)

Lemon Ganache                       01100 (remember – 0 = finger down, 1 = finger up)
Plain Praline                             01100
Speyside Whisky                      01011
Mango                                       01011
Advocat                                     01010
Ginger & Dark                           00100

Now to change things up – I will give you the number what would the binary be?

Runny Salted Caramel              9 (what fingers do you need to show this?)  e.g. 01001
Raspberry                                 13
Caramel Praline                        11
Pink Champagne                      16

Overall the Sleekster is a great variety box that allows you taste a wide array of what HC has to offer but now I know what to expect of the flavours in future I will gravitate towards my favourites rather than a selection box.  I think there is always one or two chocolates that you do not like (I guess that is why I was supposed to share).

Whilst I was very pleased with them after I read the review by Homemade by Fleur for an extra thick ‘You crack me up’ Easter egg I really wish I had opted for one of those.  However the HC range is far superior to any other chocolate I have tried and I will certainly look at more ranges in the future as they really are a treat.  The chocolate is always thick and the flavours carefully balanced.    You get a free gift if you spend over £35 and there are many different and unusual chocolates to choose from like the choco hot cross buns they really caught my eye.

Final quiz for you –  Overall I gave the Sleekster 01100 out of 16 what was the final score?