A "Recipe of the Day" in my inbox this morning promotes a 90-calorie chocolate sauce/fondue. "By choosing a darker chocolate and fat-free evaporated milk, we've cut the calories of this chocolate dip in half!,'' the pitch reads.
No, thanks. I'd rather indulge and make Yolanda Wright's rich, buttery, Hot Fudge Sauce -- and risk the calories and repercussions.
Yolanda Wright is the former restaurant reviewer for The Post-Standard (and The Herald-Journal, before that). During her tenure (1983-2010), she also wrote the monthly "Yolanda's Kitchen'' feature for both newspapers, cooking for days and creating the kind of elaborate feasts and meticulously styled spreads that you don't see often in newspapers these days.
I miss collaborating with her. And when I rifle through my recipe file, I find a lot of Yolanda's recipes in there.
The Hot Fudge Sauce recipe is one of my most treasured -- and requested. I make it a couple times a year -- Christmas, Valentine's Day, birthdays -- mostly for gift giving. Some recipients use it for sundaes, or as a dipping sauce for strawberries, apples and pears. Others say they like it straight off the spoon!
This sweetheart of a recipe is easily doubled. It keeps for two months in the refrigerator, but the longest it has ever lasted here is two weeks. Reheat the sauce gently in the microwave or place a jar in a shallow water bath on the stove and reheat it that way.
Enjoy. And Happy Valentine's Day!
Yolanda Wright's Hot Fudge Sauce
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder (optional)
3/4 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Kahlua (optional but recommended)
Melt chocolate and butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and blend in cocoa until mixture is very smooth.
In a somewhat deep, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, bring cream, sugar, corn syrup and salt to a rolling boil. The mixture will bubble up, which is why you want to use a somewhat deep pan. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate mixture, vanilla extract and Kahlua.
Cool mixture for about 15 minutes and pour into a jar or jars. The fudge sauce will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator. Makes about 1.5 cups.
Note: Reheat the sauce gently in the microwave, on a low setting, or reheat on the stove. Place the jar in a pan filled with an inch or two of water. Reheat slowly, over low heat. Take care not to get water in the sauce, the chocolate will seize up.
All in the Kitchen is a small store, but it's LOADED with cooking and kitchen accoutrements.
Accoutrements? That's just a fancy word for... stuff! Owner Christine Cameron had me at the wall of cookie cutters, with cutters in every shape, size and style you can think of. There's also cookware, cast iron cookware, enamelware, baking equipment, coffee makers, French press and pour-over type coffee gear, pizza stones, pizza peels, pizza pans and more.
Are you a gadget/gizmo person? Every kitchen widget is here: salt and pepper grinders, box graters, Microplane zester/graters, microwave egg cookers, cake/cupcake decorators, salt pigs, garlic presses, you name it. There's a linen department with an array of kitchen towels, pot holders and oven mitts.
Down every aisle and in every nook and cranny of the store you'll find something to pop in your shopping basket. The CLOSEOUT area in the back has Margarita glasses, out of season cookie cutters, aluminum pie pans -- all sort of things you don't realize you "need" until you see them.
I received a gift certificate to All in the Kitchen (in North Syracuse) for Christmas and spent my $50 (plus an additional $18) on an extra-large Nordic Ware cookie cooling rack, a natural stone loaf pan by Haeger Pottery (made in the USA), a set of Acacia wood salad serving "hands,'' an offset spatula for cake decorating and a little nylon thingie for cleaning the loaf pan.
While I browsed the merchandise, Cameron rocked and cooed to her infant son, who was in a swing behind the front counter. Before her baby was born, All in the Kitchen was a one-woman operation, but Cameron added some help at Christmastime. Everything you see on the floor, and more, is available through her mail order business.
Cameron offers gift registries for all occasions (weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays) and accepts expired and competitor coupons. She also offers a cake pan rental service. So if you want to make a Big Bird, Barney or baseball glove cake for your child's birthday, you don't have to buy a pan that is likely to gather dust. You can rent a pan for $5.
Now that I've finally visited All in the Kitchen, I know I'll be looking for reasons to go to Liverpool or North Syracuse. It's a little out of the way, but definitely worth checking out.
All in the Kitchen is at 7575 Buckley Road, North Syracuse, in the Sugarwood Plaza.Information: 218-6218; website; Facebook.