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This week, I am whiling away the days on the lake in Maine. It’s tough: my Mom is cooking for us, there are cute dogs and cute nieces everywhere I look, the sun is shining, the card games are fun and fierce, and this is my view:

sunset at campMy post today is inspired by everything I love about summer: sun, water, cold treats and fun times. What symbolizes summer fun more succinctly than a popsicle? I still remember the exhilaration caused by the jingling, tinkling sound of the ice cream boat, which came around the lake, dock to dock, for a few years during my childhood. (I don’t have any memories of an ice cream truck, maybe because we lived in a small neighborhood? Or maybe boats were the norm in Maine.) I remember sticky fingers on the front step of my house after successfully campaigning for the last cherry popsicle in the box. I remember making grape juice pops in Dixie cups at my friend’s house and then taking them across the street to eat on the beach. Ice pops are summer and, as much as I loved cherry and grape, the ultimate pop has always been a fudgesicle. Because chocolate makes everything better! If you live in a neighborhood without an ice cream truck, or pine sometimes for the pops of your youth (’cause the ones in the stores now don’t taste like I recall… at least to my grown-up taste buds), do I have a treat for you. My fudgesicle recipe is so easy and so much fun to make! You can use any popsicle mold you have, or the Dixie cup route I used as a kid. You can use your favorite chocolate bar and experiment with flavors (I especially love the chocolate orange bar from Theo Chocolate) or stick with classic chocolate goodness. Whatever shape or flavor they may be, cold, creamy, chocolate-y fudgesicles are the way to go.

fudgesicle

Fudgesicles (adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

  • 2 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate, or 1/4 c. chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 2 T. cornstarch
  • 3 T. baking cocoa (I like Hershey’s Special Dark)
  • 2 1/2 c. whole or 2% milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla**
  • 1 T. butter or coconut oil

In a medium saucepan on low heat, carefully melt the chocolate, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Take time and care so it doesn’t burn. When it’s melted, remove from the heat and add sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and milk, whisking to combine. Return the saucepan to the stove and cook over medium heat, continuing to stir, until the mixture thickens (about 8-12 mins.) Remove from the heat again and stir in the vanilla and butter or coconut oil. Transfer to a Pyrex measuring cup or other refrigerator-safe container with a pouring spout. Cover loosely with plastic or a plate and refrigerate until chilled.

Fill your popsicle molds leaving a tiny bit of room at the top; the stick will displace some of the liquid. Freeze for 20 mins. and then remove, add the sticks, and put back into the freezer until frozen through. Enjoy! Happy summer!

*2 oz. is about half to two-thirds of most commercial chocolate bars. I’m not sure how milk chocolate would work in this recipe, but I’ve used a variety of 60-72% chocolate bars from Theo Chocolate and Moonstruck Chocolate (the dark chocolate chile variado is delicious), as well as dark chocolate purchased in the bulk section of my grocery store and Ghirardelli chocolate chips. I would not use a bar that has large chunks of fruit or nuts, not because the flavor would be bad, but because it would be hard to discern how much chocolate was in your 2 oz. portion. Have fun experimenting!

**I love almond flavor with chocolate and found that you can replace the vanilla with 1/2 tsp. almond extract with delicious results. I would recommend this only if you’re using a plain chocolate bar or chocolate chips; using almond extract with a flavored chocolate can (in some cases) result in a muddy, unpleasant flavor.

 

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