Here we are, the week after Valentine’s Day. Is it any surprise this month’s Recipe ReDux challenge is all about chocolate? And what about the things chocolate loves? Like coffee. Coffee and chocolate together is a decadent combination. You can purchase mocha sauce but if you read the labels you’ll find many of them contain questionable ingredients. Plus the containers are so large you’ll have to stare temptation in the face every time you open the refrigerator. Today I’m going to share how to make a small batch, homemade mocha sauce that’s made with quality cocoa and free from high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin and artificial flavors.
Back when I was in high school there was a chain of restaurants called Friendly’s. They served diner style food and ice cream. When there, I’d order the fish-a-ma-jig sandwich (grilled cheese with a fish filet) and the Happy Endings Dessert. This sundae wasn’t one of the huge monstrosities with half a gallon of ice cream served in a fish bowl; it was only available if you’d ordered an entree. It was a reasonable two scoops of ice cream with assorted toppings. My favorite was the Swiss Mocha which was hot fudge and almonds. I’d have mine with coffee ice cream. Eventually the Happy Endings gave way to sundaes laden with candy and cookies. By then, I’d lost interest in eating the type of things offered at Friendly’s but I’ve never lost my love for all things mocha.
This “sundae” is made with Greek yogurt instead of ice cream. It’s assembled in layers with some mocha sauce on the bottom, some Greek yogurt mixed with crushed almonds and more syrup in the middle and an indulgent squirt of real whipped cream on the top with an additional sprinkle of almonds and cocoa for a finishing touch.
Homemade mocha sauce is perfect for adding a finishing touch to desserts, smoothies, milkshakes, mocha flavored milks (mocha almond milk? Yes, please!)…whatever you desire.
- 1½ cups water
- 1½ cups sugar (I used cane sugar)
- ¾ cup cocoa powder (I used a sugar free dark cocoa)
- ¼ cup instant coffee or espresso powder, more or less (I used instant coffee)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- dash salt
- Heat all the ingredients in a large saucepan.
- Bring to a boil while stirring with a whisk. Be careful of a boilover.
- Keep an eye on the sauce and stir frequently.
- Taste a spoonful (let it cool first!) and add more coffee powder if desired
- Allow the sauce to reduce to a syrup that's still pourable.
- Cool and transfer to a container. (I like a squeeze bottle)
- Keep in the fridge and use within a month.
Now, let’s talk about practicalities. I’ve had those “gotta have chocolate” moments, too. Isn’t it nice to know you have something made from REAL cocoa and not the chocolate analog made from soy lecithin and artificial flavors? It’s true, some indulgences are healthier than others. Still, homemade or store bought, mocha sauce is loaded with sugar. Consider if it’s possible to satisfy your desire without going overboard. For example, in the photo above, I probably squirted a couple tablespoons of sauce in the bottom of the glass in order to make a better photo. In reality, I’d just mix the sauce with some yogurt and nuts and blend as a smoothie without the pretty swirl of whipped cream. (I’d drink the smoothie out of the mixing cup from my stick blender, too… #Don’tJudgeMe).
Likewise, the decorative bottle is pretty, but not practical for storage. I transferred my mocha sauce to a squeeze bottle with a lid. It’s easier to dispense and I don’t have to worry about knocking the bottle over. There are food safe glass bottles with seals that would be appropriate.
Recipe ReDux is a group mostly made up of nutrition professionals. Every month the group is challenged to come up with a recipe that has our own unique spin on it. Click on the badge in the upper left for more information. This month’s challenge was to pair chocolate with another ingredient. Be sure to check out what the other Recipe ReDux Bloggers have come up with!