I’m sure that it will surprise no one that The Humble Food Snob dislikes cheap chocolate. And when it comes to cheap chocolate you can’t get much cheaper than Hershey’s. My main complaints are the fact that it’s grainy (to me, anyway) and sickeningly sweet with a slight chalkiness. Now, I never noticed these qualities until I got my hands on some high quality European chocolate. I had a taste of a Lindt milk chocolate bar (from Switzerland) and it was an epiphany for me. I know; that sounds a little melodramatic, but it’s true. I put the thin square in my mouth and it was silky, mellow, creamy, milk-chocolatey bliss. In that instant I knew I would never look at chocolate- or confectionery in general, for that matter-  the same way again. The next time I ate a Hershey’s Kiss I actually spat it out into the trash. True story. So now I spend the money on good chocolate and consume it judiciously. It works pretty well- except for things like chocolate milk. Expensive chocolate melts fine for hot chocolate but when you want an ice cold glass of chocolate milk… well, it doesn’t work at all. So I had no choice but to use Hershey’s syrup. At least until I made my own syrup, that is. Now I can play with the recipe and up the vanilla a little bit to make the flavor a little smoother and give it that special something that you don’t recognize until it’s not there 🙂

Yes- that is Hershey’s cocoa powder in the picture. Yes- I can be a great big hypocrite. I’ll be the first to admit that. But Hershey’s puts out a good cocoa powder so that’s what I use. If they could just stick with cocoa powder things would be fine.  But they insist on butchering other chocolate products and therein lies the problem. Thankfully I’ve figured out a way around that 🙂

These really are all the ingredients you need to make chocolate syrup. It’s astonishingly simple and SO much cheaper than the store bought stuff. The fact that they charge so much for chocolate syrup in the store should be a crime. (Of course, so should adding all of those other nasty ingredients but that’s another post.)

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I could say “all you have to do is put these ingredients in a pan, stir, boil, and you have chocolate syrup”. But I just can’t do it. I have to be honest with you because I don’t want you to feel like I betrayed you. While this recipe is really, REALLY easy, there is a hitch: cocoa powder is quite possibly the most hydrophobic substance in the world. When you add the water to the sugar and cocoa powder it will disappear beneath the surface and you will wonder if you ever actually put the water in at all. You will have to get your whisk out and stir- a lot. This recipe takes about 10 minutes to make and 4 of those 10 minutes is whisking the ingredients to combine them. Just when you’ve given up all hope of combining water with cocoa powder it will magically come together and you can stop whisking and let it boil. Make sure you’ve put the ingredients into a medium sized sauce pan because the mixture will expand as it boils! I made the mistake once of making this in a small sauce pan and had to change pans after it started boiling because it wanted to boil over the top of my little pan. After boiling for 5 minutes and adding your vanilla you should have something like this…

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Oh, that’s pretty 🙂 Don’t worry about the bubbles- those will go away once the syrup is cooled completely. And if your syrup is a little thinner than you expected when it’s done it’s ok. It will thicken up after it’s chilled thoroughly. Zachariah asked for some chocolate milk when this batch was done and he’s such a good boy I couldn’t turn him down 🙂

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My sweet little boy! He was thanking me while smiling for the camera while trying to take a drink. Who says males can’t multi-task? 😉

The Recipe:

1 1/4 C Sugar

1 C Cocoa Powder

1 C Water

1/4 t Salt

2 t Vanilla

The Method:

*Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium or large saucepan until COMPLETELY combined.

* Bring to a boil over medium low heat.

*Boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

*Remove from heat and add vanilla.

*Let cool and transfer to a storage container (I use a canning jar with a clean, used lid that I can’t use for actual canning anymore). Store in the refrigerator and use as you would store bought chocolate syrup.

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