The best chocolate sauce is easy to make, so delicious, and can be used hot or cold!
This rich, dark and creamy chocolate sauce recipe is my favorite go-to because the flavor is sooo deep, is completely dairy-free, and only takes five minutes to make, using a handful of ingredients. To quote food blogger, David Lebovitz, it’s “my little black dress” of chocolate sauces.
Unlike David’s recipe though, which after being chilled has a tendency to become gritty after being refrigerated due to the melted chopped chocolate in his recipe reforming into tiny specks, this chocolate sauce stays smooth whether warm or cold.
I’ve eliminated the chopped chocolate, which you’ll never miss, and added a few unexpected flavor enhancers that you most likely already have in your pantry, leaving you with a slightly sweet, super chocolatey sauce that’s hard not to eat by itself, straight out of the serving container. And yes, this chocolate sauce is 100 times better than any bottled chocolate sauce you’ll find at the grocery store.
What Kind Of Chocolate Makes The Best Chocolate Sauce?
There’s no need to melt any chocolate for this recipe, so you’ll never run the risk of scorching or breaking the emulsion, which can happen when chocolate is heated too fast or boils, leaving you with a gritty, oily mess.
This chocolate sauce uses cocoa powder instead, for an easy, mess-free sauce.
What’s The Difference Between Natural Cocoa And Dutch Cocoa?
Like chocolate, cocoa powder comes from cocoa beans. The beans are fermented, dried, and roasted. The papery skins on the outside of the roasted beans are removed and the beans are then cracked into cocoa nibs. The nibs are pressed, similar to how olive oil is made, to remove a large percentage of the cocoa butter from the beans, leaving behind a pasty chocolate liquor. The liquor is dried and then ground into unsweetened cocoa powder.
You’ll likely find two types of cocoa powder in the grocery store: natural/regular, and Dutch-processed. Regular cocoa has an intense chocolate flavor and is slightly acidic. Dutch-processed cocoa, however, is treated with an alkali to reduce the acidity and offer a more mild and mellow flavor. The alkali treatment also darkens the cocoa.
The two types of cocoa aren’t necessarily interchangeable in baking, but they are in this chocolate sauce recipe.
How To Make Chocolate Taste More Like Chocolate
Chocolate and cocoa powder taste pretty good on their own, but there are ingredients that can make chocolate taste chocolaty, and you probably already have them in your pantry: brown sugar, instant coffee, vanilla, and salt.
All four of these ingredients work together to make chocolate, or in this case, cocoa powder, taste deeper and richer.
How To Make The BEST Chocolate Sauce
Because this chocolate sauce comes together so quickly, I like to measure all of the ingredients ahead of time and keep them nearby.
Start by making a simple syrup in a saucepan with water, brown sugar, and a little bit of corn syrup, gently heated over medium-low heat. The corn syrup acts like an insurance policy, keeping the sugar from crystallizing in case the mixture boils by accident. You’ll want to keep this to a low simmer at all times though, stirring frequently. If the mixture becomes too hot and begins to boil, simply move the pan off the heat and stir.
Once the brown sugar is dissolved, the cocoa powder, instant coffee, salt, and vanilla are added all at once. Whisk this mixture like crazy for two to three minutes, until all of the cocoa powder is dissolved. Once the sauce is smooth, it can be transferred to a glass bowl or jar, covered, and refrigerated.
The sauce will look a little thin at this point, but will thicken in the refrigerator within two to three hours.
Uses For Chocolate Sauce
This dairy-free chocolate sauce can be used in so many ways. I often make a flourless chocolate cake, using this chocolate sauce, doubled, and five eggs. That’s it. Below are some of my other favorite things to make with it:
- Mix with coffee and cream for a morning mocha
- Mix with hot milk or coconut milk for hot chocolate
- Mix warm chocolate sauce with a little bit of melted coconut oil to create “Magic Shell”
- Add to whipped cream to make a quick mousse
- Add to iced coffee for an iced mocha
- Drizzle over ice cream
- Use as a fruit dip
- Add ⅛ teaspoon of any extract to flavor the sauce, like peppermint, almond, or orange
This easy chocolate sauce is thick and rich with a deep, dark chocolate flavor, and only takes five minutes to make.
- ¾ cup water
- ¾ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup corn syrup
- 1 cup cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. Instant coffee
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan stir together water, sugar, and syrup. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat until sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Do not boil.
- Add cocoa powder, coffee, salt, and vanilla; whisk until dissolved and no lumps remain, about 2 minutes.
- Remove pan from heat, let stand 10 minutes.
- Transfer chocolate sauce to glass jars. Refrigerate, covered, up to 14 days.
Sauce will thicken after being refrigerated for several hours.