The weather has been unbelievably glorious. I know people haven’t been able to ski and are upset about it. And this lack of rain might translate into a water shortage at some point, but while this weather is upon us, we are making the most of it. Stacie has been ‘venturing to the recently opened Ice Cream Bar in Cole Valley with her cuties while Ria and I have been perfecting the art of throwing a “hot fudge sundae party”.
It’s an easy one to get going. Have the little ones gather from the pantry/refrigerator anything they deem a suitable topping for their sundae and set up a sundae bar. Ria is a incredibly lazy “doer of chores”, but when asked to help set up a “sundae bar” she moves with a great deal of enthusiasm (no surprise here). Nuts, chocolate chips, whipped cream, cookies/biscuits, marshmallows (yuck), sprinkles (gross), fruits like bananas and strawberries etc. rapidly appear on our dining table. She often hastily prepares a sign: “Ria’s Sundae Bar” and when set up, starts looking out the window in anticipation of our little neighbors arriving.
Our adorable neighbors love us (obviously) and every time they drive by, they talk about how much they want to come over and have a sundae. (someone needs to tell them that we aren’t open for sundaes every day.) I think the youngest one thinks we are an ice cream establishment, not a regular household and that Ria is the luckiest child in the world. For all intents and purposes, she might be – at the very least she has a very “cool” mother :). No one ever allowed me to throw a sundae party….
We used to make a more involved hot fudge sauce, but of late have been making the simple version below. It keeps well in the refrigerator (up to a week) and I find myself sneaking mini hot fudge sundaes while working late into the night. Another fantastic topping we make from time to time is Ina Garten’s Caramel Sauce. My favorite part of making this is the “drama” that occurs when you pour the heavy cream into the hot, hot, hot caramel. Fun!
For the easiest Fudge Sauce:
Combine 1 can (12 oz) of evaporated milk and 8 oz (or more) of good quality plain chocolate. (we use semi-sweet chocolate chips) Pour the evaporated milk in a small basin, and then add the chocolate (break into small pieces if using a bar). Place the basin on a saucepan of barely simmering water and leave it to melt, stirring from time to time. It takes about 10 minutes to become a lovely fudgy mass (that thickens as it sits). The sauce can be made ahead of time and kept covered in the fridge and reheated as needed.