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Grandma's Chocolate Sauce

It is passed down from generation to generation and never disappoints.

A jar of Grandma's Chocolate sauce along with Mexican Cocoa mole´
Grandma's Chocolate Sauce

Our household is tasked with preserving the family recipes. Recently, I was asked to rummage through the archives to uncover Grandma's Chocolate Sauce recipe. The moment I read the text, I could smell the sauce—a simple blend that fills the air with the intoxicating compounds of Baker's chocolate and butter. Memories of broken attempts at this recipe in my youth came flooding back, along with images of chocolate shrapnel scattered throughout the sauce.

I looked through the cookbooks, it was a journey back in time. Layers of recipes cut from magazines and newspapers intertwined with postcards and personal correspondence. One stratum revealed a series of cranberry recipes, capturing a slice of the '80s—a time that preceded the bagel revolution but followed the shrimp scampi insurrection. Finally, I stumbled upon her cherished chocolate sauce recipe in the third book. Every page was blank except for the first page, which held only two recipes. The first entry - "Chocolate Sauce"."

Chef's Notes:

The recipe for this sauce includes just the essentials: four ounces of butter, two ounces of chocolate, one cup of water, one cup of sugar, and a teaspoon of vanilla. Melt the chocolate and butter together, add sugar and water, and boil for five minutes before adding the vanilla. It's written with the simplicity of an Auguste Escoffier cookbook.

Two brands of unsweetened chocolate, Baker's or Hershey's, are often used in the original recipe. Be cautious when working with chocolate; it's more akin to flour and requires attention to prevent mishaps such as condensation binding. I prefer using a rubber scraper to ensure I reach every corner of the pot, avoiding whisks or metal spoons. Remember, chocolate has a low melting point, similar to body temperature, so handle it with care.

Grandma's Chocolate Sauce


4 tablespoons Butter

2 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate or 6 tablespoons Cocoa Powder

1 cup Sugar

1 cup Water

Pinch of Salt

1 teaspoon Vanilla

Equipment: 2 sauce pots, 1 rubber spatula, measuring cups, and measuring spoons


In pot number 1, bring sugar and water to a boil to create a simple syrup and set aside.

In pot number 2, gently melt butter and chocolate, stirring so the chocolate does not scorch.

Now increase the temperature to medium-high and slowly incorporate the simple syrup.

Bring to a boil and let it bubble for 5-7 minutes.

Feel free to substitute vanilla with other extracts or liqueurs.

I plan to experiment with coconut oil in my next batch. The goal? To create some kind of magical hardening syrup, almost like a shell.


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