Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Homemade Hershey's Chocolate Syrup

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Sliced bananas drizzled with Hershey’s Syrup and topped with Reddi-Wip is my go-to easy (lazy) dessert of choice.  In college I frequently indulged in this treat as it was quick, cheap and I convinced myself it was still healthy because it had a whole banana and the whipped cream was okay because it fulfilled my calcium needs.  Reality is a whole different world when you are young, stressed out and sleep deprived.

I still enjoy making my chocolate cream banana snack but I found a healthier and cheaper way to make it.  I have never been a calorie counter (this is a dessert blog after all) but for the past decade I have been trying to eat healthier by eating cleaner and eliminating foods with a long list of ingredients I have to Google to identify.  It’s not a hard and fast rule but I do try to make my own foods from scratch when I can.  The bonus?  Not only can I control the ingredients in my products but it is always cheaper than purchasing ready-made foods.

The ingredients of Hershey’s Syrup are as follows:  HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, WATER, COCOA, SUGAR, CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF: POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE), SALT, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, XANTHAN GUM, POLYSORBATE 60, VANILLIN, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR.

My chocolate syrup: SUGAR, COCOA, WATER, CORN SYRUP, VANILLA EXTRACT, SALT.

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Chocolate Syrup

Ingredients

  • 3 C granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 C filtered water
  • 2 C cocoa
  • 2 T light corn syrup
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Equipment

  • Saucepan (medium-large sized)
  • Measuring cups
  • Whisk
  • Squeezable condiment bottles (three small or two large)

NOTE: I make my own vanilla extract from vodka and vanilla beans – a fraction of the cost of store bought and so much more delicious.  In this recipe I used Hershey’s cocoa as it was what I have on hand, but a high-quality Dutch processed cocoa will give you the best (most delicious) results.  Also, the corn syrup can be left out if you choose but the final product will not have the pour-ability and the sugar may crystallize (I learned that the hard way...twice).

Combine the sugar and water to the saucepan on high heat; use a medium or large sized one as while the mixture is cooking it will splatter and inflate and hardened sugar is a very sticky mess to clean up.  Stir until the sugar is entirely dissolved and the mixture is boiling (you will notice the liquid is no longer cloudy and you can see the bottom of the pan).

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Add the cocoa, corn syrup, vanilla and salt.  Whisk until fully combined and the syrup comes back to a boil.

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Turn the heat down to low and allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  It will thicken slightly.  Remove from the heat and allow the syrup to come to room temperature.  Once cool, pour into squeeze bottles and keep refrigerated.  This recipe will yield 5-6 cups of chocolate syrup and will keep refrigerated for several months.  Use it on ice cream, in coffee, chocolate milk or hot chocolate.  It does not taste exactly the same as the original, but most of those who have sampled it believe it tastes better.

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This homemade Hershey’s Syrup is healthier because you know and can control the ingredients – not because it is low in calories.  If sugar is a problem for you it can be replaced with other sweeteners such as agave or maple syrup or even artificial sweeteners like Stevia; just know your conversions and lower the amount of water if substituting a liquid (the corn syrup can be swapped out equally with a liquid sweetener).  By the same token, you can use organic ingredients in this recipe if you choose.

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Making your own chocolate syrup is an excellent choice for anyone who wants to control what they are eating – or those who just want to save money with this DIY recipe.

If you are wondering about the banana dessert/secret-guilty-pleasure I mentioned earlier, here it is.

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