Chocolate Syrup

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Mmmmmm, chocolate….

Let us pause to have a Homer moment….

I adore chocolate. In any shape or form. Unfortunately, a lot of commercially made chocolate doesn’t adore me back. Being dairy & gluten intolerant presents a terrifying thought: How exactly am I gonna get that fix?! Then I had a genius idea – chocolate syrup. I started pouring it on everything and anything I could think of when I got those cravings. Fruit, gluten-free waffles, mango sorbet… yum.

So when I started reading all the ingredient labels of every chocolate syrup bottle/can in the grocery store, I had a mini-meltdown. Some of them are made with milk products. Some are possibly cross-contaminated with gluten-containing ingredients. ACK. It never occurred to me until that moment- freaking out in aisle 12, over chocolate syrup- that I could just make it myself. Duh. Even if you are living a frugal lifestyle, it just doesn’t enter the thought process. You may stock up when a good sale happens, but make it? Why, when it’s easy to just buy a bottle?

Here’s why.

Big-Name-Syrup has 100 calories per 2 tbsp serving. Mine has 84. Theirs has “High Fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, sugar, water, cocoa, potassium sorbate, salt, mono and diglycerides, polysorbate 60 an emulsifier, xanthan gum and vanillin and artificial flavor.” Homemade has 5 ingredients. 1 of those is water. Store-bought syrup costs about $2.50 for 16 oz. Homemade costs about $1.30, if you don’t score the very best deals on sugar and cocoa powder. Of course that cost is going to go up if you use the vanilla bean vs. the extract (make sure you use real extract, not artificial. You can even make your own extract, too.) I use extract – the real stuff. Homemade syrup takes mere minutes to make and tastes just like store-bought. (If you want to impress someone, tell ’em you made it.)

Now go make some syrup and pour it on the object of your chocolate desires. I’ll be having some chocolate syrup with a side of mango sorbet. Cheers!

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 1/2 c. water
1 c. cocoa powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean pod

Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan over med-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture comes to boil. Reduce heat to medium to low and stir in cocoa powder and salt, continuing to stir, boil 2-3 minutes until syrup starts to thicken. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract (or beans from scraped vanilla bean pod). Stir well until you can smell the vanilla. Let cool to room temperature, then store in fridge.

The SoCal FruGal

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