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Recipe #20: Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Ooooo this one made me happy!! So happy I immediately started emailing people with “You’ll love this!”

Okay, so two years ago my mom had a stroke. She’s extremely young but does have some health issues. Obviously, this causes all sorts of thoughts and emotions to go through a child’s head when a parent is dealt something like that. One of them was “What does this mean for me and my health?” Forever now, I have to check that box under “Family History”.

One effect of this, which I’m sure was 95% psychosomatic, was I lost my taste for most processed foods almost immediately. Growing up on things like Kraft Mac and Cheese, Hamburger Helper, frozen chicken pot pies, canned soup…. those things were still comfort foods to me. Even as I developed my own cooking style, which is somewhat different than what I grew up on, I would come back to those things on occasion and still enjoy them. Then, after my mom’s stroke, I seemed to lose my taste for them entirely, almost overnight. The first thing I noticed was Hamburger Helper, cheesy enchilada to be specific. That version with ground turkey was a favorite of mine, particularly as the base for burritos. I remember having it a couple weeks after and it was unpalatable to me. I haven’t had it since then. I have the same problem with most canned soups. Also, margarine, having grown up on Fleischmanns’ this seemed really weird to me, I absolutely cannot stand it now.

Due to the fact that I do 99% of the cooking for us, this meant our diets switched to primarily whole foods. I’ve always been a label reader, I’m convinced it’s one of the best health decisions you can make, knowing what is going into your body. Not that I’m an uber-health nut or anything, I still enjoy McDonalds and the occasional diet soda, but for the most part I will only buy products with words I can pronounce or, at least, identify. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean we eat healthier, we’re simply talking Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese vs. Kraft Mac and Cheese. This is also when we started doing a lot more shopping at Trader Joe’s. Again, this might be psychosomatic, but I swear while I now cannot stand the taste of Rosarita refried beans, I do like Trader Joe’s version. Side by side, blind taste test, I don’t know, but that is what my head tells me. And there are worse things for my health that my psyche could be playing with so I won’t question it too much.

Anyways, when you read labels you learn certain things you wish you didn’t know. For example, Hershey’s syrup…. What are the first two ingredients, therefore the 2 primary ingredients, in Hershey’s syrup? Cocoa and Sugar maybe? Nope. Corn syrup and High Fructose Corn Syrup. I’m sorry, but that’s just wrong. Again, I’m not an uber health nut, I knew they were in there and chose to enjoy in moderation, but the first two?! That’s the issue for me.

Plus, there is no reason for me to be using that and putting it in my body when making my own is really, insanely easy! And I’m sure if I did the math, cheaper!

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

You need 5 ingredients for this and I’m guessing you have all 5 on hand:


1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup water
dash of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla

A quick side note for one of my rare moments of genius. You see the jar there that is almost empty? That is my salt jar. Here is a better look:

After I dropped the salt container in the sink… you know, the one made out of paper? I needed a quick solution, so I grabbed a mason jar from the cabinet and I realized that the top of the paper container was still dry and looked about the same size as the jar lid. So I cut it off and slipped it under the ring. Voila! It’s perfect! A new container and I still have my pour spout.

Anyhoo, Back to chocolate….

In a medium saucepan, add sugar, cocoa, and salt.  Whisk together.  Add water.  Bring to a boil, stirring it now and again so it doesn’t burn or boil over.  Reduce heat and cook for about a minute.  Remove from heat and add vanilla and let cool.

I put mine in (shockingly) a pint mason jar. Hey, they are cheap, microwave safe (without the lids), dishwasher safe, don’t stain, and are BPA free…


According to the blog, this should last about a month. Use like you would any chocolate syrup; over ice cream, pies, coffee drinks… or the traditional:


Which is how this whole thing started. I wanted chocolate milk and we were out…

Posted in 100 New Recipes, Jess General. Tagged with , , , , , , .

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