Before we get to the easy chocolate syrup recipe, it’s time for a quick lesson in food labeling. Did you know that ingredients are listed on a package in order of quantity in a recipe? The first three ingredients make up the bulk of any product you purchase. Think about this next time you’re shopping, especially if you’re looking for chocolate syrup. The first three ingredients in most major brands are: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and water. Cocoa doesn’t even make an appearance until #4-6 depending on the brand. Let’s not do that. And since it takes less time to make your own chocolate syrup than run to the store, let’s make this instead.
In the next post I’ll share why I *had to* make chocolate syrup, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized there are many good reasons to whip up a batch. First of all, chocolate syrup in a pretty bottle with a bow makes a great gift! Seriously, just change the color of the bow and you have a darling present for basically any occasion. Second, keeping some on hand allows you to make chocolate milk in no time just like when you were a kid. Third, while the bulk of the store bought stuff is corn syrup, yours doesn’t have to have ANY. At all. NO corn syrup required. Fourth, you likely have everything you need in your house right now.
This recipe is ever so slightly modified from Alton Brown’s recipe in two ways. I cut down the recipe so it only makes a little over two cups of syrup, adjusted the cooking time, and I substituted honey for the corn syrup. If you need a vegan version, use maple syrup. And if all you have on hand is corn syrup, there’s only a little called for in the recipe, no need to stress. My only request is that you please do not skip using an invert sugar or your syrup will quickly crystallize and will not maintain that nice smooth syrup consistency you’re looking for.
The syrup got a thumbs up from the Godfather, and Princess A loved it as chocolate milk! I love that it lasts a few weeks in the fridge, it’s quick to prepare, and it’s a better “treat” option for my family. Enjoy!
- 1 cup water
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 cup cocoa powder (I used this organic cocoa powder)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅛ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup
- Mix the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Stir in the honey, then add the cocoa powder and salt. Cook 1 minute longer while whisking well to combine and break up any lumps.
- Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Strain the sauce through a sieve into a mason jar or other storage container. Refrigerate.