There’s a huge focus, quite rightly, at the moment on what’s actually in our food. I don’t want to get into the whole horsemeat saga in this post – there’s one brewing around that – but I do think that knowing what we’re putting into our, and our children’s, bodies is important.
Having never been an avid examiner of ingredients lists I’m trying to take small steps of being mindful of what we’re eating and, in turn, what that food is made up of. It worries me when I look at some of our staples and ingredients that I’d have thought would have been in the top few listed only appear half way down. And it’s concerning when I can’t actually pronounce some of the things in there.
It’s something that I’m still educating myself about and I imagine that a lot of this is obvious to some of you but we all have to start somewhere. I make homemade versions of lots of things already but I’ve usually approached this from a taste and cost perspective, now I’m more interested in knowing what’s in there.
I started looking into homemade chocolate syrup when I glanced at Izzy’s preferred brand and couldn’t tell you what some of the ingredients were. Anything resembling cocoa was much further down the list than I would have liked and I figured it couldn’t be that difficult to make our own.
It’s really not but there does seem to be a lack of recipes from the UK. Some of my favourite American blogs came up trumps.
The syrup is rich and incredibly chocolaty, a little goes a long way. Clearly one of its main uses for us is for chocolate milk but it makes a fantastic hot chocolate and stirred into a coffee, it makes an intense mocha. Whizzed up with milk, a banana and a spoonful of peanut butter and you have a fantastic milkshake.
I reduced mine for longer than suggested as I wanted a spoonable syrup but if you want more of a pouring consistency then reduce the simmering time by a few minutes.
Source: Adapted from Small Notebook.
Homemade chocolate syrup for making chocolate milk, hot chocolate, stirring into a coffee or drizzling over pancakes or puddings.
- 255g light brown sugar
- 125g cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 225ml cold water
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- Place the sugar, cocoa and salt into a medium saucepan. Add the water and whisk it all together. Over a medium heat bring it to the boil, whisking regularly.
- Once boiling, lower the temperature and simmer the syrup until it has reduced and thickened, whisking every couple of minutes. Mine took about 10 minutes and I ended up with a spoonable syrup which is what I wanted but do keep in mind that it will thicken further as it cools so reduce the time slightly if you want more of a pouring one.
- Once the syrup has reduced, take off the heat and whisk in the vanilla extract. Pour into a jar and leave to cool. Once cool, store in the fridge.
Be careful! Keep in mind that you are dealing with boiling sugar which is incredibly hot; make sure there are no small people around.
Experiment with flavourings, I’ll be making a hazelnut version and the thought of a choc orange one appeals.