Ganache is not hot fudge. Hot fudge is not ganache. Where ganache is the simple and elegant union of chocolate and cream, Hot fudge is the union of invert sugar (preferably cararmelized), cream, butter and vanilla. It is shiny and tacky and viscous. While most commercially available hot fudge is made with only a mere suggestion of chocolate, hot fudge you make at home can be representative of your excellent taste in chocolate and pack a bigger wallop than a chocolate truffle.
And while my favorite hot fudge is all dairy, all the time, you can make it with your favorite dairy substitute. It will work, as the texture is largely derived from its caramel base, which is easily made without butter or cream. You'll just need to make sure you get enough fat in there.
I learned how to make hot fudge at the first restaurant I interned at during culinary school in the mid-90s. It was a revelation to me. After struggling with various incarnations of chocolate syrup and ganache, I finally understood what made hot fudge hot fudge. Caramelization. Viscosity. And fat. Lots of it. Emulsified.
Making hot fudge is quite easy - it is just a little time intensive. The waiting is the most challenging part. I try to make this while I'm working on something else to alleviate my impatience.
Grandma's Hot Fudge Sauce
- ½ cup butter
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 1 t salt
- 1-1/3 cup light corn syrup or glucose or Agave Syrup
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1-1/3 cups Milk
- 1 pound unsweetened chocolate
- 5 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/3 c hot water
In stainless steel pot, combine butter, sugar, corn syrup, cream and milk. Bring to a boil. Boil until pale caramel in color, 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add in chocolate, water, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Serve hot. Can be reheated.
To can this sauce, process in a hot water bath for 35 minutes.