Today’s dessert review is about hot fudge. All hot fudge is not equal! It has to have exactly the right consistency in order to be great hot fudge. Some hot fudge can be too thin, more like chocolate syrup than fudge. Or too thick, where it becomes something like a thick candy blanket on your ice cream. And then there’s the taste. For me, the best hot fudge has echoes of a really good piece of dark chocolate; a counterbalance of slightly bitter and sweet to make it inviting to the adult palate. I had great hot fudge recently at Lizzy’s Ice Cream in Needham, Massachusetts. The fudge was exactly the right consistency, draped over and swirling around my buttercrunch ice cream. Slightly warm, each bite had notes of semi-sweet chocolate--not too sweet, and a perfect counterpart to the sweetness of the ice cream. Really good hot fudge will pair well with any flavor of ice cream, and that’s what this hot fudge did. The buttercrunch, while good, was not the best buttercrunch ice cream I have had (stay tuned for future reviews on that), but the hot fudge elevated every bite.
My trip to Lizzy’s reminded me of another great hot fudge experience. I was about twelve years old. My mother had come to pick me up from a roller skating party (remember those?!) and next door to the roller rink was an ice cream parlor. I asked if we could get a sundae, fairly certain that she would say no. There were lots of reasons to say no--we had to make the twenty minute drive home, or I had just spent the last two hours at a roller skating party, or splurging on ice cream sundaes was not necessarily a priority at that time. But she said yes. I can still remember my surprise, and the decadence of taking time in the middle of the afternoon, just my mom and I, sitting at a little table and having ice cream at the ice cream parlor. I had a great hot fudge sundae that day, and I can still remember how good that tasted. It was one of those moments that stays with you, and it has stayed with me for many years.
It may have been the quality hot fudge. But I think, in addition to that, it made an impression on me because it was time for just my mom and I. It was a world away from my usual world of home, siblings, school, and activities. It was a small moment carved out of the busy universe-- something unexpected and sweet.
Make your own sweet moments this week. And go out and find some great hot fudge!