The classic Hot Fudge Sundae is a creation of vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate sauce ("hot fudge"), whipped cream, nuts, and a single maraschino cherry on top. A Hot Fudge Sundae can be made with any flavor of ice cream, but vanilla is preferred!
There are lots of theories about the origins of the Hot Fudge Sundae. According to Wikipedia, a frequent theme is that the dish arose in contravention to so-called blue laws against Sunday consumption of either ice cream or ice cream soda (the latter invented by Robert M. Green in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1874). The religious laws are said to have led druggists to produce a substitute for these popular treats for consumption on Sunday. According to this theory of the name's origin, the spelling was changed to sundae to avoid offending religious conventions. Since I grew up in Philadelphia, I remember the Blue Laws, although at that time they pertained to alcohol and not ice cream.
In support of this idea, Peter Bird wrote in The First Food Empire: A History of J. Lyons and Co. (2000) that the name 'sundae' was adopted as a result of Illinois state's early prohibition of ice cream consumption on Sundays, because ice cream with a topping that obscured the main product was not deemed to be ice cream. However, according to documentation published by the Evanston, Illinois Public Library, it was the drinking of soda, not the eating of ice cream, that was outlawed on Sundays in Illinois.
There are lots of fabulous Fudge Sauces out there from great chocolatiers, but if you want to make your own, here's a delicious recipe for Hot Fudge Sauce! As in most recipes, it's the quality of the ingredients that makes all the difference!
HOT FUDGE SAUCE
2/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 oz dark chocolate (65-75% cacao), chopped
2 Tbsp sweet butter (room temperature)
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
Bring cream, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of chocolate to a boil in saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted.
Reduce heat and cook at low boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, then remove from heat.
Add butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate and stir until smooth.
Cool sauce to warm before serving.
Hot Fudge Sundae Cake is a great variation on this traditional treat, and it can be made in a pan in the oven or in a Slow Cooker. See recipe HERE.
Check out the recipe adapted from Betty Crocker for Hot Fudge Sundae Cake in a pan. It's an easy one bowl/pan recipe. What's especially delicious about this cake is that as the cake bakes it separates into a chocolate cake and a dark fudgy sauce. Now that's what Hot Fudge Sundaes are all about! Add the ice cream and you're all set.
Hot Fudge Sundae Cake
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons DARK unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Madagascar vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened DARK cocoa
1 3/4 cups very hot water
1 Set oven to 350ºF.
2 Mix flour, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder and salt in ungreased square pan, 9 x 9 x 2 inches. Mix in milk, oil and vanilla with fork until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread in pan.
3 Sprinkle brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa over batter. Pour water over batter.
4 Bake about 40 minutes or until top is dry.
5 Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes. Top with ice cream. Spoon sauce from pan onto each serving.
Rather have Hot Fudge Sundae Cupcakes? Check out Joy the Baker's recipe and photos.
Want Hot Fudge Sundae Macarons? Barbara Bakes has the perfect recipe