I am grateful that no matter what the temperature is outside, chocolate is always in season. Science has obliged us - or enabled - depending on how you look at it, by reporting that it's also good for us. Of course it also depends what you pair the chocolate with. Red wine? Strawberries? Nuts?

Then there's ice cream. Some days call for a wonderful, cold, loaded ice cream sundae. When I really want to indulge, I like to make my own chocolate sauce as well. It only takes a few minutes and it is well worth it.

The Hot Fudge Sauce recipe is my longtime standby. I have occasionally added some rum, rum extract or even amaretto to give it a little upscale boost. It's thick and rich and completely decadent.

The second chocolate sauce recipe is from "Living Raw Food" by Sarma Melngailis. I don't make it with raw cocoa powder - a bit expensive for me, but I like that it uses agave nectar instead of sugar and corn syrup. No standing over the stove either, since it's made in a blender.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Lori Rossi began collecting recipes at age 14, but her real love affair with cooking started after picking up a December 1989 Bon Appetit magazine. Today, she shares her love of the kitchen with her two kids, Nathan, 11, and Nicole, 8. If you'd like to get in touch with Lori with a question or idea, e-mail her at azlrossi@gmail.com.


Chocolate Sauce Two Ways

Hot Fudge Sauce

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 cup sugar

2/3 cup evaporated milk

1/3 cup light corn syrup

1/3 cup butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cocoa and sugar in saucepan. Blend in evaporated milk and corn syrup. Cool over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Serve warm.

Chocolate Sauce

1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 3/4 cup agave nectar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3 tablespoons coconut oil (should be liquid)

In blender, combine cocoa, agave nectar, vanilla and salt. Blend well. With blender running, add in coconut oil until mixed in and emulsified. Store in refrigerator. To bring back to liquid before using, allow to warm to room temperature or place in a warm water bath.


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