Something as simple as espresso can work magic with chocolate and this Espresso Hot Fudge Sundae with Toasted Walnuts is proof positive.
I have a very old recipe for a hot fudge sauce that hardens when it hits the cold of ice cream. How old is that recipe? Can you believe Before Food Blogging (you mean there were recipes BFB?) or even…oh my…BEFORE the Internet (well, as we know it with pretty pictures and all)? Yes, and it’s a recipe I love to share with friends and family mostly through the making of a very simple sundae; little is needed beyond ice cream and this sauce.
What’s the big deal with this then? One word. Espresso. I think Espresso could actually be categorized as ‘a magical powder that when added to chocolate becomes an elixir of the Gods‘ and this sauce is the perfect example of marrying the smokey, bitter and rich components of coffee and chocolate. Even if added in very small amounts, there is something about any type of coffee the brings a more intense flavor to chocolate because they are so compatible, but added in enough quantity to actually discern that taste, well, it’s one of my favorites and I’m just a bit verklempt that I never considered this before!
Granted, I also added some toasted walnuts instead of pecans as stated in the original recipe and I should have known that would up the ante for me too. Over the past couple of years I’ve become so enamored with walnuts in a new way and that newness is due completely and without question to my small, counter-top toaster oven. If you are not in the habit of toasting nuts that you add to foods, then you must start now! The difference is remarkable and now without toasting they have an almost raw taste; with walnuts in particular that difference has completely changed how much I love them.
It seems that summer is making it’s presence known much sooner all over the country so while I would normally not have served this to friends until June, we enjoyed this simple but decadent sundae on the patio this past weekend. It’s already summer where you are too, right?