Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Meet the Contributor: Kate Karyus Quinn

For my introductory post I was gonna make one of my tried and true, in high rotation, stains on the pages favorite recipes. But here's the thing, while I love those types of recipes because they are the types that keep my family well fed, sometimes I want to just experiment and try something new.

And when I'm craving something new, that something usually involves chocolate. And when one is in the middle of a heat wave, if that something chocolate can be cold - even better. So when I saw a recipe on Smitten Kitchen for fudge popsicles - I knew I had a winner.

Of course, I couldn't just make a recipe on a blog and post it on another blog. No, I had to add a secret ingredient.
And I also decided to do some renaming. I mean fudge popsicles sounds fine, but nothing that you're going to get too excited about. Or you could call them fudgsicles like the ones you buy at the store, but again not so much with the excitement factor. Luckily inspiration struck while I was stirring the mixture of chocolate and milk on the stove and realized it looked just like hot chocolate.
I could've poured it into a mug and it would've been perfect for a snowy day curled up with a book. But on a hot day like the ones that I've already mentioned that we've been having, well then it has to go into the freezer and when it comes out there is only one thing that you can call it.

Hot Chocolate On A Stick

But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's go back a bit, and start with gathering the ingredients.
There they are. Don't they look like they're plotting delicious things?

See that bar of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate in that pretty golden wrapper that looks like it could double as a ticket to tour a chocolate factory? We're gonna start with that.
It's melting...
And now totally melted. Yum.

Next comes more chocolate. This time in the form of cocoa powder. And some cornstarch. A pinch of salt. A few teaspoons of the secret ingredient from above - that was instant espresso for those of you who don't want to scroll back up. Adding the espresso is a little trick the good people at Cook's Illustrated taught me. It doesn't give it a coffee taste (although honestly that would be delicious too) but just helps bring out the rich chocolaty goodness. Oh coffee, is there nothing you can't do? You're my hero.

And of course, we must also add some sugar...
and milk.
And then we let it heat up and thicken up and we stir, stir, stir, until it's time to add the
butter. And also vanilla. But that doesn't look so yummy and melty as a perfect yellow pat of butter melting away in a big pot of chocolate.

Once the butter melts away, it's time to pour.
Or lick the spoon as my helpful assistant/son did. Meanwhile, I poured
And Jamie continued to-
I moved on to the next set of popsicle molds
Until it was done.
And then they went into the freezer (And as my assistant had lost interest by this time, I licked the bowl. No pics of that though, cause the photographer - aka my husband - knows better than that.)

If you want to make some hot chocolate on a stick for yourself or your loved ones or yourself (there's no judgment here) - the full recipe is below.

HOT CHOCOLATE ON A STICK (aka fudgsicles)

Note: Besides adding the instant espresso powder, I also doubled the recipe from Smitten Kitchen. It made four larger popsicles and six of smaller ones.

1-1/2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2-1/2 cups whole milk
pinch of salt
3 rounded teaspoons instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Melt the chocolate in a saucepan over very low heat. You could probably also do this in a microwave. Just remember low heat is key. Burnt chocolate is not your friend.

2. Add everything else except the vanilla and butter. Stir. Turn up the heat. Not too high though! Scorched milk is also not your friend.

3. Remember that cornstarch you added in step two? Well after about ten minutes of stirring it should help everything thicken up. Now add the butter and vanilla. And a little more stirring. There. Perfect.

4. Pour it into the molds, pop it in the freezer, and wait.

5. No, they're not frozen yet. Wait a little bit longer.

6. Ahhh, perfect. Now you'll probably need a little hot water to pry them from the molds, and then... njoy.


  1. What a great idea. Thanks for the recipe. Now, all I need is to buy those popsical trays and I'm in business!

    Good luck with your blog and writing.

  2. Yummy! I bet the popsicles were a bit hit!

  3. Hitting the high 90's today in New England, so this is a must have recipe! I'm totally making it today (after I buy the espresso powder).
    You had me at, Mark Bittman and Cook's Illustrated, and, of course, Ghirardelli. Just sayin'.

  4. You probably heard the squeal from IL. My kids are pulling out the molds as I type.

  5. You stole my heart! I love fudge pops, truthfully I love andything made with chocolate.

  6. With the heat that the Midwest has had as of late, I am dying to try these (and my kids will enjoy them, too)!