It’s almost sinful how good Shona’s choccy sauce is. She made it one night many years ago in our old farmhouse and it’s become a Taylor/Riddell treat ever since.
Velvety, rich and talk about choccywoccydoodahness – it’s sublime. And so simple to make.
I went out and bought some fancy glass dessert dishes and now all I have to do to impress visiting dignitaries is whip up a classic chocolate sundae.
Last week we gave a 21st party for the daughter, who insisted on it. Clearly, she has been brought up wrong because she had high expectations, including requiring a young sheep roasted on a spit, frisky salads and side dishes, astounding birthday cakes (three) and ice cream sundaes for 70 of her friends. Or possibly 170 – they ate like a swarm of Tasmanian Devils.
Unluckily, on the morning, I woke up with a splitting headache. Luckily, on the morning, our Italian friend Mariano turned up – almost by chance – and took care of everything food related. The one thing I did was make up two huge jugs of chocolate sauce.
That meant I could look after important matters like getting other people to hang fairy lights, blow up balloons and sweep out the cobwebs.
The food, I am told, was delectable – I didn’t get around to trying it – but the lamb was basted with olive oil enlivened by fresh garden herbs, the salads sung and the champagne flowed.
The fairy lights sparkled, as did the evening. On dusk, the Wai Taiko drummers drummed, by the light of a bonfire.
Inside the house a helium-filled shark swooped close to the ceiling, operated by remote control. It was seriously cool, although next time we won’t have any streamers around – they did rather act like drift nets.
And the cakes – one gluten-free chocolate/coffee cake was demolished in the space of half an hour, another sponge creation lasted a bit longer, and there is but one bite left of the Official Birthday Cake.
A traditional fruit cake, this was iced to glory and beyond by Godmother Megan, and featured one solitary, perfect iris flower, made of icing. (Check out Megan’s other cakes here.)
The daughter was pretty pleased with her party and a fine time was had by all, except for the two cats.
And amongst all the food – the most asked for recipe? Not the lamb, not the salads, or the cakes – but Shona’s humble choccy sauce.
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ Tb cocoa
1 Tb butter
2 Tb hot water
2 Tb cream
Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan, and then stir in the sugar, cocoa, salt and water.
Heat slowly until it is smooth and the sugar crystals melted; this takes a good 10 minutes and you should stir it frequently.
Remove from heat and add 2 Tb cream and a dollop of vanilla essence, stir and put into a jug.
Pour on to ice cream and cream and why not pop a wafer on top?