Chocolate sauce: simple sweetness

Pancake day and Valentine’s day both happened earlier this week and we celebrated a significant anniversary. Today is Friday and although we’ve celebrated plenty already, I want to make something nice for after dinner. I’m thinking buckwheat pancakes with chocolate sauce.

A pot of chocolate sauce and a dipping date. Yum!

A pot of chocolate sauce and a dipping date. Yum!

This is possibly the best chocolate sauce ever. With only three ingredients, one of which comes from the tap, it’s also one of the easiest. It’s quite a sharp chocolate sauce – dark chocolate, not milk – but since it’s usually served with creamy and sweet things, that’s OK. The flavours balance out.

Chocolate sauce: simple sweetness
Cooking time
Total time
A simple to make and very versatile chocolate sauce.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 2-4
  • 1 part (default 100 ml) cocoa
  • 1 part sugar
  • 1 part water
  1. Put the sugar and cocoa in the pot and whisk gently to mix. This helps the coca mix with the water without lumps.
  2. Add the water and whisk.
  3. Put on the stove on medium heat, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn’t catch or burn.
  4. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to a simmer and cook for about five minutes. The longer you cook it, the more water boils off, raising the proportion of sugar and also the stickness of the sauce. If you reduce it right down, it will be chocolate-flavoured burnt sugar.
  5. Serve hot, or let cool. Cool, it’s the consistency of syrup.



  • The great thing with this base is that you can take it all kinds of places. Here are a few variations:
  • Milk chocolate: Add a couple of : Grate in the zest of a 50-pence piece size of orange rind.
  • Spice & nice: Add a pinch of cinnamon and half a ground pod of cardamom.
  • Unexpectedly hot: Add a tiny pinch of dried chilli to spice it up. Particularly nice with coconut ice cream.
  • Fondue: Make a quadruple batch, keep heated and serve with cake, fruit and marshmallows to dip. Call it chocolate fondue.
  • Caramel: Add a couple of generous spoonfuls of dulche de leche and you have caramel cholocate sauce. Or fondue.
  • Hot chocolate: Pour a couple of tablespoons into a cup, top up with hot milk. Ta dah!
  • Mousse: Whip some double-cream stiff, fold in room-temperature chocolate sauce and put into ramekins. If there’s sauce over, pour this on top of the ramekins and let set in the fridge.

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About Caroline von Schmalensee

Cooking, eating and drinking is fun as well as necessary. I do food for fun and I write for a living. Good food makes the world a more delicious and satisfying place. Good writing, meanwhile, can make the world a less confusing place.

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