There is a time and a place for rich chocolate sauce (usually made with chunks of chocolate and heavy cream or milk) but there are equally as many recipes that are more suited toward a thinner, straightforward syrup. 

By Jonna Gallo Weppler

This syrup packs a cocoa wallop — an intense chocolatey surge — that is not obscured or muted by the presence of dairy. It is less heavy (and perhaps contains a few less calories) than most sauces and we really do use (or abuse) it for just about everything. We are certain that, if left unchecked, we would drizzle it over plates of pasta.

Simple Chocolate Syrup


1/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona)

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Note: When we say to use a large saucepan in this recipe, we mean it: use a large saucepan. This mixture will bubble up considerably while cooking and you might have to reduce the heat for a minute or two during the process.


In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the cocoa powder and 1/2 cup of water until dissolved.

Whisk in the sugar and increase the heat to medium high. Boil the mixture for about 3 minutes, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for another 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the salt. Let cool to room temperature. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 3 weeks. Warm it gently to use as a topping or use it directly from the refrigerator as a milk shake mix-in.

Makes about 1 cup.

Recipe reprinted from Baked Elements: The Importance of Being Baked in 10 Favorite Ingredients by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Available at

Originally published in the March 2014 issue of Family Circle magazine.

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