Saturday, September 20, 2014

Homemade Chocolate Syrup (to Can)

The summer is beginning to wane...not that we can really tell around here because we continue to have hot days and warm nights. But there's just something in the air that lets me know that summer will soon be a memory. I'm pretty sure it has to do with the slant of the sun. And then of course when the days are getting noticeably shorter, it's easy to realize that we are headed into autumn...and then comes winter.

In the cooler months I love to drink my homemade hot chocolate. You can find my post with the recipe here:;postID=2843674370395124971;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=20;src=postname

It got me thinking that some chocolate syrup sitting on my pantry shelf would be nice too. I love the idea of being able to make things from what I keep stored, and I thought if I had some chocolate syrup, I'd be able to make a cup of hot chocolate using some reconstituted dry milk (if, for some reason, I didn't have any of my homemade mix handy), or I could drizzle it over some kind of sweet treat, or I could even use it for baking.

So I got onto the Internet and came up with my own version of...

Homemade Chocolate Syrup (to Can)

1 1/2 cups water
3 cups white sugar
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 T. light corn syrup

In a mixing bowl, mix together the cocoa powder and salt; set aside for now. Get your jars sterilized and ready your lids and bands. I used 3 half-pint jars and had enough left over to almost fill a small 4-ounce jelly jar. I canned all of them even though the small jar wasn't full. It sealed fine, but I'll use that one first.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together the water and sugar. (I used a 3-quart pot and when I added the cocoa it really frothed and bubbled, so don't use anything smaller than 3 quarts!) On medium to medium-high heat, bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Once the sugar water boils, add the remaining ingredients and keep stirring. At this point, I turned down my heat a bit because for some reason the addition of the cocoa powder really gets things churning.

Continue whisking the mixture for about 15 minutes or so--you want to cook down the syrup a bit so it's thickened slightly.

At this point, you could use the syrup, or put it in a clean jar and refrigerate it for a week or so. But if you want to can the syrup, read on:

Ladle the syrup into your jars, using a funnel (that you've also sterilized!) and leaving 1/4 inch headspace. This is somewhat messy so once you've completed filling the jars, take a wet paper towel and do a good job of cleaning around the jar tops and threads. Place the lids on the jars and set them into a water bath canner that has hot (but not yet boiling) water in it.

Making sure that your jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water, process them in a water-bath canner for 15 minutes (begin timing once the water reaches a full rolling boil). At the end of the processing time, remove the cover to the canner and fish out your jars. Set them on a folded towel and you'll shortly hear the lids popping, letting you know that the seal is complete.

Don't move them until they are completely cool, and don't remove the bands until they've sat for at least 12 hours. Clean your jars with warm soapy water if they are sticky and put them on your shelf. Then stand back and admire your efforts!

Next time I plan on making a double batch because it seems to me that if I'm going to the trouble to can, I might as well make it worth my while. But for now I'm content. And I plan on having hot chocolate this evening, using some of my syrup, because I want to taste test the goods!

I hope you find this recipe useful and that you add to your stores for winter with this easy-to-make chocolate syrup. Even better? It uses shelf-stable ingredients you probably having sitting around. I love that!

Blessings to you and yours,

P.S. - Be sure to get a copy of my latest book, The Amish Baking Cookbook. It's loaded with user-friendly, tasty recipes and will be a welcome addition to your collection!

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