The banana bread pudding recipe kick started me on a dessert sauce-making spree. Mostly this is due to the fact that B and I drink a LOT of hot chocolate — and by “a LOT”, I mean almost every night. During the week we mostly use just some good Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa to make it, and stir in a bit of sugar; this is how we justify having something “dessert-like” every night but not having it really count. On the weekend, however, we have no-holds-barred seriously good hot chocolate. Lately this means we’ve used a number of different chocolate ganaches that I’ve made (and conveniently stored in these glass hermetic terrines that I adore, from The Container Store), and/or stirred in a nice spoonful of homemade caramel sauce. And of course, served it with a generous dollop (well, okay, sometimes it’s more like a pile) of softly whipped cream on top — the real stuff, of course. Oooh boy, do I love love love it!
Chocolate ganache is dead easy to make — it’s just chopped chocolate and hot cream (that you may or may not have flavored), stirred together until smooth and then cooled. You can also vary the amount of cream and, once cooled, roll little balls of the ganache into truffles (yum!). Caramel sauce is equally easy, though you do need to watch it to make sure the sugar doesn’t burn. Both recipes keep well in the fridge for weeks, so check out the recipes and try some for yourself – you’ll probably develop a hot chocolate fix like we have, but hey, there are worse things in this world than that!