Thrifty's ice cream. The dessert childhood memories are made of. The counter of colorful ice cream choices, the perfect shaped scoop, the drool worthy flavors....in short, perfection. This is what makes up my husbands childhood memories and his adult dessert desires. Particularly, marble fudge ice cream from Thrifty's. Sadly, they discontinued it in their cases, and now you can only buy it in the large 5 gallon tubs or whatever big plastic bucket size that is. Unfortunately we don't have room in our freezer, otherwise I am sure he would not mind if I kept a stock of it in there.
Upon fear that someday RiteAid will stop carrying even the large container, he told me that if I could work on one recipe to perfect, it would be to make a copy of Thrifty's marble fudge ice cream. Of course I am more than happy to take up the challenge in the name of love and all things ice cream and chocolate. I mean really, how bad can it be to have to taste test copious amounts of hot fudge recipes? Yea, not too bad I imagine. Speaking of hot fudge, that is where I decided I needed to start, because for my husband, it was that ooey gooey slightly crystalized ribbon of fudge running through Thrifty's vanilla ice cream that made it the quintessentially perfect food for my husband. The thing memories are made of. Seems like a logical place to start.
Here is the first recipe I tried. Upon starting my research I realized that there are so many ways to make hot fudge it isn't even funny. With cream? With Cocoa? With corn syrup and no cream? With chocolate chips? I had to find out what kind of ingredients Thrifty's was using to even have a hope of getting close. I managed to find a picture of the lid of one of the buckets of marble fudge ice cream online (gotta love the internet!) and was able to discern the ice cream ingredients as well as their fudge swirl ingredients. The fudge ingredients are: corn syrup, cocoa powder, water, sugar, and salt. Well, least I had a starting point now. The ice cream uses cream and skim milk, so it is a much less rich ice cream then some, so that could also affect how the fudge sets up in it, but I will get to that problem later.
Once I knew the ingredients, I started scouring the internet for recipes that contained those ingredients, and nothing else that was really significant. Low and behold, I came across one of my fav food blogs, Smitten Kitchen. Her hot fudge sauce recipe had all these ingredients, plus the addition of a bit of butter, and some vanilla (or rum or other flavoring). Close enough, so I thought I would give it a try.
My husband thought it was very very good, but more of a hot fudge sundae, less marble fudge swirl. He thought it was too chocolaty. That may be slightly problematic, seeing as it is a fudge swirl I am trying to copy, but to his point, they probably weren't doling out huge amounts of chocolate to use in the making of it, so maybe I should set my sites a little less gourmet, and a little more, well, Thrifty :) Granted, it was in Dreyer's vanilla ice cream, not Thrifty's, and I don't think the sauce had even cooled all the way before he was more than happy to taste test it, so that may have influenced it. I am sure it will get a second taste test. For now though, back to the drawing board. Maybe I will try to make my own recipe, with only the ingredients listed on their ice cream, and see what happens....but that I could see being a disaster. Maybe a little bit more research before I do that.
In the mean time, this is by far the tastiest hot fudge recipe I have ever tasted, so please, enjoy it, even if you are a die hard Thrifty's marble fudge ice cream fan, this will still make one heck of a happy hot fudge sundae.
I will continue on my quest of trying different recipes in hopes of replicating Thirfty's fudge swirl, and I promise to keep everyone apprised of my progress.
IF YOU LIKE THIS RECIPE, PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO PIN IT :)
Hot Fudge Sauce
Adapted from Silver Palate Cookbook via Smitten Kitchen
Yields 2 1/2 cups
This is a deep, dark fudgy bittersweet sauce that firms up on ice cream.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons corn syrup
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon rum (or other flavoring, such as a flavored liquer or vanilla extract)
Melt the chocolate and butter very slowly in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring frequently until combined.
Meanwhile, heat the water to boiling in the small, heavy saucepan. When the butter and chocolate have melted, stir the mixture into the boiling water.
Add the sugar, corn syrup and salt and mix until smooth. Turn the heat up and stir until mixture starts to boil; adjust heat so that sauce is just maintained at the boiling point, stirring occasionally.
Allow sauce to boil for nine minutes.
Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the rum (or vanilla) and serve warm over ice cream.
Do ahead: Sauce can be easily and quickly reheated in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. Stir and it will be shiny and even again.