How to Make Hot Fudge Without a Microwave Using a Double Boiler

When it comes to tips for melting chocolate, you’ll confront the age-old question: microwave or stovetop? Melting chocolate through either mechanism has both its pros and cons; the microwave, for instance, takes less time and dirties fewer bowls. Yet, when microwaving, you also run the risk of scorching or unevenly melting your fudge. So, while you can surely use either the microwave or the stove for your next hot fudge endeavor, it’s best to stick with melted chocolate’s most tried-and-true technique: the double boiler.

A double boiler is ideal for hot fudge, whether you’re reheating it or making it from scratch. This is because the two-bowl system enables steam to gently melt your chocolate. Consequently, your chocolate will melt smoothly and consistently, with a reduced risk of burning and seizing up into a lumpy and gritty disaster. Likewise, the steps to use a double boiler are equally straightforward. To carry out this hot fudge technique, simply boil water in a saucepan and place your heatproof bowl over the top. In that topmost bowl, add your hot fudge ingredients. 

Alternatively, if you’re reheating store-bought or homemade hot fudge from your fridge, simply add your desired amount, then stir the mixture until it’s melted and perfectly hot.  Granted, the double boiler is a slower process than simply pressing a button on the microwave. Not to mention, if you don’t have a designated double boiler, it can prove tricky to find a proper bowl that fits over your saucepan. The technique, however, is as easy to perfect as homemade hot fudge is to make. 

Use the double boiler for homemade or store-bought hot fudge

Hot fudge being poured on ice cream

If you can’t eat vanilla ice cream without a hint of something chocolate or if you’re looking to spruce up that cheesecake in your fridge, grab your double boiler. While you can use the stovetop to reheat store-bought jars of hot fudge, homemade hot fudge is also incredibly simple to make. It requires little time and as many — or few — ingredients as you so please. Case in point: At its most basic, hot fudge only requires two ingredients: sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips. However, that’s just a starting point. 

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Alternatively, you can follow a more detailed hot fudge sauce recipe, which combines heavy cream, sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup, salt, vanilla, and, of course, chocolate. That recipe, however, suggests melting your hot fudge ingredients directly in a medium saucepan, placed over medium-high heat. If you’re worried about burning your chocolate, swap out the saucepan for a double boiler, creating distance between the flame and your chocolate. Not only will this process maximize the smoothness of your hot fudge, but it will also, in turn, make your ice cream sundae all the better. 

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