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Hot fudge, chocolate, pastries, and sweets in general were all favorites of my grandmother’s. I recall her enjoying a wonderful hot fudge sundae, often with coffee ice cream, at the old-fashioned ice cream parlors that used to be all around Chicago. She loved the Ting-a-Ling since it was close to her previous apartment, a near-north-side condo. Cunis’s, Cunag’s, Gertie’s, or the original Dove Candies – which has become a superstar of the American-commercial-high-end-ice-cream-bar-and-chocolate scene – are likely places Jessie frequented. When I visit Chicago, I try to visit Margie’s Candies, which still offers a traditional hot fudge sundae in enormous white plastic scallop-shell plates with their home-made ice cream.

The hot fudge sauce was served in a tiny stainless steel pitcher (about the size of a small creamer) at these ice cream parlors, always hot and separate from the sundae, with whipped cream, chopped pecans or other nuts, and, of course, a cherry on top. Observing how a sundae eater drank the hot fudge sauce was eye-opening:

Pour everything on top of the sundae at once.

As he or she ate the ice cream and whipped cream, he or she poured sparingly and intermittently.

one taste at a time, poured onto the spoon to coat the ice cream, or

In the most brazen action of all, he drank straight from the pitcher.



1 stick butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 c all purpose flour


Preheat oven to 350. Cream together butter and sugar with electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well by hand. Add cocoa powder, salt and flour and stir by hand until well combined. Hand mix to make it gooey, because if you use a mixer, it will have more of a brownie or cake texture, rather than “gooey”. Grease 8 inch pie pan with butter or cooking spray, pour mixture into pie pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until center is set.

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