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Posted on Tue, Aug 30, 2011 : 8 a.m.

Schrafft's hot fudge sauce made at home is a luscious, indulgent treat

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu, Contributor

Every once in awhile, I would have half-days at school. Sometimes I'd just come home on the bus, eat my peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and watch "As the World Turns" or "The Galloping Gourmet" with my mother.

But on other occasions, she would pick me up and we would spend part of the afternoon together. My mother's health was quite fragile and she often wasn't well, so the half-days when she would meet me at school were special. She would sometimes take me out to lunch at Schrafft's.

Schrafft's, according to, was an institution:

"... at its peak, there were more than fifty Schrafft’s in New York City, offering three full-service meals a day, drinks, and desserts in well-appointed and obsessively clean dining rooms. Schrafft’s occupied a territory somewhere between a diner and moderately-priced American restaurant ...."

Another site, remembering New York City in 1946, states that:

"The image Schrafft's sought to project was of a genteel place that served 'plain, clean, wholesome American cooking,' in the words of Frank Shattuck who had started the company's restaurant business .... Many Schrafft's had dark wood paneling and Colonial furniture. There were bud vases on the tables."

Because the company had originated as a candy manufacturer before branching out into restaurants, Schrafft's is most famous for its desserts... and one sweet treat in particular: hot fudge sundaes.

The recipe for the rich, dark chocolate sauce is easily found online and in cookbooks — no one ever said it was a secret recipe!

Someone who shall remain nameless (for the sake of protection) has told me that this hot fudge sauce is even better than Sanders'... gasp! This from someone born in Detroit and raised in southeast Michigan!

My grandmother would come to visit us in New York and bring jars of Sanders' milk chocolate hot fudge, which I adore. But I've gotta say, the Schrafft's recipe is pretty lusciously indulgent, too.

You might just want to try this and see how they compare ....

Schrafft's Hot Fudge Sauce
(slightly modified from the original version)

3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup half-and-half
2/3 cup corn syrup
2 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 teaspoon vinegar

Place all ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally; boil for 7 minutes, stirring once or twice, then let rest 30 minutes before serving.

Makes 1-1/4 cups of sauce.

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Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures in the kitchen. She was thrilled to have her post about Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread named as one of the daily "Best of the Blogs" by the prestigious Food News Journal.

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. Her newest feature is Frugal Floozie Friday, seeking fun and food for $5 or less ... really! Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here.


Deonna Labert

Tue, Aug 30, 2011 : 5:03 p.m.

Mary, does this need to be consumed right away, or does it keep in a jar? It sounds delicious.

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Aug 30, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

*IF* you don't eat it all right away (and it's tempting to do so!), the sauce will keep beautifully in a covered jar in the refrigerator. Just warm it up a bit before serving again, though a spoonful of the cold thickened sauce is a mighty fine perk at times!

Bertha Venation

Tue, Aug 30, 2011 : 3:21 p.m.

Can't wait to try it, Mary. I've got a recipe for microwaved hot fudge sauce, but this runs circles around that. Just as easy and at least twice as good! Thanks!

Mary Bilyeu

Tue, Aug 30, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

I hope you enjoy it! It's truly decadent. I could devour both this one and Sanders with just a spoon - who needs ice cream??? :)