Thursday, February 1, 2024

Dorcas Gallaher Byland's Hot Fudge Sauce

My grandmother was an absolutely terrible cook, but she made two things that were great - this hot fudge, and her lemon pound cake recipe. :-)

This recipe was nearly lost - my parents' house burned down in 2004 and took with it 30 years' worth of my mother's recipes.  I wrote to everyone I knew, and we got a tiny handful of recipes back, but no one seemed to have the instructions for how to make the hot fudge sauce.  

Ten years later out of the blue, my aunt found a copy in her storage unit, and sent it to me.  


I asked her not to say anything to my parents about it, then I made a batch and shipped it to a family friend to take to my parents (along with some ice cream) on Christmas Day as a surprise gift.  It was definitely one of my better Christmas gifts. 

But because I can’t  risk it being lost again, I am sharing the recipe with everyone. Enjoy. <3

Grandma Dorcas’s Hot Fudge Sauce


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 large can evaporated milk (12 fluid ounces)
  • 3 c sugar
  • 1.5-2 tsp vanilla
  • A pinch of cinnamon (optional)


  1. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler. Stir gently to combine (it's OK if they don't fully integrate yet).
  2. Add sugar slowly (4 tbsp at a time), and stir after each addition. 
  3. When all sugar has been added, stir well.  The sugar may remain a little grainy.
  4. Add milk very slowly while stirring gently and constantly (the milk will help the sugar dissolve). 
  5. Add salt, and cinnamon if using.
  6. Stir until smooth. 
Makes approximately 1 quart.  The sauce will keep for a few weeks in the fridge. It also freezes well.

Note: I don't like cinnamon and chocolate together, so I always leave the cinnamon out.

Note 2: Reheating. Do NOT microwave the whole jar of chocolate sauce. Repeated cycles of refrigeration/microwaving will totally degrade the sauce, and the texture gets funky. So, when you want to serve it, spoon out just enough for your needs into a bowl, and microwave just that amount.


  1. This looks very similar to my grandmother's hot fudge sauce recipe. I'll have to dig it out to compare! We love hot fudge but the commercial offerings are full of things we don't want to consume. I should definitely give this a try for that ice cream.

    1. When we make up a batch, I divide it up into 4 half-pint canning jars, then pop all but one into the freezer. They keep indefinitely frozen. :-)

      As for commercial - I haven't bought any in 25 years - they all taste funny to me. When we didn't have Grandma's recipe, I made others, and even though I didn't like them as well as Grandma's, they were all much better than what's available in grocery stores.


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