Homemade cocoa syrup is far superior to anything you can buy and it takes minutes to make. Here is my formula. I started with Alton Brown's cocoa syrup recipe and refined it. It was already excellent — now I think it's perfect! If you want to see what I did and why, read the Notes.
Why "cocoa syrup" rather than the more common term, "chocolate syrup"? "Chocolate syrup" is a misnomer. Chocolate consists of fat (cocoa butter) plus solids (cocoa powder). The syrup is made from cocoa, not chocolate.
1 cup water
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt (or a pinch of table salt)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1-1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa — Callebaut highly recommended. See Notes.
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Mix water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a 2-3 quart pot and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and whisk in cocoa, mixing until it is dissolved. Stir in vanilla extract at the very end. Cool to room temperature. Strain into squeeze bottles.
- In the original recipe, he cooked the syrup to reduce it. I found it too thick and it tasted a little cooked (like pudding). I cooked it less each time and now I turn off the heat once the cocoa goes in.
- I tried this with several brands of cocoa. For the first batch, I used Droste. Very good. The next batch used Perignotti. Better! For the most recent batch, I used Callebaut, the cocoa that won the top ranking in Cook's Illustrated's test. OMG!! This is the best. Unfortunately, Callebaut is hard to find. I bought it by mail from Chocosphere. Ugly website but their service was great. $25 for a 2.2 lb (1 kg) bag.
- You probably know chocolate syrup is a "fat free" food. Well, not when you use premium cocoa. Callebaut is 22-24% fat. That's not very important since you only use a tablespoon or so at a time. A serving probably contains a gram or so of fat, or 1-2% of your daily value.
- Here are the adjustments I made to the original recipe. The original was too sweet and tended to crystallize when stored in the refrigerator, so I cut back on the water (from 1-1/2 cups to 1-1/4, then to 1) and sugar (from 3 to 2, then to 1-1/2 cups). The corn syrup stayed the same, increasing its percentage in the mixture. That eliminated crystallization. I also halved the salt.