Maida Heatter’s Homemade Chocolate Syrup

There’s something about chocolate milk that makes you feel like a kid again when you drink it.  I love it so much, sometimes I even prefer a glass of it to dessert.  Can you believe it?  But, have you ever read the ingredient list on the back of a bottle of Hershey Syrup?  If you haven’t, I don’t want to ruin it for you, but let me just say it’s not good.   I was thinking I could do better if I made it myself at home.  I came across a few different recipes online, but I decided to go with Maida Heatter’s recipe.  While reading through her book, I saw that she was inducted into Chocolatier magazine’s Hall of Fame, so I figured she knows her chocolate! 😀

I have to say I was kind of surprised by how easy it was and I wondered why I never thought of this before.   The recipe consists of just cocoa powder, water, sugar, salt and vanilla. That’s it.  Just 5 ingredients!  I used Vahlrhona cocoa, thinking not only do I want to eliminate the bad ingredients but make the syrup taste better.  And taste better it did.  I made both chocolate milk and hot chocolate which were so dark in color and the chocolate was really intense in flavor  My kids loved it!  I can’t remember the last time they drank so much milk in a day.  But, I was just thinking… if this syrup is so good in milk, how delicious would it be poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream?  Oh geez, now I think I am going to have to try that tomorrow! 😀

Homemade Chocolate Syrup

Yield:  3 1/2 cups of syrup

1 cup, sifted, unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch processed   I used Valrhona

2 cups cold water (or cold black coffee)

2 cups granulated sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

In a heavy 2 quart saucepan off the heat, stir the cocoa powder and water (or coffee) with a whisk until smooth.  Place over moderate heat, change to a rubber spatula, and stir scraping the bottom constantly until the mixture comes to a low boil.  Add the sugar and salt, and stir until dissolved.  Bring to a low boil again and let simmer slowly for 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.  Stir in the vanilla and store in an airtight container in the fridge.  Maida says it will store indefinitely if refrigerated.  She goes on to give 19 different serving suggestions. 19!! I’ll give just some of the highlights…

Cold Chocolate milk: 1/4 cup syrup to 1 cup of whole milk- if you want it richer use half and half

Chocolate Float:  Add a scoop of chocolate ice cream to the above cold chocolate milk

Chocolate Frosted: Cold chocolate milk plus 1 scoop of chocolate ice cream and blend.

Grown-up chocolate frosted: The above chocolate frosted and 2 tablespoons rum, creme de cacao, or Kahlua before blending

Chocolate soda:  In a tall glass, mix 1/2 cup cold milk with 3- 4 T chocolate syrup.  Add 1/2 cup carbonated water, stir lightly, and add a scoop of chocolate ice cream.  Add more soda, if needed, to fill the glass. Top with whipped cream.

Hot chocolate:  Heat 1/4 cup of syrup with 1 cup of milk, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until it just comes to a boil. Top with whipped cream or marshmallows.

Hot mocha: Mix equal amounts of strong black coffee and hot chocolate milk.  If needed, you can add more sugar or honey to taste. Serve very hot with whipped cream or marshmallows.

SourceMaida Heatter’s Great Book of Chocolate Desserts

Bottle container: Sur La Table

Leave a comment


  1. What an awesome recipe – sounds totally decadent 😀
    And great tips on using it!

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. This does sound like the perfect dessert condiment to have in the fridge! I have that cookbook and now I need to crack it open. I surely do not remember this recipe. Love your chocolatey suggestions too-yum!

  3. Just leaving a message that you have been tagged 😀
    I hope you enjoy this and you definitely deserve it!
    Check it out here:

    Choc Chip Uru

  4. Interesting recipe! I have this Maida Heatter’s book and I love it! I’ll try this syrup as soon as possible! 🙂
    best regards from Italy


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