Well, I lied.
I ended up getting consumed by another project but thinking that I still had lots of time to post the chocolate sauce recipe. I kept yawning, though, and couldn't understand why I was so tired when it was still so early. Then the baby woke up to eat and I finally looked at a clock and saw that it was one in the morning. So I fed her and we went back to bed.
It's my own fault - I should have planned my time better and been more mindful of the schedule, but I'll tell you, this daylight savings time thing is killing me. I want my hour back and I want it back now.
But that rant is for later and this is for now: Chocolate sauce. The recipe is derived from a couple that I have tried and this is a good base recipe - clear, creamy chocolate flavor, rich and deep. It's perfect for filling little tarts, spreading between the layers of a cake or just plain plopping on top of ice cream. It will never let you down. Plus, because there's nothing in it that can go bad or rot it needs no processing, just sterilized jars and lids.
Mix together 8 oz. of cocoa powder (this can be a regular grocery brand like Hershey or something fancier if you're inclined. I use a bulk cocoa from Atlantic Spice), four cups of sugar, an a quarter teaspoon of salt. Pour these thoroughly blended and non-lumpy dry ingredients into the largest stock pot you own - while the sauce is cooking it increasing geometrically in volume and you'll want to be prepared.
Next, add in the liquid ingredients one at a time: 1/4 cup maple syrup (I use B grade) and 1 1/4 cups light corn syrup. Blend into the dry ingredients so that you have a dry, grainy paste.
Over low heat, slowly add between 4 1/2 and 5 cups of water. Once all the water is added, increase the heat and bring to a boil, stirring every now and again. Once a boil is reached, reduce the heat again to the lowest you can use and still keep the sauce at a boil. Boil for 9-10 minutes, stirring frequently (you'll need a pretty long spoon for this).
Pour the sauce into hot, sterilized jars - I used pints the first time, but have now switched to have pints which is a better amount and easier for gifting - and seal with sterilized two-part lids. I sterilize my jars by either running them through the dishwasher or putting them on a rimmed baking sheet in the over. Either way, it's pretty easy and you must do one or the other (or boil them in your canning kettle). The sauce won't go bad on its own, but you can still introduce lots of nasties if you don't sterilize your storage media.
Anyway, set the lidded jars on a dishtowel to cool. After a couple hours you should start hearing the little pings that indicate the the jars are sealing and will be storable. I get about four pints total from this recipe - in half pint jars it's just the right size for Christmas stockings or Easter baskets or a hostess gifty.
Now, this is just the base recipe. I've been toying with adding a liquor to the liquid ingredients, reducing in the amount in kind from the water. So far, this has worked well and I'm testing its impact on storage. Theoretically, there should be no change in the storability, since alcohol doesn't go bad. So far I've tested both raspberry and orange liquors and they were both delicious at the jarring stage. I'll open them up in a couple weeks to see how the flavor lasts.
You can also add a quantity of a good quality, high-cocoa butter chocolate to the recipe to increase the fat content and overall deliciousness. Grate or chop a smallish bar into very small slivers and add them into the dry ingredients. When adding the liquids, stir vigorously and then when heating make sure to stir away every trace of solid chocolate. Warning: this is good but very, very rich. It's really almost too much, but a severely afflicted chocoholic might find it just right.