Tonight, I made jam with the berries from our generous neighbors. I’m still a jam newbie, so it was great fun to stir, boil, and learn. I watched the numbers go up on the digital thermometer and matched temperatures to changes in the jam’s consistency. Stirring the brilliantly hued syrup (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries) made for a stunning canvas–the jam-to-be looked like a pinker version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night with its sparkly swirly insanity. The process wasn’t without hiccups, though. Apparently, my canning jars have been used for craft projects (kids) and an undectected clump of glitter made its way into the boiling water when the jars were being sterilized. Rewash. Re-sterilize. When the jam was jarred and processed, I scraped all I could from the saucepan, wishing I could retrieve every last bit. Remembering the chocolate syrup we’d poured over our pound cake and strawberries for dessert earlier, I took the last of the syrup and stirred it into the pan. Stirred and heated gently, the simple, homemade syrup became an elegant chocolate-berry syrup. Magical. I found the chocolate syrup recipe a while back on a clone website. It was too easy and fun to make to ever go back to buying the packaged kind. It makes great chocolate milk and hot chocolate and is wonderful drizzled over pound cake and fresh fruit. And now I know that berry jam is its perfect flavor partner.
Chocolate-Milk Chocolate Syrup
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (you can play around with using dark or regular–it’s all good)
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 dash salt
In saucepan, combine cocoa, sugar and salt. Add water; mix until smooth. Bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute, watching carefully so it doesn’t boil over. Reduce heat; simmer 3 to 4 minutes or until just slightly thickened. Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in vanilla. Store in refrigerator.