Like many Detroit area residents, I grew up on desserts and confections from Sanders Chocolates. Sanders was first opened by German born Fred Sanders on June 17, 1875. The business, in it’s hey day, numbered close to 60 stores in the Great Lakes Region and elsewhere. Sanders retailers sold candy, fudge toppings, and baked goods, as well as light meals and an assortment of desserts at fountain counters (ice cream sodas, sundaes and hot fudge cream puffs). It was always a special treat to sit at the fountain counter in my youth.
While the ice cream soda was the first signature menu item, Sanders would also become known for its dessert toppings, including hot fudge and classic caramel – using the original recipes passed down from generation to generation. Other popular menu items include the Hot Fudge Cream Puff, which Sanders still offers in its retails stores, and the “Bumpy Cake”, which is a devil’s food cake topped with “bumps” of buttercream which is cloaked in chocolate ganache.
It is the hot fudge, specifically the milk chocolate variety, I bring you today. I served it atop a cream puff filled with French vanilla ice cream (Stroh’s, of course, another Detroit classic).
For many, many years running, my Great Aunt Marg would take my sister and I for an overnight adventure in the week or so preceding Christmas. When we were very young, the adventure would begin at Toys R Us. We were allowed to choose a toy(s) of our liking, whatever our heart desired. We would then go out to a restaurant or possibly dine on her famous hot chicken salad at her home. We slept over, snoozing on a sofa bed. The next morning (actually pushing noon), we would head to Sanders. We would sit at the fountain counter for a breakfast of scrambled eggs. (Aunt Marg swore no-one made them better.) Downing the eggs meant dessert was next! In my case…the hot fudge cream puff sundae!
I’m including a recipe for cream puffs (profiteroles) following the hot fudge recipe. I’ve been making these since junior high school. It happens to be one of the first recipes I remember being successful with at a youngish age. I made this exact recipe for my French class when I was required to give a presentation. As I recall, my grade for proper usage of the French language – “B” … but … I got an “A” for the profiteroles!
Sanders Milk Chocolate Hot Fudge
- In a medium sized, heavy pot whisk together the sugar and cocoa.
- Stir over low heat for about 2 minutes. The goal is to slightly heat the mixture. Do not melt.
- Add the milk, stirring constantly. Increase the heat to medium heat and boil rapidly for one minute.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
- Store in a glass container in the refrigerator. For serving, heat on the stove top or in the microwave.
1 cup water
1/4 cup butter (4 Tablespoons)
1/2 cup AP flour
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Heat water and butter to a rolling boil in a saucepan. Stir in the flour. Reduce the heat to low. Stir vigorously (with a wooden spoon) until the mixture forms a ball, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.
- Add the eggs, all at once. Stir vigorously with the wooden spoon until the dough is smooth.
- Drop dough by scant ¼-cupfuls about 3 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake until puffed and golden, 35-40 minutes. Cool away from draft.
- Cut (tear) off tops; pull out any filaments of soft dough. Fill as desired with ice cream or sweet cream.