What exactly is hot fudge pie? Before I baked this dish, I was not sure about this week’s recipe from my grandmother Jessie’s recently discovered files.
One thing for sure was that my grandmother liked hot fudge, chocolate, desserts, and sweets, in general. I recall that she enjoyed a good hot fudge sundae, frequently with coffee ice cream, at the old-fashioned ice cream parlours, which were once common across Chicago. She liked the Ting-a-Ling, very close to her last residence, a near-north-side condo. I imagine Jessie visited many of the south side institutions, e.g., Cunis’s, Cunag’s, Gertie’s, or the original Dove Candies – which has become a superstar of the American-commercial-high-end-ice-cream-bar-and-chocolate scene. When I visit Chicago, I do try to make it to Margie’s Candies, which still serves a traditional hot fudge sundae, featuring their home-made ice cream, in huge white plastic scallop-shell dishes.
In Key West, Florida in the 1950s, Jessie wrote about what happens from eating too much hot fudge pie and such (on the reverse of the above photo).
The hot fudge sauce at these ice cream parlours came in a small stainless steel pitcher (the size of a small creamer), always served very hot and separate from the sundae, with its whipped cream, chopped pecans or other nuts, and, of course, a cherry on top. It was a revelation to see how a sundae-eater consumed the hot fudge sauce:
- all in one pour on top of the sundae,
- poured judiciously and intermittently as he or she ate the ice cream and whipped cream,
- poured onto the spoon to coat ice cream, one bite at a time, or,
- in the most audacious move of them all, drunk from the pitcher itself.
These techniques indicated one’s personality, we speculated.
Oh, right, this post is not about hot fudge sundaes. (I do promise to write-up a classic recipe from one of my cookbooks, Lost Desserts, by Gail Monaghan, which features a very special recipe for hot fudge sauce from a Los Angeles eatery, with the perfect viscosity and a truly profound chocolate-fudge flavour). The hot fudge pie in question is a bit perplexing, as it is neither a pie nor a cake nor a brownie; it is in between a chocolate molten lava cake (the dessert of the 1990s), a self-saucing chocolate cake (very big in the 1970s), and a very moist brownie (timeless!).
For the hot fudge pie recipe… Continue reading