This post was sponsored by Scoop DeVille & Williams-Sonoma. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
It all started when I started spending $20 a week on hot fudge sundaes. Sure, I knew it was cheaper to buy all of the ingredients and make my own hot fudge sundae, but the hot fudge couldn’t be nearly as good, could it?
I recently found out that Williams-Sonoma makes their own hot fudge, which you can find in the dessert section of the store. Williams-Sonoma donated a basket of hot fudge, salted caramel, and other ice cream toppings to aid in the festivities.
Then I asked Scoop Deville if we could get some of their hot fudge as well (to try to justify my $20 spending on hot fudge sundaes). Lucky for me, they obliged (especially because they don’t actually just sell their hot fudge). All in the name of being in search of the best hot fudge.
I stopped at the grocery store to stock up on a few other options, leaving us with a total of 5 options: Smuckers regular, Smuckers fancy, Smuckes magic shell, Stonewall Kitchen’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel, Williams-Sonoma hot fudge sauce, and Scoop Deville’s hot fudge.
And then of course there was the question of ice cream. Well, I thought about it far enough ahead of time that I bought whatever was on sale for two weeks. Can’t go wrong with Friendly’s and Turkey Hill, right?
Right before the 15 people coming showed up I went in search of every small bowl I could find in my house. I had far more than I thought.
And then finally I laid out all the toppings.
Which we ended up taking upstairs and making a hot mess out of anyway.
This is why I don’t believe in nice table setups. Or maybe this is a small house problem. Anyway. Back to the hot fudge.
Let me start by saying we only actually tried 4/5 options because we had all had enough sugar by that point. We left out the Fancy Smuckers. Here it goes (in the order we tried them in) –
Smuckers (regular) Hot Fudge
I heated up this one first in case I failed at it (because it was the cheapest). It was actually pretty good. For the price, a totally worthy investment. It’s definitely a smooth, milk-chocolatey fudge. And was very easy to heat up.
Scoop Deville Hot Fudge
This was the favorite of a bunch of people. If you should ever find yourself in Philadelphia, this is a delicious milk-chocolatey fudge option. It’s a little bit sweeter than the regular Smuckers.
Williams-Sonoma Hot Fudge Sauce
This was the favorite of the other bunch of people, it was the darkest chocolate of all the options. This one was the only one that said that it should be heated slowly, which I thought was interesting. It wasn’t quite as smooth as the other two options either, but it was extra rich.
Stonewall Kitchen’s Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce
This was definitely a treat. Which could be a good thing, however, we were in search of the best hot fudge and it felt like it was missing the quintessential chocolate-y goodness from its flavor. It was pointed out that it wasn’t super salty though, which was good.
It’s apparently personal preference. If you like dark chocolate, go find yourself some Williams-Sonoma goodness. If you are just looking for something classic to keep in your fridge, go for the Smuckers. (Although I unfortunately can’t tell you if the fancy Smuckers is better than the regular.) Oh, and as for the Magic Shell, I actually didn’t try it.
Want to host your own?
Dividing the Work
I supplied all of the ice cream and toppings and my guests supplied any additional snacks and drinks they would want; however, in retrospect, we didn’t actually eat too many of the snacks, so it may have been better to ask them to bring something else. That said, it’s summer and it’s a million degrees, so it was just easier for me to buy the ice cream.
Before Your Guests Arrive
Set out all the toppings. Find some bowls. Fill a pitcher with water.
What (Else) to Serve
1 gallon of ice cream per 4 people. Stick to the classic flavors (we decided the rocky road had too much going on to open during the party). And even if you don’t like vanilla you need to buy it because it’s apparently the most popular or something.
Also, 4 kinds of hot fudge is more than enough. Maybe 5. Don’t try for any more than that in one party – it makes too big of a mess and gets a little complicated. I bought caramels as well thinking that we would need some variety and never even opened them. They weren’t needed. Lucky for me I was able to return $16 of toppings to Super Fresh after-the-fact.
Try to have something savory on the table to break up all the sweet. Also, if you’re looking for alcohol to serve, consider buying a random assortment of chocolate stouts and porters. We drank 4 bottles between 12 of us.
And seriously. Don’t forget the water.
Once Your Guests Arrive
Ask them to choose which vessel they would like to eat ice cream out of. (Yes, that’s right, vessel.) Have them scoop whichever ice cream flavor they’d like into their vessel.
The host should heat up each hot fudge individually so that when they are tried they are still hot. Scoop a bit out of the jars into a smaller cup and heat it on the microwave on 20-50% power in 10-15 second increments. And constantly turn it once it’s out of the microwave to keep it liquidy. And make sure your face is this intense when you go to drizzle it.
Then we played an icebreaker game. We went around the room and said (a) our name, (b) our usual ice cream order, and (c) whether we think they’re called jimmies or sprinkles. My analysis shows that only people from Pennsylvania and South Jersey think the word jimmies is a real thing.
What I Would Do Differently
I would find a way to put the ice cream on ice while it’s out, because we lost half of two gallons because it was just too melted to salvage.
I would buy an extra ice cream scoop.
That might be it, it’s really hard to screw up ice cream & hot fudge.
Questions, comments, concerns? Have a better hot fudge? I’d love to know.
Oh. And there was definitely talk about doing this with a “the best hot chocolate” party later in the year. We’ll see if we can make that happen. I still need to have a blind beer tasting party this fall that mimics this wine tasting party. So many parties to plan, so little time.