Why would you make these yourself? Check out the ingredients label on a commercial brand. The real question is: Why wouldn’t you? With only 6 ingredients (counting vanilla and salt), these are lean and clean, super flavorful, and refreshing, and you can use the type of milk and cocoa powder you like best. Believe it or not, low fat milk makes the most flavorful and refreshing pops of all, but you can have it your way. Adapted from Seriously Bittersweet (Artisan Book 2013) by Alice Medrich —Alice Medrich
ten 3-ounce fudgesicles (if you don't fill them too full!)
unsweetened natural or Dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/2 tablespoons
milk (any fat percentage)
pure vanilla extract (optional)
Ice pop mold with 10 cavities (or 10 individual molds)
Have a silicone spatula near the stove and either a heatproof pitcher or glass measure to pour the mixture into the molds while hot (into heatproof or silicone molds) or a bowl to cool the mixture before spooning it into molds.
Combine the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a heavy medium saucepan. Whisk in just enough of the milk to make a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining milk.
Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring with the whisk -- constantly scraping the bottom, sides, and corners of the pot -- until the mixture begins to bubble a little at the edges. Continue whisking and cooking for 2 more minutes.
Off heat, whisk in the vanilla and scrape the mixture into the pitcher (for immediate filling) or into the bowl to cool.
Fill the pop molds leaving at least 1/4 inch at the top to allow for expansion. If your mold has a cover with openings for sticks, cover and insert sticks. Otherwise, freeze until the mixture is thick enough to hold a stick upright and then insert sticks. Freeze until hard, about 4 hours if the mixture was cool, 6 or more hours if hot.
Line a tray with wax paper. Fill a container with warm water deep enough to dip the full height of your molds. Dip the mold long enough to release a fudgesicle when you pull on the stick. Remove and set fudgesicles on wax paper. Wrap each in a piece of wax paper and/or put them in a re-sealable plastic freezer bag and return them to the freezer until serving.
My career was sparked by a single bite of a chocolate truffle, made by my Paris landlady in 1972. I returned home to open this country’s first chocolate bakery and dessert shop, Cocolat, and I am often “blamed” for introducing chocolate truffles to America. Today I am the James Beard Foundation and IACP award-winning author of ten cookbooks, teach a chocolate dessert class on Craftsy.com, and work with some of the world’s best chocolate companies. In 2018, I won the IACP Award for Best Food-Focused Column (this one!).