Everybody needs a knock-em-dead store-cupboard dessert to wow guests. The kind you quickly throw together when you hear the dog bark and see unannounced guests pull into the driveway. Or the kind you whip up in two minutes when you have friends visiting for a week and you can’t think of another dessert after cooking and entertaining for days.
Or the kind you secretly stir up at night when that inescapable craving for chocolate rolls in that no amount of rifling through the baking chips will assuage.
Yes, this is your guy. Only 4 ingredients that you can always have on hand in your pantry, along with a carton of good vanilla ice-cream in your freezer.
This Mississippi Mud Sauce has been a staple in our family for years – a ‘classic’ as Andreas calls it. I’m not sure where the recipe comes from, I think I cut it from a magazine when I was a teenager, then copied it into my recipe book of handwritten family favourites when I got married – it’s been part of the family for a while! The name has stuck – every now and then I think I should rename it Manitoba Mud Sauce, to make it more Canadian (Manitoba’s Red River floods every spring – leaving behind a good bit of muddy gumbo), but the kids are so used to calling it Mississippi Mud Sauce they wouldn’t know it by any other name. There are usually cheers when they hear it’s in the pot.
In our house this sauce has been used on ice-cream (definitely) and on pancakes, and waffles and crepes, and spread on bread (it thickens considerably when it cools) and eaten straight from the spoon (more often than I care to admit). A dollop on your morning porridge is divine – and only a little sinful! It makes wonderful hot fudge sundaes. (And if you sprinkle it with a handful of salted roasted peanuts – it is a close contender for a Peanut Buster Parfait from Dairy Queen – ooh-la-la!)
The batch in the picture above is particularly dark because I had a cocoa powder purchased from the health food store that was darker than the normal Fry’s cocoa powder I purchase in the grocery store. Still just as delicious.
Kitchen Frau Note: I have made this with evaporated milk for years, but have occasionally also made it with fresh whipping cream, and you really can’t tell the difference. So save the whipping cream for something else. (Just make sure you don’t use sweetened condensed milk – that would be too sweet.) I have also made it with premium full-fat coconut milk for a dairy free version, and that turned out well, too. I’ve tried it with different peanut butters, but the smoother popular brands work the best. Natural peanut butters are often too gritty – doesn’t spoil the taste – it just doesn’t look as nice and smooth. (Though I did find one brand, ‘Natur’ that is pretty smooth.) If you do use a natural peanut butter, add a pinch of salt to the sauce.
Mississippi Mud Sauce
- 3/4 cup (170gms) sugar
- 1/3 cup (30gms) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup (160ml) canned evaporated milk (or whipping cream or coconut milk)
- 1/4 cup (60ml/65gms) smooth peanut butter
In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and the cocoa powder until no lumps remain. Whisk in the evaporated milk a little at a time to make a smooth mixture.
Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until boiling. Remove from heat and whisk in the peanut butter.
Serve warm over ice-cream or pound cake. (Gently reheat leftovers – if you have any – to use again.)
Makes 1½ cups.
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