Homemade Chocolate Syrup
Gently adapted from a recipe by Alton Brown
1½ c. water
3 c. raw sugar
1½ c. Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1½ T. vanilla extract (preferably homemade)
¼ t. kosher or sea salt
2 T. light corn syrup or mild honey
Bring water and sugar to a boil in a medium-to-large saucepan (this will expand as it boils in later stages of the recipe), stirring until sugar is dissolved. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until the cocoa powder is also dissolved. Return to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-8 minutes. You do not want to boil it until it is very thick, as it will become even more viscous as it cools.
Pour the hot syrup through a fine mesh strainer and let cool to room temperature before transferring into squeeze bottles.
Notes: Dutch-processed cocoa powder is used here because it dissolves more easily in liquids than common (a.k.a. natural) cocoa powder. No matter what its other benefits, a homemade chocolate syrup that is gritty isn't what we want. Dutch-processed cocoa powder is generally easy to find in grocery stores with well-stocked baking sections and in bulk food stores.
I use raw sugar in this recipe because I like the added depth of flavor and touch of caramel it contributes. If you cannot find it easily (it is also sold under the names turbinado, sugar-in-the-raw and demerara) you can substitute white granulated sugar for it.
You can get squeeze bottles at big box stores or in the kitchen notions sections of grocery stores. If you use an opaque ketchup or mustard bottle to store your syrup, remember to label it so you don't forget what's in there at an inopportune moment. While chocolate syrup is good on many things, hot dogs and hamburgers are not among them.