As was inevitable, following the popsicles blog, I have turned my thoughts to fudgesicles. While the popsicles were borne of a sincere desire to pump fruit into children who would not normally consider anything from the non-meat-and-potatoes world worthy of consumption, my pursuit of the perfect fudgesicle came from a pure lust for chocolate, and a sincere addiction to ice cream.  Just about the only nod to “healthy ingredients” might possibly be the inclusion of cocoa:  cocoa is loaded with flavonoids, the antioxidants that will lead to eternal life.

After experimenting with frozen chocolate milk and other regrettable failures, I reviewed every frozen fudge-bar on the internet that wasn’t ridiculous, looking for the magic ratio on which to build.  There were plenty to choose from, and I was fortunate in having folks on hand (including my grandchildren) who would happily eat up all the trial batches, whether they met my standards or not!

The best bars were thickened with cornstarch, a sort of frozen runny pudding.  Without boring you with too much science, it would appear that the cornstarch traps the water in such a way that it cannot freeze into big crystals, giving the end result a lovely texture.  We (my tasting group) had interesting discussions regarding the use of cream with various levels of butterfat:  Whipping cream was the flavor favorite (and why not?), and the batch made with 2% milk was still acceptable, but less “creamy” (go figure) and more crystalline (which may have been an error in execution of the recipe).  Using cocoa definitely makes them very chocolate-y, and the use of a higher-butterfat cream prevents them from being bitter.  You could cut back on the cocoa, but I wouldn’t.

This is a smallish batch, so you can make them just for your own “guilty-pleasure” consumption, or you can double it and serve them for dessert at your next Barbecue.



1 ½ tsp cornstarch

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup brown sugar (you can use white, but
the flavor is better with brown)

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cups cream (you choose – from 34% milk fat to 10%), or a combination of cream and milk


Place all dry ingredients in a small saucepan.  Mix well to combine.

Add vanilla and about 3 Tablespoons of cream or milk.  Whisk together to form a smooth paste.  If you leave this step out, you will almost certainly make lumpy pudding.

Add the rest of the milk, whisking to dissolve the sugar and suspend the cocoa and cornstarch.

Over medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring all the time.  If you don’t stir all the time, the bottom will thicken into a lumpy sludge, and you might as well start over.  If you do produce a lumpy sludge and try to solve the problem by smoothing it out with your immersion blender, you will break up the structure and get unsatisfactory results.  I speak from experience here.

Lower the heat; simmer and stir for a couple of minutes – it takes time for the cornstarch to fully cook out.  The mixture will coat the back of a spoon, and leave a clear trail when you run your finger through it.  If you don’t fully cook out the cornstarch, both flavor and texture will be affected. I went to cooking school, so I know this to be true.

Pour the cooked mixture back into your measuring cup – it makes it much easier to pour into the popsicle molds.  My tasters did not feel that bigger was better, so don’t go nuts on the size.  You could definitely do the Dixie-cup popsicle-stick alternative, as these are soft enough to bite when frozen.

Freeze until frozen.

Eat until full 🙂