Thursday, June 23, 2011

Fudge Popsicles

Summer is in full swing around here.  We have spent every afternoon this week playing in the water.  Although an air-conditioned house is very appealing to me in my pregnant state, I can't keep my son inside for the life of me.  Everyday following nap time, he requests a rocket popsicle and the sprinklers turned on.  Yes, those rocket pops I posted a few days ago are a huge hit with him.  Ever since I made them and the weather turned freakishly hot, they are his favorite afternoon snack.  Normally, I wouldn't even think of letting him have a popsicle for a snack, but they are made with fresh fruit, and it's summer for goodness sake.  Summertime as a kid means getting to do special things, like staying up late, running through the sprinklers, and eating popsicles for a snack.  Rocket pops may rank high on his list,  just as they did when I was a kid, but as an adult, a new frozen treat has taken their place- the fudgesicle.  Creamy, rich, chocolaty, and oh so satisfying.  I love them because they are indulgent without being overly sweet.  They are the perfect treat to end the day with.   

I have tried almost all the Fudgesicles in the markets, and most are really good.  I merely wanted all that chocolaty goodness minus all the junk.  Look on the back of a box of your favorite fudge pops and you'll likely see a laundry list of ingredients including, sodium chloride, maltodextrin, polysorbate 80 & 65, and artificial flavorings.  Those kind of ingredients belong in a chemist's lab, not in my family's mouths.  The solution?  Gotta make some homemade fudge pops.  A lot of the homemade fudgesicle recipes I came across either were made with pudding mix or had corn syrup or cornstarch in them.  The corn syrup helps the pops not to become too icy, but I found that agave syrup works just as well.  As for the pops made with pudding mix, I am sure they taste really good, but pudding mix is just cocoa powder with lots of junk mixed in- just the thing I was trying to avoid.  Plus, I was trying to make a fudge popsicle entirely from scratch, so those were out.  I think you will find these fudgesicles creamier than any of their grocery counterparts and they are so easy to make. 

I let Jayden be the first to sample them, since he helped me make them the day before and was impatiently waiting for them to harden up in the freezer overnight.  I knew he would love them, what three year old wouldn't love a frozen, chocolate popsicle on a warm summer afternoon?  He graciously allowed me to have a bite, although he said it needed to be a "very small one mom", and I must admit I thought about those pops for the rest of the day.  I could hardly wait until after dinner to indulge myself.  Sinfully creamy, perfectly fudgy, and adequately sweet, I will never buy fudge pops from a box again.

Fudge Popsicles

1 c skim milk ( I used 1%)
1 c heavy cream
1/2 c cocoa powder
2/3 c sugar
2 T agave syrup
1 t pure vanilla extract

Place milk, cream, cocoa, sugar, and agave in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  Bring slowly to a simmer, stirring frequently to dissolve cocoa powder and sugar.  Do not let the mixture boil or it will scald.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract.  Let mixture cool slightly before pouring into molds.  Freeze for at least 4 hours, or overnight. 

Pops can be stored for one week in freezer, but I doubt they will stick around that long!  This recipe yielded 8 popsicles, though amount will vary depending on the size of your molds.

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