This week reminded me that when life is starting to feel a bit too busy (and toasty), the best course of action might be as simple as taking a break and having a treat.

To that end, this past week my kids developed their own family rule. The kinks are still being worked out, but it goes something like, “Once the temperature reaches 95 degrees, we all have to stop what we are doing and have some kind of cold treat.” Aside from being impressed that they are working together, I also notice that a key part of their plan is the whole family is involved. I have a sneaking suspicion that taking a break and spending this time together just might be the most important part.

This week, I’m sharing my simple recipe for red chile hot fudge. You can easily skip the red chile if you don’t want the added flavor and heat, but it’s a lovely addition to a simple hot-fudge sundae with some fresh whipped cream and, of course, a cherry on top.

Be sure to warm up only what you’ll use at the time, and the hot fudge will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Red Chile Hot Fudge

Makes: Around 3 cups;

total time: 15 minutes

⅔ cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup honey

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup cocoa or cacao powder

⅔ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided in half

1-2 teaspoons red chile powder (depending on heat and your preference)

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, paste or half a scraped vanilla bean

Preparation: In a medium saucepan, combine heavy whipping cream, honey, brown sugar, cocoa powder, ⅓ cup of the chocolate chips, red chile powder and a pinch of salt. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium heat and stir with a whisk until everything is combined. Reduce to a simmer over low heat, cooking for 5 minutes. Turn off heat.

Add the remaining ⅓ cup of chocolate chips, butter and vanilla. Whisk until butter and chocolate are melted. Transfer to a heat-proof container and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. When ready, spoon out the portion you will use into a small pot or microwavable safe bowl and warm just until melted. Spoon over ice cream and enjoy.

Marianne Sundquist is a chef, writer and co-founded Stokli in 2020, an online general store on a mission to empower local growers and makers of dry goods. Find her on Instagram

@chefmariannesundquist, visit and email her at

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