A decadent homemade chocolate syrup featuring brown butter, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, and espresso. This is a versatile chocolate syrup that can be made in minutes, or made ahead and stored in your fridge.
Here are three easy ways to enjoy it:
#1: The Sundae
Always a classic, the ice cream sundae just gets better when topped with brown butter chocolate syrup.
For a crowd-pleasing, half-homemade dessert, ladle the syrup over store-bought ice cream and sprinkle with toasted pecans.
#2: The Brown Butter Mocha
Stir a heaping tablespoon into espresso and hot milk and you've got yourself a buttery smooth mocha.
#3: Brown Butter Chocolate Milk
A dollop of syrup plus milk = gourmet chocolate milk.
Or use hot milk for a brunch-worthy hot cocoa.
Just 4 Ingredients
Brown butter is butter which has been heated until the water is released and the milk solids have been toasted, resulting in a fragrant, nutty buttery nirvana. If you haven’t tried it, read all about it in How to Make Brown Butter and Why You Should.
Make a dairy-free version with vegan brown butter
If you don’t eat dairy, you can use our vegan brown butter, which is made using margarine and pecans, which helps to emulate the toasted, nutty flavour of regular brown butter. You end up with a bonus of the buttery pecans, which, serendipitously, are wonderful scattered on chocolate sauce and ice cream.
Sometimes people think of cocoa powder as a lesser ingredient than chocolate. Both cocoa powder and chocolate come from cacao beans, but the process for making them is different. Both start with fermented and dried cocoa beans, which are roasted, turned into nibs, milled and turned into something called chocolate liquor. The process branches off from there, with cocoa powder having most of the cocoa butter removed; whereas chocolate has cocoa butter, along with sugar and other ingredients added. Cocoa butter is largely flavourless whereas the cocoa powder provides the chocolate flavour. The bottom line, measure by measure, cocoa provides more chocolate flavour than chocolate.
We used cocoa powder because we wanted that intense chocolate flavour, and also because we added the fat to the recipe via the brown butter, so we don’t need the cocoa butter.
Does it matter whether it's dutch-processed?
We used dutch-processed cocoa powder for this recipe, but it won’t make a big difference if you use natural cocoa powder. The difference between the two is that dutch-processed cocoa has been treated with a solution that neutralizes its acidity. This is important if you’re using the cocoa powder for baking, as it will impact which leavening agent to use – baking soda or baking powder.
Coconut sugar’s caramel tones mingle beautifully with the brown butter, espresso, and cocoa in this syrup. Most well-stocked grocery stores will have coconut sugar, sometimes also called coconut palm sugar. It’s a light brown granulated sugar that’s less sweet than white sugar. If you can’t find coconut sugar, you can replace with white sugar, although the end result will be a bit sweeter. Be aware though, that depending on how it's processed, some white sugar is not vegan-friendly.
Both espresso and coffee are made with coffee beans. The difference is really in the preparation – espresso is made using pressure where filtered coffee uses gravity. The pressure creates a beautiful crema — that creamy froth that’s results from the air bubbles combining with the oils in the coffee. If you don’t have an espresso maker, brew some coffee that’s 2 to 3 times the strength you’d normally make it. If you’re concerned about caffeine, you can make this with decaffeinated espresso or coffee.
All you need is A bowl and A whisk.
Once you’ve got your brown butter (or vegan brown butter) made, you can whip this chocolate syrup up in minutes using only a bowl and a whisk. We tried dissolving the sugar in the espresso first to see if that made the process quicker, but ultimately it didn’t make much difference what order we added the ingredients. Also note, that it does take a few minutes of whisking to get all of the ingredients incorporated into a nice thick syrup. You might see a few granules of coconut sugar that don’t readily dissolve, but you’ll find that after the syrup sits for a few minutes, it gets thicker and smoother.
If you don’t have a whisk, add all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
Brown Butter Chocolate Syrup
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 3/4 cup cocao powder
- 1/2 cup melted
brown butter(measure melted) (or vegan brown butter, see recipe notes)
- 3/4 espresso (or strongly brewed coffee)
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until thick and creamy. This may take a few minutes.Alternatively, add all ingredients to blender and blend until thick and creamy.