Why It Works
- Skim milk allows the full chocolaty flavor to shine through loud and clear.
- Heating the milk until it's just warm ensures it won't curdle or damage the gelatin.
- Gelatin replicates the unique texture of a Fudgsicle, while helping the pops retain their shape even as they melt.
- Dividing the milk helps the Fudgsicle base cool faster.
- Lightly greasing the popsicle molds provides a clean release.
Made with Dutched cocoa powder, these homemade Fudgsicles have an even deeper chocolate flavor than the original. Balanced by the butterscotch-y sweetness of brown sugar, they're especially refreshing and intense on a hot summer's day.
- For the Gelatin:
- 1/4 ounce unflavored gelatin powder (2 1/4 teaspoons; 7g)
- 1 ounce milk (2 tablespoons; 30g), preferably skim (though any percentage will do)
- 1/2 ounce vanilla extract or crème de cacao (1 tablespoon; 15g)
- For the Fudgsicle Base:
- 5 ounces light brown sugar (2/3 cup; 140g)
- 1 1/2 ounces Dutch process cocoa powder (1/2 cup; 40g)
- 1/4 teaspoon (1g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt; for table salt, use half as much by volume or use the same weight
- 18 ounces milk (2 1/4 cups; 510g), preferably skim (though any percentage will do), divided
For the Gelatin: In a small bowl, combine gelatin, milk, and vanilla extract or crème de cacao, mixing with a fork until smooth. Set aside until needed.
For the Fudgsicle Base: Combine brown sugar, Dutched cocoa powder, and salt in a 3-quart stainless steel saucier, whisking to break up any lumps. Stir in approximately half the milk, then warm over medium heat until just beginning to steam, but not yet bubbling, less than 5 minutes. Immediately remove from heat and stir in gelatin mixture. When gelatin is fully melted, incorporate remaining milk.
Lightly grease 8 three-fluid-ounce molds. Transfer Fudgsicle base to a quart-size measuring cup, then divide base between molds. Cover each with foil and freeze until slightly firm, about 45 minutes. Insert popsicle sticks through foil and continue freezing until completely solid, about 3 hours.
To unmold, run molds under hot tap water for about 30 seconds, then slide a paring knife between the pop and the mold to let air slip in for an easier release. Enjoy immediately, or wrap individually in plastic and freeze up to 3 weeks.
3-quart stainless steel saucier, whisk, quart-size measuring cup, popsicle molds, popsicle sticks
Homemade Fudgsicles hinge on the dark color, robust flavor, and relatively high pH of Dutched cocoa powder, so it's imperative that you reach for the good stuff. In supermarkets, look for brands like Droste, or save some money by ordering in bulk online, where brands like Cacao Barry can retail for as little as $9 a pound.