To be perfectly honest, I enjoy this syrup best with only 5 ounces of brown sugar. The lower sugar version makes a deep, rich, sophisticated chocolate syrup. But not "Hershey's Syrup." The absolute hallmark of Hershey's is its sweetness, so to stay true to your childhood memories, stick with 9 ounces.
For the chocolate, I recommend something with a minimum cocoa content of 50% but no higher than 60%. Higher percentages give the syrup too dark a flavor while milk chocolates lack the depth of flavor. I use Callebaut 54% at work and have tested Chocolove 55% and Dagoba 59% at home (as those brands are widely available in gourmet-type groceries) with great success.
Note: All measurements are in weights, as volume measures can be very imprecise. I strongly recommend using a scale for all pastry projects. Serious Eats' recommended kitchen scale is the Oxo Good Grips Scale with Pull Out Display.
- 9 ounces brown sugar
- 4 1/2 ounces water
- 1 1/2 ounces cocoa powder, preferably natural
- 3/4 ounce bittersweet chocolate (see headnote), chopped
- 3/4 tsp instant coffee powder
- heaping 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 ounce vanilla extract
In a medium sauce pot, combine brown sugar, water, cocoa, milk chocolate, coffee powder, and salt. Whisk over medium heat until the dry ingredients have dissolved, the chocolate has melted, and the mixture appears uniform.
Continue cooking and whisking just until the mixture is hot enough to begin to bubble around the edges. Shut off the heat and cool 5 minutes. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
Store in an airtight container in the fridge, almost indefinitely.
To make chocolate milk or hot cocoa: Whisk two tablespoons of chocolate syrup into 8 ounces milk; serve hot or cold.