French creams — dreamy little chocolate squares richer and creamier than fudge — were made in big copper pots at La Maison de Bonbon in Forest Park starting in 1921 when it was operated as Steger’s Confectionary. Because the main ingredients (bittersweet chocolate and cream) are the same required for hot fudge, one-time owner Carl Schwebel used to make hot fudge topping for ice cream fountain creations, such as the “Fudgy Wudgy” that Oak Park recipe-requester Karen Baldwin recalls from her high school days. Current chef-owner Timothy Shanahan still sells French creams along with chocolates and restaurant pub fare, and has just relaunched the Fudgy Wudgy.
Makes 3 cups
1 pint whipping cream
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
8 ounces finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces finely chopped milk chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon creme de cacao liqueur, optional
- Heat cream to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to low; simmer until reduced by half, 20 minutes. Add sugar; stir until dissolved. Remove from heat. Add chocolate; whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter. Stir in vanilla and liqueur if you like. Serve over ice cream.