Oh fudge!

Hot fudge, ice cream combine for classic, cool summer treat

Hot fudge sundae photographed Monday, July 22, 2013, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)
Hot fudge sundae photographed Monday, July 22, 2013, in Cedar Rapids. (Liz Martin/The Gazette-KCRG)

When Gae Sharp-Richardson thinks about hot fudge sundaes, she thinks about her mother.

“I have nine brothers and sisters, and I am sure that there were some days that my mom would think, ‘Oh my, what’s for lunch?’ and so, every now and then, we would get to have ice cream for lunch,” Sharp-Richardson says. “That’s all, just ice cream with hot fudge topping. It’s one of the best memories I have of growing up.”

So it’s fitting that Sharp-Richardson, owner of The Chocolate Shop in Marion, now owns one of the best hot fudge recipes in Eastern Iowa: Sidwell’s Legendary Gourmet Hot Fudge.

The Chocolate Shop purchased the hot fudge name, business and recipe in June, after being approached by former owner Dave Sidwell the month before. Sidwell even spent a day teaching Sharp-Richardson’s daughter, Jilia Sharp, how to make the hot fudge recipe that carries his family’s name.

“We haven’t changed a thing — not even the price — because Sidwell fudge has a big following,” Sharp-Richardson says.

Jilia Sharp calls the acquisition “a great adventure.”

“It’s exciting and new,” she says. “We’re proud to have this addition to The Chocolate Shop.”

And why wouldn’t they? Hot fudge is one of those culinary delights that takes something great — ice cream — and makes it better.

The creation of hot fudge is credited to Clarence Clifton Brown, who served hot fudge sundaes in his Hollywood store in the early 1900s.

Today, we celebrate Brown’s dedication by raising a fluted glass dish in his honor as we commemorate National Hot Fudge Sundae Day.

“I love hot fudge sundaes,” Jilia Sharp says. “It’s summer and it’s ice cream time. Why shouldn’t it have its own special holiday?”

Observed every year on July 25, this food holiday plays tribute to one of summer’s greatest desserts. The combination of cold ice cream and hot fudge is one of those yin-yang food pairings — think sweet and sour — that delights the taste buds.

“I like hot fudge because it warms up my ice cream enough so that I don’t get brain freeze,” Sharp-Richardson says. “My perfect hot fudge sundae would be with more hot fudge then ice cream. That’s all — just lots of hot fudge and melty-ish vanilla ice cream.”


To the top

Hot fudge sundaes are one of those desserts that can easily be customized to suit people’s preferences. The classic creation includes vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream, nuts, and a single maraschino cherry on top. Variations, though, can include anything from sprinkles and different ice cream flavors to the omission or nuts and/or the cherry.

Sidwell’s Legendary Gourmet Hot Fudge can be purchased at The Chocolate Shop, 1244 Seventh Ave. in Marion, New Pioneer Food Co-op, area Hy-Vee and Fareway grocery stores, and several independently-owned businesses in the Midwest.


There are some people who don’t like ice cream. For them, we offer an alternative recipe to celebrate National Hot Fudge Sundae Day.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons baking cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts, if desired
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 3/4 cups very hot water
  • Ice cream, if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix flour, granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa, the baking powder and salt in ungreased square pan, 9-by-9 inches. Mix in milk, oil and vanilla with fork until smooth. Stir in nuts. Spread in pan.

Sprinkle brown sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa over batter. Pour water over batter.

Bake about 40 minutes or until top is dry.

Spoon warm cake into dessert dishes. Top with ice cream, if desired. Spoon sauce from pan onto each serving.Source: 

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