Editor’s Note: Our ‘community voices’ series rolls along with swapper, and now FSC Academy teacher, Leah A. who is back with another hot swap item, Homemade Magic Shell. Food Allergy friendly w/ only three pantry staples- you bet I’m making this asap!-Christina
We eat a relatively healthy, no fast food, freshly-made, organic-when-possible diet and have since long before we had children. But there are some things that just taste good and bring back memories of childhood; things that you just can’t resist in the grocery store, things that you hypocritically hide in your cart under all the healthy stuff, just in case you bump into your farmers market friends, or members of the healthy kids committee. Things that you feed yourself and your children, not because they taste so great, but because they are fun and all kids should have fun yummy treats sometimes. I believe if we eat healthy the majority of the time, we can let the kids live it up and turn their mouths all shades of the rainbow occasionally, or eat some candy creation that explodes in your mouth or makes your face contort from the sourness or the amazing chocolate that you pour over your ice cream and it magically hardens into a crunchy shell of goodness.
Yes, magic shell ice cream topping. There are a couple of types on the market, all of them grossly fantastic in my opinion. When I was pregnant I didn’t have a ton of cravings, but ice cream became important for the health of my growing fetuses (based solely on my research, not my doctors recommendations). I found if I ate just a few bites of vanilla ice cream to satisfy the needs of my unborn children, after EVERY meal I could control the heartburn and nausea I suffered. But at night when I ate ice cream as it is intended, for dessert, I needed just a little something special on top, you know since this was dessert and not for medicinal purposes like the other ice cream I had eaten that day. So many nights my ice cream was topped with some variation of magic shell. The same magic shell I had grown up with on make your own sundaes and then again during college late night ice cream binges. In case you aren’t familiar with this amazing product, it is simply a thick chocolaty sauce you squeeze from a squirt bottle over your ice cream and within seconds it hardens into an amazing “magic shell” (tinged with that taste of fake, waxy, sweet, milk chocolate we all secretly like).
As I stated at the beginning of this trip down chocolate memory lane, I do make most things fresh in my house and I am always on the look out for “healthier” special treat dessert options. So one day I was on Pinterest and saw a recipe for Magic Shell. My heart skipped a beat, my eyes widened and I may have drooled a little, but I thought to myself there was no way I could make this at home. I wondered where I would buy the chemical additive to make this chocolate magical. When I read the recipe and saw there were only 3, THREE, yes I said 3 ingredients. I was shocked and totally didn’t believe it. There was no way this could be as good or form as good of a shell. Well, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome of this, I have played with a couple of measurements and flavors and this is what I find to be the best Homemade Magic Shell. Special thanks to the different recipes I found on Pinterest, they all had a little variation in ratio, and I made and sampled many. My children love me more, my hips and thighs have more to love, but my pantry is now always stocked with Homemade Magic Shell.
RECIPE: HOMEMADE MAGIC SHELL
Secret behind the recipe- you really can’t mess it up. I have given you the quantities that work best for me because it is easy and I don’t have to measure much, just dump in the chips, scoop out the coconut oil, splash the vanilla and go. I have made double batches for swaps and gifts and I have made emergency late night single servings. It is really too easy to go wrong. Worst that can happen is a little thinner or a little thicker shell of goodness. Enjoy!
- 1 bag of Chocolate Chips (11.5 oz.) Or 1 ½ cups (My crew prefers the basic semi sweet chips, but I have enjoyed all versions I have tried, pick what you like!)
- ½ cup Coconut Oil (solid at room temp- comes in a jar looks like shortening)
- ½ tsp. Vanilla
- Place ingredients in a microwave safe bowl.
- Microwave 1 minute stir. Let sit for 1 minute allowing the heat of the oil to melt the chips a little more.
- If needed continue microwaving in 20 second intervals, letting it sit then stirring between each heating.
- You want all the chips to be melted, being careful not to scald/burn the chocolate. It may seem runny but have no fear the magic is brewing!
- Now patiently wait for the sauce to cool a little and bathe in it…uhhh I mean pour it all over your ice cream.
STORAGE NOTE: DO NOT STORE IN FRIDGE! When this stuff gets cold it turns into a solid! If your house runs cold and the sauce gets too thick to pour, just stick it in the microwave 10-15 seconds and stir. Continue till desired consistency is reached.
• Non-Dairy chips work just as well.
• Peppermint instead of vanilla is AWESOME!!!!
• Orange extract with dark chocolate chips- for a gourmet touch!
• Any “flavor” of chip will work and make a very tasty shell (butterscotch,
vanilla, peanut butter… if you are trying for the healthier version of the
original beware some of these are filled with crazy stuff, but oh so good!!!)
• Healthier option- pour over frozen chunks of banana or frozen pitted fresh
cherries- oh soooo good!
FINAL NOTE: This recipe has led me to a huge culinary discovery! Coconut Oil- I may be late to this party, but I had never cooked with it before. Coconut oil has become a staple in my pantry. It adds an amazing complexity to food, a great smell and it is considered one of the new super foods with major health benefits. It has made my curry dishes 10 times better. Enjoy!