Adults-Only Chocolate Orange Sauce

As a “grown up”, I’ve gotten used to the fact that some things I could get away with eating as a kid would raise more than a few eyebrows if I tried it now. Spoonfuls of Nutella and/or peanut butter out of the jar, frozen McDonalds french fries (don’t know why my mom used to freeze them but they were so good), corn syrup on toast and tubes of raw cookie dough shared amongst my closest friend all come to mind – along with the reminder that there was a reason I topped 200 pounds in my early teen years. Moderation was preached at home, but when left to my own teenage devices it left the building entirely. 

Adults - Only Chocolate Sauce

One of the other goodies I used to be able to get regularly at the local Tim Hortons was cups of chocolate milk – we’re talking the fountain-drink cups here, with a Large running at 24oz of cold, rich tasting, sweet dairy. With the evolution of the menu (and inevitable price increases for “real” food and skilled labour), the fountain-style chocolate milk disappeared and was replaced with the cartons, just as “freshly made” doughnuts transformed into pre-baked, frozen pucks that are reheated and glazed on site. While carton-style chocolate milk wasn’t the worst thing in the world (and was certainly better than Quik powder), it didn’t quit have the same indulgent feel going for it. When I stopped being able to drink “regular” milk, I started experimenting with a few variations of chocolate pastes, syrups and sauces added to various non-dairy milks – partially to cover up any off flavours and/or textures (looking at you, off-label soy milk and most rice milks) and partially to see if I could get anything to taste similar to what I remembered, dairy or non. 

Luckily, adulthood brought with it the freedom to experiment with extra flavour options, and I took a leaf out of my mom’s “chocolate-orange love” book when I came up with this beauty. The first and foremost flavour in this just-thick-enough syrup is definitely bittersweet chocolate – so much so that the milk chocoholics out there will probably shy away from licking the spoon (more for us!). However, a lingering, ever-so-subtle whisper of orange creeps in afterwards thanks to a hint of Grand Marnier. It’s not cooked out, hence the “adults only” moniker, but it is definitely a throwback to after-school snacks as a kid. The syrup is just thick enough to make for an artistic drizzle over cake, ice cream or fruit, but my personal favourite is to add a shot to a (cashew milk) caffe latte for a wicked twist on a hot mocha. I’ve yet to test it out on the heavier drinkers here making cocktails though – let me know what your favourite would be!

Shared with Gluten Free Fridays

Adults-Only Chocolate Orange Sauce
Makes ~12 fl. oz, 12 (1 fl. oz) servings
½ cup water
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp amber agave (or honey, if not vegan)
3 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch salt
½ tbsp Clear Jel
2 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp Grand Marnier
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Combine the water, sugars, agave, cocoa and salt in a pot over medium heat, whisking to combine.
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Whisk together the Clear Jel and cold water and add to the simmering mixture. 
  4. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly, then remove from the heat, stir in the Grand Marnier and vanilla and pour into a jar or bottle.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 44.3
Total Fat: 0.2 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.2 mg
Total Carbs: 11.1 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.4 g
Protein: 0.3 g

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