What Makes a Great Hot Fudge Dessert Topping?

The most important part of a sundae is hot fudge! A high quality hot fudge topping should have a “fudge-like” aroma and flavor intensity which should include notes of chocolate, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, chocolate syrup, vanilla and dairy. The aroma and flavor profiles may also include malt, but should not include burnt, metallic, raw grain or soy notes. The texture of the topping should be smooth and rich, with some adhesiveness and chewiness. It should not cause a back of the throat burn. When the topping is used in application with ice cream, it should coat the ice cream and maintain a “fudge-like”flavor and texture.

Tasting terms

  • aroma

    The smell that emanates from food. Along with appearance, texture, flavor and taste, aroma is one of the five dimensions used to evaluate a product. Example: Brownies should have an aroma that includes chocolate as well as egg, toasty and sweet notes.

  • flavor intensity

    A measurement of the strength of a flavor in a particular food. Example: High-quality chocolate will have high cocoa flavor intensity.

  • flavor

    A combination of a food's basic taste and its accompanying aroma, flavor is the distinctive taste of a food or ingredient while it is in the mouth. Along with aroma, appearance, texture and taste, flavor is one of the five dimensions considered by ChefsBest Master Tasters. Example: Chocolate chip cookies should have a moderate chocolate flavor accompanied by a slightly lower level of complex dough flavor that includes egg, flour, vanilla and brown sugar notes.

  • metallic

    Having the flavor of a can or foil; typically an off note acquired from a product’s packaging. Example: Some canned foods, like ham, can acquire metallic flavors from their metal containers.

  • texture

    A dimension used to organize attributes like mouthfeel, graininess and initial bite, it is one of the five dimensions used by ChefsBest Master Tasters to evaluate food. Example: Glazed popcorn will have a crunch texture. The texture of milk chocolate should be creamy and smooth.

  • adhesiveness

    The degree to which some foods stick to the tongue, teeth or upper palate; not to be confused with "cohesiveness," which is the degree to which food sticks together. Example: Peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth; white bread sticking to the teeth.