Sorry, east coasters (and anyone else experiencing winter’s essential return). I brought the cold spring weather by planning this recipe weeks in advance thinking that the first week of May would be warm and sunny and we’d be licking cones of ice cream ahead of the melting. Like, seriously, where did the warmth go, people?!
Anyway, I’m just going with it, because this fake spring can’t stick around that long, can it?? That warm weather is undoubtedly right around the corner, and we’ve got fabulous summer treats to eat, so MOVE OVER, 50ºF. Bring back those 70s and 80s we had just last week! Please?! I beg of you, and I offer up my homemade magic shell as a bribe.
Truthfully, though, that would be completely unfair, because it takes about 5 minutes to make this super easy sundae staple, and in return, I’d get great weather. Sounds like a deal I’m willing to make!
Let’s back track a bit– somehow authentic Magic Shell escaped my life for oh, like, 25 years, and my fabulous husband brought it back this past summer when we went ALL OUT to celebrate the best summer ever the weekend before I went back to work after maternity leave. We had the works! Sprinkles, nuts, caramel sauce, cherries, and the magical Magic Shell. And then, as any adults would, we started wondering “why is this stuff so magical? How do they do it?!” So we looked at the label and saw there were like, 5 ingredients. And I thought “umm, I can totally do this at home.” And then I foolishly tabled that idea until just a couple weeks ago. I’m talking over 6 months before I decided to “tackle” this in my own kitchen, and I have to say I’m kicking myself for not getting on it sooner!
But first, a science lesson! My fav!
So what makes magic shell so magic? It goes from liquid to solid in a matter of seconds, as soon as it (a room temperature liquid) hits freezing cold ice cream. But how exactly does this happen? The secret is coconut oil, which contains a lot of saturated fat. Have you ever spent a lot of time with coconut oil? I’ve used it in various homemade granolas, because it helps give granola its crunch. It is pretty sensitive in that at room temperature, it is solid, but even if you touch it with a warm finger, it will start to melt. It melts at about 75ºF, which is about 20º less than the melting point of butter. So it’s pretty sensitive! This is great for magic shell purposes!
Really and truly, homemade magic shell is as easy as combining equal parts coconut oil and chopped quality chocolate (and a teeeeny bit of vanilla extract). You’re making a chocolate mixture that has extra fat in it to make it turn solid quickly. I found the best ratio is 1:1, so that makes this simple if you’re looking to make a lot more or a lot less than what the recipe yields (around 1 and 1/3 cup).
From the time you combine the chopped chocolate and the coconut oil, you’ll need about a total of 3 minutes of microwave time, in the form of 20 second increments and stirring in between.
It’s really that easy.
Now get to jazzing up those ice cream sundaes! And stay tuned for a way to use your new homemade magic shell in a fun way (FAF’s Cake of The Month gettin’ all fancy) next week!
Plusalso, help coax that warm weather back, would ya?!
- 8 ounces high-quality chocolate (dark, semi-sweet, or bittersweet depending on your preference), chopped
- 8 Tablespoons coconut oil*
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Combine all ingredients in a large microwave safe bowl or a 2 cup (or larger) glass measuring cup with a spout.
- Heat in the microwave on medium power for 20 seconds at a time, stopping to stir with a spatula between sessions, until everything is smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature before using.
- Shake or stir before each use. Drizzle over cold ice cream. Store covered tightly at room temperature. If magic shell hardens or starts to separate, warm in microwave or under hot water for a few seconds and stir or shake to put back into solution.