Homemade Magic Chocolate Shell

Magic chocolate shell – you know, the chocolate sauce that magically hardens the second it touches cold ice cream, enveloping your sundae in a chocolatey hug that cracks at with the tap of a spoon? Yeah. That’s what this is. Except a million times better. Because you can use goooooooood chocolate. I’d like to tell you that we didn’t make batches three nights in a row, but that would be a lie. I’m so glad to have Valentine’s day as an excuse…

The secret to that shell effect is coconut oil, which is composed of 86% saturated fats – the kind that are solid at room temperature. Adding this to chocolate makes the sauce eager to solidify with a temperature drop, and it becomes instantly solid upon contact with ice cream. (I LOVE SCIENCE.) I buy deodorized coconut oil for this purpose – it is heat-treated to eliminate the strong coconut smell present in virgin coconut oil.

I kept the servings to two with Valentine’s day in mind, but if you feel compelled to make this in much, much larger quantities – I understand (nodding empathetically). You can scale up, just maintain the same ratio of chocolate to coconut oil. So that’d make 6 tsp (2 tbsp) coconut oil per 6 oz (1 cup) chopped dark chocolate.

Be sure to melt your chocolate using a low and slow method – 50% power in the microwave, or in a heat-proof bowl set on top of a saucepan of simmering (not boiling) water. If chocolate is heated to quickly, it will seize.

I recommend serving it with top-quality ice cream (I’m partial to Hagen Dazs Vanilla Bean – nothing but ingredients you’d find in your kitchen!) and chopped salty peanuts. Or if you really want to impress, make your own Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream.

Homemade Magic Chocolate Shell

Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Servings 2


  • 2 oz 1/3 cup good dark chocolate (60-70% cocoa recommended), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp coconut oil


  • Combine chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. Melt on 50% power for 1 minute, stir, then continue in 15 second increments until chocolate is about 60% melted. Stir to finish melting. Let cool for a few minutes, then pour over ice cream. If there is any leftover, store at room temperature. Rewarm at 50% microwave power for 30 seconds if needed to be pourable.

Last Updated on February 10, 2015 by Jennifer Pallian BSc, RD

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