The first time I heard of chocolate gravy I audibly gagged. To me, gravy is something you use to top your mashed potatoes, and in the morning, it's a perfect topping for homemade biscuits if you mix in some crumbled sausage. But chocolate gravy? I didn't understand it until I had a taste of it myself. And let me tell you, one bite of this comfort food and my entire outlook on gravy changed faster than a bar of milk chocolate on a summer day.
Like most great recipes, no one knows the exact time and date this Southern classic came to fruition. However, The Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America has some idea of who invented it. According to the encyclopedia, it is hypothesized that the chocolate gravy was introduced from the Spanish settlers who took part in trading in the Spanish Louisiana territory. The traders could have shared their Mexican-style chocolate with the Appalachian people.
Another theory involves the Melungeon people, who were all born as mixed descendants of free people of color from Europan, African, and Native Americans. The group lived primarily in the Cumberland Gap area of East Tennessee and Eastern Kentucky and later on merged with larger ethnic groups.
Today chocolate gravy can be found on buttermilk biscuits all across the Deep South and Appalachia.
While biscuits and gravy may instantly make you think of homemade biscuits with sausage gravy, this sweet biscuits and gravy meal is the perfect addition to any Southern Sunday morning brunch. And making chocolate gravy is so easy; the easy recipe takes about 15 minutes prep time to come together. Then all you have to do is pour the gravy over warm biscuits.
To begin, sift together 1/4 cup cocoa powder (Hershey's or your favorite brand of unsweetened cocoa powder), 2/3 cup white sugar, three tablespoons all-purpose flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a large skillet or medium saucepan. Whisk the dry ingredients together and slowly pour in two cups milk (you can use whole milk, 2%, or skim) while whisking to keep the dry ingredients from lumping together; make sure the milk is warm before you add it in.
Once everything is whisked together, turn the burner to medium heat and switch your whisk out for a heatproof spatula. Continue to stir and scrape the bottom and sides of the pan until thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the two tablespoons butter (use chilled, unsalted butter) and vanilla extract until fully incorporated. At this point, the gravy should resemble something of a combination of chocolate pudding and chocolate sauce. The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.
Now for the fun part-slathering everything you have in the kitchen with this chocolate gravy recipe. It goes great with everything from hot biscuits to ice cream, waffles, and even pound cake. If you want to go all-in on the chocolate, pour your chocolate gravy over chocolate chip pancakes. But don't take our word for it, you have to try this recipe out for yourself.