Use a good quality chocolate—one you'd enjoy eating out of hand—for the best tasting chocolate sauce. Use it on ice cream all year long, and make it as a holiday gift come December.

Makes 1 cup

4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Put the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl.

2. Combine the cream, sugar, butter, and a pinch of salt in a medium heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring just to a boil, stirring constantly.

3. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chopped chocolate and let stand for 1 minute.

4. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Whisk in the vanilla.