Yield: At least 10 servings

Cook’s notes: This recipe, which can be made ahead and reheated, makes a thin gravy meant to go atop Buttermilk Biscuits. For a thicker one, use up to 1 cup less milk, or whisk in 2 tablespoons flour with the cocoa and sugar. You can also reduce the butter (but again, if you’ve sunk this far, why bother?) Do use a good-quality cocoa; I use Ghirardelli. This is also fabulous for dessert (think shortcakes instead of biscuits and gravy), if it’s just too too for breakfast.

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Pinch of salt, preferably coarse (kosher) salt
1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, whisk the butter over medium heat until melted. Whisk in sugar, cocoa powder, salt and espresso powder. Whisk in 1 cup of milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Whisk in remaining milk and return to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes. Whisk in vanilla. Serve over hot biscuits (it’s best to serve the gravy in a pitcher and let diners pour it over the biscuits themselves just as they’re ready to eat).

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