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Place the butter, sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, salt and milk in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Heat over medium heat until it comes to a boil.
Meanwhile, whisk together the cocoa powder, water, rum and vanilla into a thin paste.
Place the cocoa paste in a large bowl.
Chop the chocolate into small pieces (or use excellent quality chocolate chips or paillettes) and add to the bowl.
When the dairy comes to a boil, regulate the heat so it maintains a slow boil but doesn't boil up in the pan.
Stir the dairy frequently and boil until it reaches a light caramel color, about 20-30 minutes (less time if you half the recipe). You don't want the color to be as dark as a Sugar Daddy, but it should be significantly darker than sweetened condensed milk. You can see what color it should be above in the post.
Once the dairy is a lovely shade of deep tan, pour it into the bowl with the chopped chocolate and cocoa paste. Allow it to sit for a minute or two and then whisk until smooth.
Strain it just to make sure it is completely smooth.
Store in jars in the fridge.
If you used fresh dairy, the hot fudge sauce will keep for a good 2-3 weeks in the refrigerator. If your dairy was close to the expiration date, use the sauce up within 5-7 days.