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The Times
  • Sundae best: How to dress up a favorite summer treat

  • Here’s the scoop on sundaes: They don’t have to be boring. The best-seller at a Springfield Baskin-Robbins remains the classic hot fudge sundae. But gaining in popularity are “layered” premium sundaes. Click inside for some recipes you can try tonight!

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  • Here’s the scoop on sundaes: They don’t have to be boring.
    “There are so many ways to customize sundaes. To each his own,” said Mindi Gutmann, owner of the Baskin-Robbins in Springfield, Ill.
    Her best-seller remains the classic hot fudge sundae: vanilla ice cream, hot fudge sauce, whipped cream, chopped almonds and a cherry.
    But gaining in popularity are “layered” premium sundaes. For example, the peanut butter cup sundae at Baskin-Robbins has three scoops of Reese’s peanut butter ice cream, layers of crushed peanut butter cups, hot fudge, peanut butter sauce, whipped cream and more crushed peanut butter cups.
    “It’s my favorite,” said Gutmann, who has worked at the ice cream store for 23 years.
    According to “Ice Cream Sundae: 100 Greatest Fountain Formulas” by Michael Turback (Perfect Paperback, 2009), the sundae was created in Ithica, N.Y., in 1892 when a soda fountain proprietor accessorized a scoop of ice cream with sweet syrup and a candied cherry. Since then, the concoction of ice cream topped with sauce or syrup has remained a reasonably priced American luxury.
    Celebrity pastry chef Gale Gand, host of the Food Network’s “Sweet Dreams,” offers these tips for making a first-class sundae:
    -- Roll scoops of ice cream in any kind of crumbs, crushed cereal or chocolate milk powder for an ice cream “truffle.”
    -- Use mini containers like egg cups, espresso cups and cordial glasses to make mini sundaes.
    -- Make a quickie fresh-fruit topping by mashing your favorite berries with a little white or brown sugar.
    -- Freeze sundae bowls or dessert dishes overnight to keep your ice cream from melting quickly.
    -- Dip your ice cream scoop in hot water in between scoops for more perfect scoops.
    -- Use two or more flavors of ice cream in a sundae to add extra flavor and flair.
    -- Dissolve some instant coffee in a little hot water and stir it into store-bought caramel sauce to make a coffee-caramel drizzle.
    -- Tuck a cookie next to a scoop of ice cream, standing up, to dress it up.
    -- Create an exotic-looking sundae by using a wooden skewer to thread fruit –– berries, banana slices, fresh peach wedges –– and then stick it into a scoop of ice cream.
    Gutmann said the key ingredient in a super sundae is good-quality ice cream.
    “You can make a sundae with soft-serve, but the hot fudge or hot caramel will make it melt. With hand-scooped you get a better consistency. A good ice cream is the main thing.”
    Mini Coffee Ice Cream Sundaes
    From Breyers
    2 cups coffee ice cream
    Salted caramel sauce (see note)
    Page 2 of 2 - Almond whipped cream (see note)
    1 shot espresso coffee
    4 amaretti cookies
    Chocolate-covered coffee beans
    Arrange 2 (1/4-cup) scoops ice cream in 4 demitasse coffee cups. Drizzle with salted caramel sauce, then top with almond whipped cream. Pour a little espresso into each cup, then garnish with cookies and coffee beans.
    Note: For salted caramel sauce, bring 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to a boil over high heat in heavy-duty saucepan until caramel-colored. Remove from heat, then slowly stir in 1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream. Let cool, then stir in 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Let stand at room temperature until ready to use.
    For almond whipped cream, whip 1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream, 1 teaspoon sugar and 2 drops almond extract in mixing bowl with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Chill until ready to serve.
    Makes 4 servings.
    Chocolate and Vanilla Sundaes
    From Ina Garten
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
    2 tablespoons honey
    2 tablespoons prepared coffee
    2 pints vanilla ice cream
    2 pints chocolate ice cream
    1/2 cup chopped salted peanuts
    To make chocolate sauce: Place cream and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water and stir just until chocolate melts. Add honey and coffee and stir until smooth. Set aside.
    To assemble the sundaes: Place 1 scoop vanilla ice cream and 1 scoop chocolate ice cream in each dish and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Sprinkle peanuts over the top. Serve any extra sauce on the side.
    Makes 6 to 8 sundaes.
    Spicy Sundaes
    From Rachael Ray
    1 cup caramel or fudge sauce
    2 tablespoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    2 pints ice cream, such as vanilla or walnut
    Whipped cream
    Dark bitter chocolate bar for shaving
    Heat the dessert sauce in small pot or microwave in small bowl. Stir in orange liqueur, cinnamon and hot pepper. Fill sundae dishes with 2 scoops ice cream and top with spicy, warm sauce and whipped cream. Using a vegetable peeler, decorate the sundaes with shavings of dark chocolate
    Makes 4 sundaes.
    Kathryn Rem can be reached at kathryn.rem@sj-r.com.

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