Tips for Making the Perfect Ice Cream Sundae

I know this has been said before, but if you want to make the perfect ice cream sundae, start with the finest ingredients available. Cheap ice cream is full of fillers and can have a slimy texture. Cheap toppings, especially chocolate, may have little, if any, real cocoa in them.

There are no Italians in our family, but many in our circle of friends and we’ve sort of adopted their sundae recipe.

First, try to find real spumoni. It looks like Neapolitan with the three strips of color. However the colors are green, pink and brown. The flavors are one third Pistachio, one third Black Cherry and one third plain Chocolate.(no moose tracks or bunny bits in it, just smooth rich chocolate).

Finding real spumoni can be an adventure in itself. If you’re fortunate to have an Italian market nearby you may find ‘real’ Spumoni. Even then you may only find it around the Christmas holidays at it traditionally is a Christmas treat.

Avoid fakes! Many packages say “Spumoni” but they use the term lightly. I go to an Ice Cream shop (Baskin and Robbins for example) and buy a pint of each flavor. Their ‘pistachio’ is really ‘pistachio almond’ but its the best I can do.

Make sure the ice cream frozen to a hard consistency.

Use a pretty clear glass bowl for each dessert, or even a stemmed crystal dish if you’re lucky enough to have one. Add one scoop of each flavor into the person’s bowl, so you’ll have three scoops in a circle.

Traditionally, we use Saunders Hot Fudge topping. It’s amazing and can’t even be compared to the goo you buy in those squeeze bottles. Avoid the kiddy syrup used to make ‘chocolate’ milk! You need the thick fudge consistency. There are several other good brands on the market.

Heat the fudge so that it’s warm and flows easily. Get your guests seated with spoon in hand.
Ladle a generous portion of the hot fudge over their three scoops of ice cream.

Garnish with chocolate slivers made by using a carrot peeler and some excellent semisweet chocolate, slivered almonds, ground pecans or whatever nuts you like to use, top with a Maraschino cherry. You can also use whipping cream, but we don’t.

Try it – you don’t have to wait for Christmas!