How To Make The Ultimate Ice Cream Sundae

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Strawberry-Sundae_Interior1Illustrated by Emily Turner.
Ok, I admit it. I’m obsessed with ice cream. Well, not just ice cream, but ice cream sundaes. Can you blame me? Can you honestly think of a better warm-weather dessert? (Don't you dare say plain fruit.)

This wonderful treat combines ice cream or sorbet with various sauces, fresh fruit, and crumble topping, all of which is topped with whipped cream or perhaps that bright red, perfect, little cherry.

You can go the classic route of vanilla ice cream with malt chocolate sauce, toasted pecans, a dollop of cream, or the crazy, avant-garde route of green apple cucumber sorbet with champagne gelee, apple salad with plumped raisins and micro basil. The possibilities are infinite.

What's more, if you've got the time, you can whip up almost everything right in your own kitchen in not much time at all. But, there's no shame in purchasing all of the ingredients — especially if you opt for ice cream from a local shop that churns it fresh daily.

When you break it down, ice cream is simply composed of cream, milk, eggs, and sugar. The important thing to do if you're making homemade ice cream (and whipped cream) is to get your hands on the best ingredients you can. If you use ordinary milk that tastes watery and not rich with milky flavor, your ice cream will be just that: ordinary. For extraordinary, splurge on organic milk and eggs, along with whatever other key ingredients your sundae calls for.

With summer here, I decided I wanted to create a frozen treat to showcase the peak sweetness of my favorite berry, strawberries.

While I could eat unadulterated strawberries by the basketful, I must admit that they lend themselves wonderfully to this summery sundae. Marinated with dried hibiscus, pink peppercorn, and burnt vanilla, the strawberries are paired with a luxurious white chocolate chantilly and a fun, strawberry-almond crunch.
Strawberry-Sundae_interior2Illustrated by Emily Turner.
Ingredients
For the Sweet Cream Ice Cream
2 1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup non fat milk powder

For the Strawberry Marinade
1 pint strawberries
3 tbsp sugar
2 vanilla beans
1 tbsp dried hibiscus (can use hibiscus tea)
1/8 tsp pink peppercorns- toasted

For the Strawberry Crunch
2 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
1 cup freeze dry strawberries- slightly crushed up
1/4 cup cornflakes

For the White Chocolate Chantilly
1 cup heavy cream
2 1/2oz white chocolate- chopped

Instructions
For the Sweet Cream Ice Cream

1. Place milk, cream and corn syrup in a large stainless pot, put on medium heat.

2. Combine sugar and milk powder in large mixing bowl. Mix all together. When liquid mix is at 113 degrees Fahrenheit, add powder mix slowly while mixing with a whisk. Cook to 185 degrees. Take off heat.

3. Cool in ice bath and let mature over night. Process in ice cream machine.

For the Strawberry Marinade
1. Wash and quarter strawberries.

2. Scrape vanilla beans and add seeds to sugar, rubbing in between your fingers to distribute the seeds.

3. Grind hibiscus and peppercorns in a coffee grinder until it's a fine powder. Add to sugar.

4. Toss sugar mix with quartered strawberries and allow to sit for 20 minutes.

For the Strawberry Crunch
1. Toss almonds, freeze dried strawberries, and cornflakes together in a bowl.

2. Melt white chocolate.

3. Once the chocolate is melted, add sugar and salt. Fold white chocolate into dries and toss together till it is evenly coated. Allow to set in a cool space. (If you are short on time, you can place in freezer for 10 minutes.) Once it has completely set, break apart with hands or chop into small pieces with a knife.

For the White Chocolate Chantilly
1. Heat cream to a boil. Pour on top of chocolate.

2. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then whisk together.

3. Allow to cool to room temperature before putting in fridge. This will need to sit overnight, or about 12 hours.

4. When ready to use, whisk mixture until medium peaks arise. (Like whipped cream)

Play with different styles of layering your sweet cream ice cream, white chocolate Chantilly, strawberries, and crunch. Add torn basil for a nice herbal touch or pour champagne on top for an impromptu float.

I recommend mason jars for a simple, country feel or slim champagne flutes for a sophisticated dinner soiree.