Sundaes always make me think of long summer days growing up in the midwest. At the peak of summer in Ohio, the sun sometimes didn't dip below the horizon until almost 9:30pm, which meant lots of daylight hours to laugh and play, especially after school was out for the summer. Those days, it was pretty safe to roam around the neighborhood, and I spent my time playing kickball in the street with the boys or riding bikes with my girlfriends. My mom always told me I had to be home by the time the streetlights came on, and I would grudgingly drag my feet back home to end the day.
Other evenings, my mom would load us up in the minivan (oh yeah, we did have two minivans in my lifetime) and we would head to the ice cream shop for cones or sundaes. Hands-down, my favorite places to go were Honey Hut Ice Cream and East Coast Custard, and if you grew up in Cleveland, I really really hope you have been to one or both places. (It is no coincidence that the Yelp review for Honey Hut has 5 stars for reviews.)
Ghiradelli chocolate for Espresso Hot Fudge Sauce. (Can you read upside down?)
When my family would go for ice cream, sometimes I would be in the mood for just a cone (with two scoops of course), but often I would want a sundae. Thinking back, might have just wanted the sundae for the maraschino cherry on the top, but the hot fudge sauce on the frozen ice cream didn't hurt either. Actually, I think I gravitated towards the sundae because aside from a banana split, it was the most indulgent thing on the menu. Even as a child I was a smart girl.
Now I don't know if it was these childhood memories or just the appeal of chocolate, cherries, and ice cream, but when I saw this Spumoni Sundae with Hot Fudge and Cherry Sauce in Bon Appetit last summer, I swooned.
Plus, I can rarely turn away chocolate.
I cannot resist this.
Espresso hot fudge sauce? Warm amaretto cherry sauce? Pistachio and vanilla ice cream? Check, check, and check. Yes, I would like them all please. And if you can serve them to me in a pretty sundae glass that would be great. I can even say please and thank you if you want. Pretty please...?
This warm amaretto cherry sauce is to die for.
I actually feel in love as much with this recipe as I did with the original presentation - specifically the gorgeous footed glasses that the sundae was served in. I wasn't the only one, because several readers asked where the glasses could be found, and eventually we tracked them down at Crate and Barrel.
Adore these footed glasses from Crate and Barrel for sundaes or cocktails.
This sundae is also extremely simple to put together, which makes it perfect for summer entertaining, or just an indulgent dessert for one.
The sundae is layered, starting with Espresso Hot Fudge Sauce on the bottom...
...Followed by several scoops of pure vanilla ice cream....
...And then you can sort of go crazy with some Amaretto Cherry Sauce, pistachio ice cream, more Hot Fudge Sauce and Cherry Sauce, and then finally top it off with extra chopped pistachios.
This is heaven to me.
And I have a little confession to make. I ate these sundaes for dinner. Both of them. By myself. And really, this isn't a genuine confession, because I am definitely not sorry. I was actually licking my lips with glee with each spoonful, so I suppose that says a lot. I don't regret a single bite.
Maybe eating sundaes for dinner isn't a very adult-like thing to do, but I would argue that it is genius. I was a smart little girl when I ordered sundaes as a child, and I grew up to be an even smarter woman who knows that having a sundae at any time of the day is always a wise decision.
One year ago: Shredded Red Cabbage Salad with Pistachios (perfect summer picnic salad)
Spumoni Sundaes with Hot Fudge and Amaretto Cherry Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appetit, July 2010
This dessert is a throwback to traditional Italian spumoni ice cream, which typically includes pistachio and chocolate ice cream, whipped cream, and either cherry pieces or cherry ice cream. Here, the recipe just uses vanilla and pistachio ice cream, the chocolate comes in form of rich, Espresso Hot Fudge Sauce, and the cherries are in Amaretto Cherry Sauce. The original recipe included whipped cream as well, but I decided I didn't need it and this sundae is fantastic enough without it. If you are not a fan of pistachios, feel free to substitute another type of ice cream. Oh and the cherry sauce is to die for.
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1 pint pistachio ice cream
Espresso hot fudge sauce (recipe below)
Amaretto cherry sauce (recipe below)
Espresso Hot Fudge Sauce:
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp honey
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee or espresso (I used 1 packet Starbucks Via)
3.5 oz bittersweet chocolate, not less than 60% cacao, chopped
2 tbsp unsalted butter
Amaretto Cherry Sauce:
1/3 cup amaretto
1/3 heaping cup of cherry preserves with whole cherries, or 1/4 cup preserves without whole berries
*1/4 cup chopped cherries (optional if not using preserves with whole cherries)
Start out by making the fudge sauce and cherry sauce, since these will need to cool just a bit before adding to the sundaes.
To make hot fudge sauce, add whipping cream, honey, and instant espresso to a small saucepan, and heat until just simmering (not boiling). Remove from heat, and stir in the chocolate and butter until smooth. Set aside to cool (or refrigerate overnight).
To make cherry sauce, add amaretto and cherry preserves to a small saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 4-5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and is reduced to a little more than 1/3 cup. Set aside to cool (or refrigerate overnight). *(If your preserves did not have whole cherries in them, you can add the chopped cherries to the sauce. Soak them for 2-3 hours before serving.)
To assemble the sundaes, re-warm hot fudge sauce and cherry sauce in the microwave. In each bowl, layer the ingredients starting with hot fudge at the bottom, followed by vanilla ice cream, cherry sauce, pistachio ice cream, and topping the sundae with more hot fudge and chopped pistachios. Or, just throw it all in a bowl any which way you like. Eat immediately.