I just finished eating a big bowl of veggie slaw I created for my afternoon snack today, and it was pretty delicious, but seeing these photos makes me wish I had another sundae instead *wink wink*. Ever since my birthday passed, and my tummy troubles kept me from enjoying a celebratory dessert, I’ve had major hot fudge sundae cravings. As of recently ice cream has been a big time tummy-calmer for me, that and roasted sweet potatoes (not together, don’t worry). So bring on the bowls of melty ice cream! It could definitely be worse right? I’m not complaining. Too much. The “June gloom” has passed and the sun is back in all of it’s glory, so I’m a downright bundle of happiness over here. Plus it helps having the sweetest husband on earth (hi bud!) who’s humorous disposition to everything is giving my BBG ab workouts a run for their money. This guy is non stop hilarious, and taking care of me so good all of the time. It made me super happy to walk up to him at his desk yesterday holding a couple of these ice cream sundaes, he looked at me with the most childlike look of hope on his face and said, “Is that for me to eat right now?!” What a cutie.
There is something so youthful about an ice cream sundae, especially one that involves strawberries. I flash back to those times as a kid when my parents would take us out to whichever fine dining establishment we chose for our birthday (*cough*Red Robbin*cough*). It was all about the free ice cream sundae at the end. I would endure the cheesy ‘happy birthday’ jingle the servers would sing, far too fast and out of tune, just for my bowl of hot fudge ice cream goodness. The single cherry on top was always disappointing, wishing I could ask for a dozen more but realizing I should probably just be grateful for my free dessert. Oh the days when the amount of cherries on my ice cream sundae was my greatest concern.
It was later in my tween years that I discovered the magical-ness of a strawberry milkshake. Soon forgetting about my favorite sundaes and asking for the towering milkshake glass instead. I remember my eighth grade graduation. I got all dolled up with two of my best girlfriends. I was in a dress Marikate and Ashley Olsen would have approved of, with my platform sandals and at least a dozen butterfly clips in my hair. My friends and I had our parents drop us off at the Five’n’Diner after the ceremony for lunch. We sat at the bar on those plush rubbery stools with fifties music playing on the especially shiny jukebox. I looked up at the waiter and said, “One strawberry milkshake please,” and just like that my dress turned back into a pair of Levis overalls, my hair was in pig tails, and my feet were dangling in a pair of used-to-be-white Keds.
Fast forward to my current self, fully grown and able to make whatever the heck dessert she wants, and we have ourselves the best of both worlds. A hot fudge sundae with an ode to the cherished strawberry milkshake obsession of my teenage years. These simmered strawberries make the sweetest sauce within just a few minutes. I leave the berries cut into quarters, add a little lemon and maple, and let the heat do the rest. They get topped with my new favorite homemade ice cream blend which uses both full fat coconut milk and soaked macadamia nuts. This ice cream is so creamy. Then there is the miracle hot fudge sauce, which to be honest – I don’t heat up, but you totally can if you’re craving that warm meets cold combo.
I discovered the chocolate sauce last week when I was churning yet another batch of ice cream, and as it was thickening thought I should pour in some melted chocolate for a stracciatella effect. Knowing I only had a few seconds and not enough time to either melt a chocolate bar or melt the coconut oil to create my classic raw chocolate sauce, I grabbed the bottle of olive oil. This was a huge mistake because olive oil won’t harden like coconut oil would when it hits the churning ice cream. So instead I had liquid chocolate swirling around my ice cream bowl, coating the thickening cream like a sauce. Which was’t terrible, but not what I had in mind. Then I got to thinking, how could I use a chocolate sauce that doesn’t harden in another way? Hot. Fudge. Sundae. Sauce. I wasted no time to pick up a basket of strawberries and shoot this little recipe for you, and I hope it brings you all sorts of childlike joy this spring/summer season too! – xx
STRAWBERRY HOT FUDGE SUNDAE
Makes 4 happy ice cream sundaes.
about 4 cups of fresh strawberries
squeeze of lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup (if needed)
Begin by making the ice cream. Drain the macadamia nuts after soaking, and add them to a high speed blender along with the coconut milk, maple, and vanilla. Blend on high until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Pour the ice-cream into the chilled bowl of an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions (I use this attachment). Transfer the churned ice cream to an airtight container and place in the freezer until your ready to build the sundaes.
Next make the strawberry sauce. Trim the green tops off of the strawberries, and slice them into quarters. Place all of the quartered strawberries in a medium size stainless steel pot on the stove, and set the burner to medium high heat. Add the squeeze of lemon juice, and if your strawberries are red and juicy (peak season) add only a single tablespoon of maple. If they aren’t quite as sweet/ripe, add the second tablespoon. Toss the strawberries and bring to a simmer. Let cook for about ten minutes, stirring once or twice, but otherwise leaving them be. The strawberries should be soft and ruby red, surrounded in a slightly thick sauce from their juices. Set aside to cool before serving.
Lastly, make the chocolate fudge sauce. Use a small (tall) bowl and a whisk to prepare the fudge, just be sure that they are both bone-dry. (A single drop of moisture will cause the sauce to seize.) Add all of the ingredients to the bowl and whisk until smooth, this will yield a rich and fudgy sauce. Too thin? Add a little more cocoa powder. Too thick? Add equal amounts of the maple and olive oil, a teaspoon at a time, until it reaches the consistency of your liking.
Build the sundaes. Begin with the strawberry sauce by ladling it into a bowl or a tall glass. Next add a few ice cream scoops, and top it off with a generous dousing of the chocolate fudge. If you’d like, the chocolate sauce can be warmed in a small sauce pan on the stove before topping for the true hot-fudge effect, but the room temp version is just as indulgent too.
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