|Get the best of Oprah.com in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletters!|
5 Rules for the Perfect Ice Cream Sundae
To learn what they are, I talked to Jason Wulf, co-owner of Lake Effect Ice Cream in Buffalo, New York. His shop serves specialty sundaes like the Morning Commute (mocha cappuccino ice cream, chunks of doughnut bites, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and chopped nuts) and the Chocolate Smore-cupine (frozen hot-chocolate ice cream, toasted mini marshmallows, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and honey graham crackers that are baked in stick shapes).
Wulf says a good sundae has four crucial elements: ice cream, a liquid topping (such as hot fudge, hot caramel or maple syrup), whipped cream and something sprinkled or crunchy on top. Although a cherry is optional, it's good to have them handy. "For some people, it just isn't an ice cream sundae without that topper," Wulf says.
Next: Wulf's version of sundae school
1. Use hard ice cream, not soft-serve. Let it sit out for about 10 minutes before you build your sundae so it's scoopable but not melting.
2. Make sure the container that you're using fits the sundae that you're making. Lake Effect chose 14-ounce bowls with tall sides so bits and pieces of the dessert don't go flying when people dig their spoons in.
3. Three words: real whipped cream. Then gently place something on top of it—sprinkles, a cherry, a caramel macaroon—to give it some color.
4. About those toppings—go with something unexpected. Lake Effect puts the delicious bits from the top of a crumb cake on of one of its sundaes, and broken-up bits of chocolate biscotti on another.
5. Resist the temptation to put raspberry sauce on raspberry ice cream. Even if you love raspberries, the best way to spotlight them is to pair them with a different flavor, whether it's raspberry sauce with vanilla ice cream or raspberry ice cream with chocolate sauce.