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Associated Press

The best part about making a sundae is that there is no right or wrong way to do it.

The recipe is simple: Scoop ice cream and add all the treats you like to eat.

New York pastry chef Luci Gott encourages home cooks to make their own ice cream, saying it is much easier to do than you think. Her recipe for vanilla ice cream produces a French-style ice cream because egg yolks are whipped together with the cream.

“I like the fullness that lingers on the tongue because of the richness the eggs add,” she says.

Luci Gott’s Hot Fudge Sundae(from menu at New York’s 92 restaurant)

Vanilla Ice Cream:

1 cup half-and-half

2 cups heavy cream, split

2 vanilla beans

3/4 cup sugar

7 large egg yolks

Combine half-and-half, 1 cup of heavy cream in heavy sauce pan. Split and scrape the vanilla beans, and add the beans and pods to the cream mixture.

Place over medium high heat watching carefully so as not to boil over. Meanwhile, thoroughly whisk together egg yolks and sugar in large bowl.

Once cream begins to boil, slowly whisk into the yolk mixture until you have added most of the cream. Put this new mixture back into the pan and cook over low heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon. This ensures that your egg yolks are cooked.

Remove from heat and quickly add the last cup of cream. This will help stop the cooking process. You do not want to overcook this mixture as the yolks will curdle. Strain this mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any bits of cooked egg.

This is your ice-cream base. Chill until cold. Once chilled, churn in ice-cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Makes 4 servings.

Hot Fudge Sauce4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate

2 oz. unsweetened chocolate

3 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Melt the chocolates with the butter in a double boiler, or in a large metal bowl set over a pot of simmering water.

Meanwhile, warm the cream in a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the sugar and corn syrup to the cream and stir until the sugar dissolves completely. Add the warm sweetened cream to the melted chocolate.

Continue to heat the mixture over simmering water for 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Add vanilla. Spoon over ice cream while still hot.

Caramel Sauce1 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the cream in a small saucepan set over low heat. Cover and keep the cream warm while you make the caramel.

Combine the sugar and water in a large heavy saucepan and bring to a boil. Brush down any sugar crystals that form on the side of the pan with a wet pastry brush.

Once the mixture caramelizes to a golden brown, remove from heat.

Slowly and carefully add warm cream mixture to the caramel. Return the pan to a low heat and stir until the caramel dissolves into the cream completely. Let simmer for 2 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Spoon over ice cream while hot.

Macerated Cherries1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. rum

1 cup cherries, stems on

Combine sugar and water thoroughly in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add vanilla and rum, and stir. Drop in cherries and let soak overnight.

Whipped Cream2 cups (1 pint) heavy whipping cream

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

In chilled bowl, begin to whip cream. Add sugar and vanilla extract and whip until soft peaks.

To assemble sundae: Pour a little hot fudge into the bottom of a sundae glass. Put two scoops of vanilla ice cream on top of that. Pour a generous amount of hot fudge sauce over the ice cream.

Pour a few tablespoons of caramel sauce over hot fudge. Top with a generous amount of whipped cream and garnish with macerated cherries. Serve!

The hot fudge sundae is the classic sundae, but the American Diary Association and Dairy Council offers these variations to cover every day of the week – and then some:

Taste of the Tropics Sundae. Vanilla ice cream, crushed pineapple, chopped lightly salted macadamia nuts and toasted coconut.

Hot Blueberry Crumble Sundae. Vanilla ice cream, warm blueberry fruit spread or pie filling, crumbled shortbread cookies, whipped cream, and fresh blueberries and a cookie for garnish.

Mandarin Chocolate Sundae. Chocolate or vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, drained canned Mandarin orange segments, whipped cream and shaved chocolate.

Pear Melba Sundae. Vanilla ice cream, canned or fresh pear slices and thawed frozen raspberries in syrup. (Drain pears if using canned slices.)

Plum Good Sundae. Vanilla ice cream, canned pitted plums or fresh plums (diced) and plum syrup flavored with a dash of ground ginger or cinnamon.

Apricot Sundae. Vanilla ice cream, warmed apricot preserves, canned or fresh apricot halves and crushed Amaretto cookies. (Drain apricots if using canned halves.)

Go Bananas Sundae. A scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of a slice of banana-nut bread topped with warm chocolate sauce, sliced bananas and toasted pecans.

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