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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Six ways to sundae

By Jackie Burrell
San Jose Mercury News

There’s no doubt about the retro appeal of maraschino cherries, whipped cream cans and that ersatz chocolate syrup in a squeeze bottle. But it’s funny to think they coexist in the same dessert galaxy with basil sorbets and pink peppercorn-tinged ice cream.

So we turned to ice cream experts to help us reinvent ye olde ice cream social, sans squeeze bottles and quasi-fruity syrups. The results will take you six ways to sundae, with fresh lemon-blueberry syrup, vanilla butterscotch, extra-bittersweet fudge and even bacon peanut brittle.

Ohio-based artisanal ice cream maker Jeni Britton Bauer’s book, “Jeni’s Ice Creams at Home,” just won a James Beard award. Her wildly popular Farmers Market Sundaes use lemon frozen yogurt and fresh berries, macerated with Champagne, port or Grand Marnier. Her Ohito Sundae, a play on the classic rum cocktail, draws its flavors from fresh mint leaf-infused ice cream, a white-rum praline sauce and a wedge of lime, so guests can squeeze the tart citrus over the entire affair, including the sprinkling of turbinado sugar crystals.

“I like things to be a contrast,” she says. “Something crunchy, sweet, sour, bitter, salty, a little bit of everything. What’s great about the artisanal ice cream world is you can start with something more unusual, or something really well made, but very simple.”

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