Growing up, Sunday evenings were our family’s designated night for dessert. Apple pies, fruit cobblers and all sorts were produced but the one I really treasured and dreamed about all week was the banana splits. Scoops of ice-cream, thick hot fudge sauce, chopped nuts, whipped cream and a maraschino cherry were sinfully devoured fast-as-lightning so the ice-cream didn’t melt.
The chocolate sauce was from a jar, the Smuckers brand to be exact. You could scoop it out like peanut butter it was so thick, but once heated it rolled perfectly down the balls of ice-cream. I’m sure it was packed with fake ingredients and god even knows whether it even included real chocolate. A couple of years ago I was writing a book on American Diner food and wanted to create a recipe for it. I found the secret to the fudge-i-ness was to pour a little corn syrup or golden syrup into the chocolate, butter, cream mixture. It prevents it going solid and imparts a little toffee flavour. Don’t go mad buying expensive chocolate, the very high-grade ones often go grainy when melting so just average 70% cocoa plain chocolate is fine. My favorite is the Swiss brand, Menier. This makes loads (2 cups) and keeps for ages in the fridge, so just reheat it when you want a sugar hit.
So the recipe below is a little more grown-up without the bananas and whipped cream, but you can add them back if you like. (I took them out because my sons hate bananas and the cream is just fat overload) Brownies are also stunning as a base, so if you are a total chocolate-meister- go for it. The melting problem is now sorted too; scoop the ice-cream into large balls and freeze a couple of hours before making. Now you can take your time once the warm sauce is poured and savour every bite.
Ice-cream sundaes with chocolate fudge sauce
prep time 15 minutes
makes 2 cups
100g/4oz plain chocolate chopped
2 tbsp butter
175ml/3/4 cup double cream
100g/1/2 cup castor sugar
75ml/1/4 cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 fresh cherries
4 tbsp toasted chopped pecans
8 big scoops ice-cream (pre-scooped and frozen if possible)
Make the chocolate sauce by placing the chocolate, cream and butter in a glass bowl set over a medium saucepan filled with 1 inch of simmering water. Whisk it until it melts and then add the golden syrup, vanilla and the sugar. Continue whisking and when nearly boiling, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Set to cool for 5 minutes before using.
Scoop the ice-cream into 4 bowls or glasses. Dollop each with a big spoonful of the hot fudge sauce, some chopped nuts and a cherry to top.