When my friend Gail Monaghan, cook and cookbook author extraordinaire, told me about this sundae, I nearly fell off my chair (drooling!). I called her immediately and asked her to guest blog and reveal absolutely everything, directly to you. After all, this is what unconfidential cooks do. I give you Gail….
As far back as I can remember, coffee was my favorite ice cream flavor, and coffee ice cream my favorite dessert. There was not even a close second…until I was ten and my grandmother came to town and took me to Blum’s in Beverly Hills, very near where I lived. I ordered their Coffiesta Sundae. I had never tasted anything like it. A divine combination of the best coffee ice cream, the best fudge sauce, whipped cream, and coffee crunch, the ingredient—new to me then but a pantry staple now—that made the dessert extra special. Its magic is hard to describe unless you remember that 1960s specialty of upscale candy shops called “foam’ or “honeycomb.” Cadbury’s in Britain makes an addictive chocolate-dipped candy bar called the Crunchie that is similar in a mass-market kind of way.
I have taught this frequently in my cooking classes and many people say it is their favorite dessert of all time—definitely a case of the whole being much better than the sum of its parts, though, admittedly, the parts are pretty good. You will have extra crunch, which keeps virtually forever in an airtight container, and possibly extra fudge sauce, which also keeps a long time in the fridge, or frozen. With them on hand, you can dazzle guests (and yourself) by throwing together Coffiesta Sundaes at the drop of a hat—and effortlessly. Have fun!!!
Hot fudge sauce (recipe below)
Coffee crunch (recipe below)
2 pints best-quality coffee ice cream
1 1/2 cups very cold heavy cream, whipped with 2 T sugar
Hot Fudge Sauce
(Makes about 2 1/2 cups, enough for approximately 8 to 12 sundaes)
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup best-quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 t. vanilla extract
1/8 t. salt
1/4 teaspoon malt or cider vinegar
In a large heavy saucepan, stir together the cocoa powder, sugar and cream until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and chopped chocolate. Insert a candy thermometer. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook without stirring until the temperature reaches 236 degrees.
Off the heat, stir in the vanilla extract, salt and vinegar. Serve the sauce lukewarm.
Note: If you make ahead of time, store the sauce in the refrigerator in a covered jar. To reheat, remove the lid and microwave briefly or heat the jar in a saucepan filled with enough boiling water to come halfway up its sides.
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup strong coffee
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 generous T baking soda, sifted
Stir the first three ingredients together in a saucepan at least 5 inches deep. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Then stop stirring and place a candy thermometer into the pan. Cook until the thermometer registers 295 degrees. Toward the end of cooking, around 275 degrees, stir occasionally to prevent mixture from scorching and becoming too frothy.
At 295 degrees, immediately remove from heat and stir in the sifted soda. Stir well and vigorously until completely combined, but QUICKLY. Immediately pour onto a baking sheet in a lump. Do not spread or fuss with it at all. The point is to do this quickly enough that the mixture rises in the cooling pan, NOT in the pot in which it was made. DO NOT MOVE UNTIL COOL. When completely cool, unmold by inverting the cookie sheet onto a piece of foil placed on the counter. Scrape off baking sheet with a pancake turner and break up the crunch with a rolling pin.
Other Recipes from Gail