Nutella fudge sauce on banana ice cream, topped with sprinkles and a cherry create a unique flavor. TNS
Gulf Today Report
Ice cream without toppings is like a salad without dressing, burger without fries, chips without salsa. It just should not be.
Toppings add pizazz to an ice cream — whether it is in a cup or cone — and oomph to any water- or dairy-based ice pop. Even ice cream desserts like banana splits, sundaes and rose-flavored faloodas get better with an extra garnish.
They, however, are not just sidekicks. Toppings have their own personalities and add to a frozen treat’s flavor profile. Sometimes it is a little crunch or unexpected chewiness. Sometimes it is a burst of fruitiness or a floral note. Then there are times when a warm spirit rises up in a rum or bourbon butter-laced sauce.
Ice cream shops usually offer an array of saucy, fruity, nutty and sweet and sour toppings. They run the gamut from soft and hard candies to wildly colorful sprinkles, from broken pretzel bits, dried apricots and granola to toasted coconut flakes and pecans, pistachios and walnuts.
With a little creativity, you can do even better. Here are a few suggestions to take your icy treat over the top:
In a saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat and add 4 tablespoons of light brown sugar. After the sugar dissolves, add 1 cup of diced mango cubes and 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off and add 1 tablespoon of spiced rum. Stir well and let the mangoes cool.
Best with: tropical-flavored ice creams like banana, coconut and passion fruit and sorbets like rhubarb-hibiscus and lemon. Also works well on good old vanilla ice cream.
Sweetened citrus peel
Cut the rind of one orange and one lemon into matchsticks without too much of the pith. In a medium-sized pot, bring water to a boil. Add the orange and lemon peel and cook for 15-30 seconds. Drain through a sieve. Return the matchsticks to the pot and add 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar and 5 tablespoons of water. Bring to a boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the liquid is syrupy. Remove the peel from the pot and place on a wire rack to cool. (Inspired by “The Big Book of Amazing Cakes” from “The Great British Baking Show”)
Best with: orange sorbet, ginger, chocolate and vanilla ice cream drizzled with Grand Marnier.
In a medium saucepan, combine 2 cups of frozen pitted cherries, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of water over medium heat. Cook, stirring often, until mixture is thick and syrupy. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat and serve warm or at room temperature.
Best with: panna cotta or spiced chocolate ice creams and studded ones like cookies and cream, Moose Tracks and butter pecan.
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