It’s become clear to me that most of my favourite things to eat are just ‘assembly jobs’. You know what I mean? Dishes which are just a pile of other, smaller delicious things. Take sandwiches, for instance; just a stack of tasty other stuff, between two slices of bread.
Or, for another delicious example, this sundae.
The star of this show, really, is the mascarpone ice cream. I had never had, nor heard of mascarpone ice cream before I made this (using a recipe for a different cheese-based ice cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Desserts!).
But DAYUM, this ice cream is where it’s at! The mascarpone gives it a complex creaminess, with just a slight tang. It’s the creamiest ice cream I’ve ever had.
The biscuit-base element in this recipe is provided by a super-simple brown sugar crumble. It’s got three ingredients, one bowl, and no fancy equipment. It’s my go-to crumble, actually. Strewn over fruit and baked, it’s lovely.
But when baked on it’s own, as in this recipe, it becomes a super versatile element of buttery crunch for any dessert. It’s one of those endlessly useful little extras to have in the kitchen.
The cherries could really be replaced by any fruit, I’ve since made this with both blueberries and plums which were both lovely. But cherries are a particularly good choice, because they have a strong sweet-tart flavour, and can really stand up for themselves in this mix.
I like to help my cherries along with a splash of brandy, but that’s only because I have it in my kitchen. A little vanilla or rum, or even bourbon would be great too – or nothing at all!
What I like about this dessert most of all, is it’s unfailing ability to make everyone’s eyes light up. Nobody can resist a sundae, they’re the best!
Sundaes and sandwiches forever, that’s the dream.
- 6oz (175g) mascarpone cheese
- pinch of salt
- 2 + ⅔ cup (415ml) milk
- 1 tbsp + 2 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- ¾ cup sugar
- ¼ cup glucose syrup (or light corn syrup)
- 1 stick (115g) butter
- 4 oz (110g) brown sugar
- 1 cup (150g) plain flour
- 6 oz cherries, pitted (frozen work well here)
- sugar, to taste
- brandy, rum or vanilla, optional
- The day before you want to serve the ice cream (at least), make the base. Place the mascarpone and salt into a large bowl and whisk until smooth.
- Take 2-3 tablespoons of the milk and stir together with the cornflour in a small bowl.
- Place the remaining milk, cream, sugar and glucose into a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Boil for 4 full minutes and then remove from the heat.
- Whisk in the cornflour-milk mixture, and then return the pan to the heat and stir for about a minute, or until thickened slightly.
- Slowly whisk the thickened mixture into the mascarpone cheese. Leave to cool, and then refrigerate until completely chilled (I leave it overnight). The next morning, churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker, according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- To make the crumble, preheat the oven to 180C and line a tray with baking paper.
- Place all the crumble ingredients into a bowl and rub the butter into the sugar and flour using your fingertips, until a 'crumble' texture is reached. Spread the mixture onto the lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring half way through, until the mixture is golden brown. It will become more crisp as it cools.
- When you're ready to serve, prepare the cherries. Heat a small frying pan, and add the cherries, along with a few spoonfuls of sugar (taste to see if your cherries need it). Carefully add a splash of rum or brandy or vanilla, and cook until the cherries are softened.
- Serve up a scoop of the ice cream, with a generous helping of crumble and a quarter of the cherries to each person.