Celebrate Ice Cream Sunday with a sundae party – Toronto Sun

We’re deep into the heat, and it’s time to celebrate – this Sunday is National Ice Cream Day and if ever we need a reason to kick back and rejoice something fun and flavourful, it’s this day!

Always enjoyed on the third Sunday of July, we have the late U.S. president Ronald Reagan to thank for this delicious occasion. Reagan, bless his sweet heart, recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food enjoyed by everyone.

And Canada as a nation just loves this sweet treat. A recent Google survey shows Canadians are spending more time than ever searching for this summertime staple – and how to make their own. And that included recipe searches for the traditional as well as keto, vegan and even mochi, not to mention instructions on how to make ice cream cake.

Fave flavours people searched? Banana ice cream topped the list, followed by vanilla, pistachio, chocolate and strawberry. People were also searching for avocado and even Oreo cookie.

Interesting to note, vanilla seems to be the great equalizer across the country, with chocolate shoring up both the east and the west. Meanwhile avocado is the most searched up in far northern regions of the country.

As for the top cities searching for ice cream info: Markham, Ont., tops the list, followed by Windsor, Ont.; Coquitlam, B.C.; Milton, Ont.; and Vancouver B.C.

So celebrate this Sunday – by throwing a safe, social distancing sundae party. We know what flavours you like. But it’s all about the toppings! Here’s a selection perfect for the party – just add your favourite fruits, (love fresh pineapple and banana) nuts, seeds and don’t forget the cherry on top!

NOTE: The following toppings are perfect on angel food cake, pound cake, waffles with fresh fruit and whipped cream on the side.

Salted caramel sauce. handout / Redpathsugar.com.

Salted Caramel Sauce

A good old fashioned caramel sauce is made even more luxurious with the addition of sea salt. Adding a hint of salt to the sweetness of caramel really takes it over-the-top. Courtesy Redpathsugar.com.

1 cup (250 mL) dark brown sugar

4 Tbsp. (60 mL) butter

½ cup (125 mL) heavy cream

1 Tbsp. (15 mL) vanilla

½ tsp (2 mL) fine sea salt

Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5 to 7 minutes, until thicker. If sauce is thin, just continue cooking for a few more minutes. Turn off heat. Serve warm or refrigerate until cold.

Makes 1 cup (250 mL)

CHEF’S TIPS: If caramel crystallizes when chilled, just warm gently in microwave before using.

Hot fudge sauce smothers a plate of delicious ice cream with pistachio nuts. Canbedone / Getty Images

Hot Fudge Sauce

Found this classic sauce in my well-thumbed Ice Cream Bible by the mother-and-daughter team of Marilyn Linton and Tanya Linton (RobertRose).

4 oz. (110g) bittersweet chocolate chopped

1/2 cup (125mL) butter

3/4 cup (175mL) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups (375mL) granulated sugar

1/2 cup (125mL) milk

1/2 whipping (125mL) (35%) cream

In top half of a double boiler over simmering water, melt chocolate with butter, stirring constantly. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.

In a separate saucepan, mix together sugar, milk and cream. Cook over low heat, whisking constantly until sugar is dissolved. Add chocolate mixture and cook, stirring often, until completely smooth and thick enough to coat the back of wooden spoon.

Serve hot over favourite ice cream. Sauce will keep covered and refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Makes 3 cups (750 mL).

Gloriously golden butterscotch sauce handout / DairyfarmersofCanada.ca./en

Butterscotch Sundae Sauce

Courtesy DairyfarmersofCanada.ca./en

1/2 cup (125 mL) butter

2 cups (500 mL) packed brown sugar

1 cup (250 mL) 35 % whipping cream

1/4 cup (60 mL) golden corn syrup

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in brown sugar, whipping cream and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat, until mixture comes to a full boil.

Cool, stirring occasionally (sauce thickens as it cools). Serve warm or at room temperature.

Variations: Reduce cream to 3/4 cup (175 mL). Cool. Add 1/4 cup (60 mL) Scotch whiskey or Scotch liqueur. Stir in rum extract, to taste, for a Rum and Butter Sauce.

Stir in 1 cup (250 mL) chopped and roasted salted mixed nuts, cashews or macadamia nuts.

Sauce can be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Cherry sauce. Canbedone / Getty Images

Cherry Sauce

You can make any type of fresh or frozen fruit sauce for your ice cream sundae. I happen to like sour cherries for this treat. You can use sweet (bing) cherries or sour, frozen or fresh pitted for this simple, classic treat.

2 cups (500 mL) sour or sweet cherries (frozen or fresh, pitted)

3/4 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar

3/4 cup (75 mL) (60 mL) water

2 Tbsp. (30 mL) cornstarch

1 Tbsp. (15 mL) fresh lemon or orange juice

1 tsp. (5 mL) pure vanilla

1/4 tsp. (1 mL) almond flavouring

In saucepan, bring cherries, sugar, water and cornstarch and lemon or orange juice to boil over medium-high heat, stirring gently; cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in vanilla and almond flavouring. Serve warm or cold. Store in an airtight container.

(Note, you can add Cointreau or any other orange-flavoured liqueur to cooking step.)

Dulce de Leche soothing sauce Torriphoto / Getty Images

Dulce de Leche

A dense, sweet, deliriously delicious treat native to Latin America is thick and creamy with the perfect caramel kick. This recipe’s courtesy Alton Brown from Food Network (Foodnetwork.com.)

4 cups (1 L) whole milk

1-1/2 cups (325 mL) sugar

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped

1/2 tsp. (2 ml) baking soda

Combine milk, sugar, vanilla bean and seeds in a large, 4-qt saucepan and place over medium heat. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until sugar has dissolved. Once sugar has dissolved, add baking soda and stir to combine. reduce heat to low and cook uncovered at a bare simmer. Stir occasionally, but do not re-incorporate foam that appears on top of mixture. Continue to cook for 1 hour. Remove vanilla bean after 1 hour and continue to cook until mixture is a dark caramel colour and has reduced to about 1 cup, about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Strain mixture through a fine mesh strainer.

Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to a month.