Butterscotch, marshmallow fluff and macadamia nut or Spanish peanut sundae

  • .9L vanilla ice cream (recommended: Wayne Harley Brachman's Vanilla Ice Cream)
  • For the cherry compote
  • 168g sugar
  • 450g cherries, pitted
  • 110ml water
  • 2 Tbsp Kirsch
  • For the ice cream
  • 1 vanilla pod
  • 335ml milk
  • 335ml double cream
  • 225g lightly packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 7 large egg yolks
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • For the fluff
  • 6 Tbsp water
  • 280ml golden syrup
  • 168g plus 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 4 large egg whites
  • Pinch salt
  • Pinch cream of tartar
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod, above
  • For the butterscotch sauce
  • 225g firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 453g unsalted butter
  • 1/2 vanilla pod, split
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp good quality Scotch (depending on your taste)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 110ml double cream, heated
  • For the homemade fudge sauce
  • 150ml double cream
  • 110ml golden syrup
  • 75g packed dark brown sugar
  • 56g unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 170g best quality dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • For garnish:
  • Lightly toasted macadamia nuts
  • Spanish peanuts
  • Cherry compote, recipe follows
For the ice cream:
1) Split the vanilla pod lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. Put the seeds, pod halves, milk cream and 56g of the brown sugar in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Bring just to the simmering point over low heat.

2) In the meantime, combine the remaining 168g brown sugar, egg yolks and vanilla essence in a large bowl and whisk until just blended. While gently whisking the yolks, drizzle the hot cream mixture into them so that they are gradually warmed up.

3) Return everything to the saucepan and cook while stirring with a wooden spoon. Make sure that you are constantly scraping the spoon across the bottom of the pan so the custard does not scorch. The custard is done when it has thickened slightly and can evenly coat the back of the spoon. Do not let it come to a boil. Strain the custard through a fine sieve. Press out all the liquid in the vanilla pods and nestle the container holding the custard into a large bowl of ice. Let cool, stirring occasionally.

4) Transfer the custard to an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Put the finished ice cream in a storage container and freeze until firm.

For the fluff:
5) In a small saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer, bring the water, corn syrup, 160g sugar and vanilla pod to 118 degrees C.

6) In the meantime, in a completely clean, dry mixing bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites, salt and cream of tartar until creamy and foamy, about 2 minutes. Still whisking, sprinkle in the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue to whisk until the whites hold very soft peaks, about 2 minutes. While mixing on slow speed, carefully drizzle in the hot syrup. Turn the mixer to high and whisk until thick, fluffy and just warm, about 7 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and whisk in the vanilla pods.
For the Butterscotch Sauce:
7) Bring sugar, butter and vanilla pod to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat, whisking until combined. Remove pan from the heat. Add the Scotch, return the pan to the heat and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and whisk in the salt and warm cream until smooth.

For the homemade fudge sauce:
8) Bring cream, corn syrup, sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of chocolate to a boil in a .9 to 1.4L heavy saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until chocolate is melted. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Add butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate and stir until smooth. Serve warm.

Cherry compote:
8) In a saucepan combine sugar, cherries, and 110ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook until cherries start to breakdown, about 6 minutes. Remove the cherries with a slotted spoon; reserve. Simmer the cooking liquid until reduced and syrupy.

9) Remove from the heat, add the Kirsch and ignite with a long kitchen match until flames subside. Return the cherries to the pan and heat briefly. Serve warm or at room temperature.
For assembly:
10) Put a couple of scoops of ice cream into each of 4 sundae dishes. Top with fluff and sauces. Garnish with nuts and cherry compote.

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