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5 Steps to Constructing the Perfect Hot Fudge Sundae

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A few months ago, I whined about the absence of an old-school ice cream parlor that sold ginormous sundaes. The felines at Fat Cat Creamery quickly fired back to tell me they planned to open their own shop this summer, and I can barely contain my excitement. However, it doesn't seem doors will be open by July 25, National Hot Fudge Sundae Day, so I will just have to celebrate in the comfort of my own apartment. This plan definitely has its advantages, such as being able to go for thirds without public judgment.

Perhaps you also desire to honor National Hot Fudge Sundae Day at home but lack confidence in your sundae-making skills? Well, I actually know just a little something about creating ice cream confections, having worked for all of high school and some of college at an ice cream shop. In addition to developing Halle Berry-style biceps during my scooping stint, I also learned a few tricks about sundae construction. Check out this pictorial guide:

1. Pre-Chill Your Sundae Dish. Stash your sundae glass in the freezer about 20 minutes before you construct a sundae to prevent premature melting. (Alternatively, always keep your ice cream bowls in the freezer.)

2. Coat the Bottom of the Dish with Hot Fudge. Improper topping distribution is one of the most common errors in sundae construction. Simply drizzling syrup on top of the ice cream can often lead to an excess of hot fudge in the early bites and a paucity at the end.

3. Strive for Spherical Scoops. It's easy to be lazy and just dump a bunch of ill-formed spoonfuls of vanilla ice cream in your dish. And, yeah, it probably won't taste less delicious, but isn't it more fun to eat something aesthetically appealing? Go the distance; use a real ice cream scooper and aim for tennis-ball-size scoops.

4. Don't Overheat Your Hot Fudge. Or else your sundae will taste like burning and the ice cream will melt too quickly.

5. Remember the Cherry. Red, blue, green -- it's not a sundae without the crowning fruit.

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