Friday, July 18, 2014

Weeknight Indulgence: Strawberry Pretzel Sundae With Mascarpone Gelato

Strawberries! Photo:NK
How do you get inspired by something you didn't even order? Easy. When the description itself is so mouthwatering that you can't stop thinking about it for weeks. Positively stuffed by a great meal a few weeks ago at The Topping Rose House, Tom Colicchio's new(ish) restaurant venture out in scenic Bridgehampton, we were compelled towards uncharacteristic modesty when it came to our dessert order. We opted for a very spartan scoop of interesting house made ice cream - cream cheese flavor to be exact. An odd choice to be sure but, I must say - delicious! The flavor was not too sweet, a bit tart actually, but overall, very refreshing. 

Still, as time went on, I just could not stop thinking about a dessert on the menu that we'd passed on: a sundae, but not just any sundae, one that incorporated  our tangy cream cheese ice cream with decadent fresh strawberry compote and salty crumbled pretzels. YES. 
A lovely meal was had at Topping Rose House, Photo: NK
With Strawberries in season and so delicious this year, I felt I had no choice but to embark on a mission to find this unique ice cream flavor elsewhere, or at least a worthy stand-in (in this case, Il Laboratorio del Gelato's sinful Mascarpone Gelato was just the thing). 

When to concoct this much anticipated sundae? Any time you could use a little pick me up. The Strawberry Compote is super fast and the final result will pretty much make you day. You can bet this is going to make the summer dinner party rotation. And it's kid friendly too. 

Let's go!!!!!

Fresh Strawberry & Pretzel Sundae with Mascarpone Gelato, Photo: NK

Fresh Strawberry & Pretzel Sundae with Mascarpone Gelato
Inspired by The Topping Rose House / Tom Colicchio 
Serves 2 

Strawberry Sauce Ingredients:
1/3 LB Ripe Stawberries, hulled and sliced uniformly. Slice once in half when done
1 heaping teaspoon Sugar (optional)
Pretzel Crisp make the perfect topping,  Photo:NK
1/2 teaspoon Good Quality Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Water 

Sundae Ingredients:
Mascarpone Gelato or Cream Cheese flavored Ice Cream (you can substitute any other not-to-sweet, relatively neutral flavor  such as malt. Note: if you use vanilla gelato or Ice Cream,  you may want to omit the sugar from the Strawberry Sauce depending on how ripe your berries are) 

1 big handful of Salted Pretzel Crisps or Salted Pretzels of your choice, crushed into coarse pieces

Fox's U-Bet or other good quality Chocolate Syrup

Mint, for an optional garnish
Heavenly Gelato, Photo:NK


To make the Strawberry Sauce, place Strawberry slices in as small pan over medium heat. Add a heaping teaspoon of Sugar, the Vanilla extract, and a tablespoon of water. Allow to cook, stirring, a few minutes until liquids thicken and Strawberries break down a bit. Once sauce has reached the desired consistency (we like ours with good chunks of Strawberry and a nice amount of the sweet syrup), turn off the stove and allow it to cool completely. 

To serve: Scoop two generous balls of Ice Cream or Gelato into a sundae dish. Top with Strawberry Sauce and a handful if Pretzel Crumbs. Drizzle with a little bit of Chocolate Syrup. Garnish with a Mint Sprig. Enjoy!! 

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