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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!

When we think ultimate, we think decadent. This is no time to carefully consider a delicate balance of flavours; this is about “How many kinds of sprinkles and toppings can I fit on this before I drown the ice cream?”. Here’s what you’re going to need for an ultimate ice cream sundae:

  • Two excellent flavours. Do your best impression of Ina Garten and find a good vanilla (as in, you should see the black flecks of vanilla bean), and maybe a great chocolate, mint chocolate chip or strawberry with real strawberries. You want nice flavours that will take on other flavours, not dominate them the way birthday cake or tiger tail or something would do. (Unless you just really, really love tiger tail, then please disregard)
  • Sauce. We were pleased to see that that the favourite in our unofficial ice cream sundae poll was caramel. To paraphrase Sylvia Plath in such a way that she never expected, “There must be quite a few things better than warm caramel sauce, but I don’t know many of them.” But let’s not discount the power of chocolate fudge. Other great options: blueberry-maple syrup or stewed rhubarb.
  • Something healthy. Here’s where your strawberry slices, fresh raspberries, shredded coconut, peach slices (that’s the fruit peach, not the gummy candy peach slices) and peanuts come in.
  • Something not-so-healthy. What up chocolate chips! Mini M&Ms? Yes!! Marshmallows? We don’t see why not.
  • Whipped cream.
  • More sauce. (Just for presentation really… OK, fine; just because we wanted more caramel)
  • The picture-perfect sundae would have a maraschino cherry on top, but we’re not crazy about them, so do whatever your heart tells you.
  • Napkins. If you’ve really made the ultimate sundae, you’re going to need them.

What are your favourite sundae toppings? Is it all about the caramel or the chocolate? Are you a fruit fan or a fudge fanatic?

We asked our awesome Facebook friends and Twitter followers, and here’s what they had to say:

Allison  — Caramel and lots of it!

Rhondda  — Spanish peanuts. Must be whole, not chopped!

Kelly — Pistachio nuts and chocolate… yum!

Sonya — Warm caramel sauce, crushed Oreos!

Stephanie –Caramel sauce! (And immediacy)

Laura — Fresh fruit, honey and peanuts.

@squabtweets — Lots and lots of berries.

@SandraEMartin — Gooey hot fudge or caramel and real whipped cream!

@ kcchronicles — Fresh berries and homemade ice cream.

Homemade? Hot fudge? Honey? Dee-lish. You guys know what you’re talking about! But if you wanted to try something new, check out this Berry Blaster recipe. On a decadent cherry cheesecake ice cream base, it’s got everything from fresh strawberries to whipping cream, hot fudge sauce to pecan bits. Make it, taste it and tell us about it!

But what about kids and cousins, friends and family who have food allergies, sensitivities or are just plain picky? (Though we’ve yet to meet a kid who’ll turn down ice cream.) But for the lactose intolerant and gluten-sensitive among you and your loved ones, have no fear! You can still have your month of Sundaes.

This recipe makes Mocha Ice Cream by blending frozen bananas with rice milk and pinches of coffee beans and dairy-free chocolate chips, and you can add a chocolate sauce by coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder. If you don’t feel like making everything yourself, there are quite a few companies that make vegan, coconut-based ice cream. Check out this comprehensive list with commentary for help deciding!

Image from floridecires via Flickr

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