Excerpted with permission from Dorie Greenspan's Everyday Dorie:
If I made a cake as elaborate as the Taj Mahal, I don’t think it would surprise —or delight —my friends more than when I serve this ice cream sundae. It has everything needed for perfection: good ice cream, of course; hot fudge sauce (the queen of ice-cream toppers); and crunch —toasted almonds and bits of salted dark chocolate. The chocolate is the most unexpected addition and the most enchanting. With it, you get all the childish joy of sundaes and a touch of grand sophistication. a word on portions You can make this sundae with as few or as many scoops of ice cream as you’d like. I usually go with two or three, depending on what’s come before. —Dorie Greenspan
WORKING AHEAD: You can make the chocolate bits up to 2 weeks ahead; wrap them well and keep them frozen. The hot fudge sauce can also be made up to 2 weeks ahead; keep it in a sealed jar in the refrigerator. You can even scoop the ice cream onto a baking sheet a few hours in advance and keep the balls in the freezer. (I line the sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.)
TO MAKE THE BITS: Line a pie plate with plastic wrap. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or on low power in a microwave. Add the salt and stir to blend, then, using an offset spatula or a table knife, spread the chocolate in the pie pan, making a layer that’s 1/8 inch thick (shape doesn’t matter). Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface and freeze for at least 45 minutes. When the chocolate is solid, chop it into bite-sized bits. Keep frozen until needed. (You can do this up to 2 weeks in advance.)
TO MAKE THE SAUCE: Put the chocolate, cream, corn syrup and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the chocolate melts and the mixture comes to a light simmer, about 5 minutes. Still stirring, let it burble for a minute or two more, then scrape it into a
heatproof container.Use now or cover and refrigerate until needed. (The sauce will keep for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.)
TO MAKE THE SUNDAES: If necessary, warm the fudge sauce in a double boiler or microwave on low. Foreach sundae, sprinkle some salted-chocolate bits and almonds into the bottom of a bowl, snifter or sundae glass. Top with a scoop or two of coffee ice cream and some hot fudge sauce, almonds and bits. Finish with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream and more fudge sauce, whipped cream, almonds and chocolate bits. Serve immediately.
Called a “culinary guru” by the New York Times and inducted into the James Beard Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, Dorie Greenspan is the author of 13 cookbooks, her latest is Everyday Dorie. Some of her other bestselling cookbooks include Dorie's Cookies, Baking Chez Moi, Around My French Table and Baking From My Home to Yours.