Hot Fudge Sundae with Vietnamese Coffee Ice Cream and Candied Five-Spice Walnuts


Vietnamese coffee ice cream:
2/3 cup (about 2 ounces) espresso-roast coffee beans
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
One 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup brewed coffee (not espresso)
8 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Candied five-spice walnuts:
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon five-spice powder
4 1/2 ounces walnut halves (about 11/2 cups)
Vegetable oil for deep-frying

Hot fudge sauce:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened, non-alkalized cocoa powder
3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

1 1/2 cups heavy cream


1. Make Vietnamese coffee ice cream: Place coffee beans in plastic bag and fasten securely. Use rolling pin to lightly crush beans; do not grind.

2. In large heavy saucepan, combine crushed beans, milk, cream and sweetened condensed milk and bring to just under boil over medium heat.

3. Remove pan from heat, then cover and allow mixture to infuse for 20 minutes. Strain infusion through fine sieve into large bowl. Rinse out saucepan. Return milk mixture to saucepan and add brewed coffee. Bring to just under boil over medium heat.

4. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat yolks and salt until blended.

5. Whisking constantly, gradually add about half hot cream mixture to yolks, then pour mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until custard thickens slightly and coats back of spoon.

6. Immediately strain custard through fine strainer into large bowl. Stir in vanilla extract. Let cool, stirring occasionally, then cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, preferably overnight, to allow flavors to develop.

7. Pour chilled custard into container of ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Scrape churned ice cream into freezer container and transfer to freezer.

8. Make candied five-spice walnuts: In small bowl, whisk together sugar and five-spice powder.

9. Place walnuts in small saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1". Bring to boil over medium-high heat and boil for 5 minutes.

10. Remove from heat and drain walnuts. Immediately return nuts to hot pan. Add sugar mixture and stir, off heat, until nuts are completely coated with mixture and sugar is melted.

11. Transfer nuts to foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and allow them to dry in
single layer, for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight. If drying for shorter period of time, turn nuts once.

12. Fry nuts: Pour enough oil in deep-fryer or large straight-sided saucepan to come to depth of 2". Heat oil between 360°F and 365°F. Line rimmed baking sheet with foil.

13. Fry walnuts, in 2 batches, for about 1-2 minutes until dark brown, moving them around so they do not stick to bottom of pan. With slotted spoon, remove walnuts from hot oil and place on prepared baking sheet. Use 2 forks to separate nuts. Avoid touching nuts with your fingers as sugar coating remains hot for quite a while. Cool completely. (Walnuts may be stored in covered container at room temperature for up to 1 week.)

14. Make hot fudge sauce: In medium heavy saucepan, combine butter, cream, corn syrup, salt and light brown sugar and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until butter and sugar are melted. Increase heat and bring to low boil. Cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain low boil.

15. Remove from heat and add cocoa powder and chopped chocolate. Whisk gently until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

16. Strain sauce through fine sieve into medium bowl. Let cool, stirring occasionally, then cover and refrigerate until needed. (Sauce may be made up to 5 days ahead.)

17. Assemble sundaes: Place cream in chilled large bowl. Using hand-held mixer set on medium speed, whip cream until soft peaks form. Refrigerate until needed.

18. Place hot fudge sauce in top of double boiler set over simmering water. Heat sauce, stirring occasionally, until consistency is thick but pourable.

19. Have ready ice cream sundae glasses or dessert bowls. Drizzle 2-3 tablespoons hot fudge sauce in bottom of bowl. Place 2 scoops of ice cream over sauce and drizzle more sauce over ice cream. Sprinkle over a few candied walnuts and garnish with whipped cream. Serve immediately.