What are the different types of ice cream sauces?

A scoop of ice cream.

There are many types of ice cream sauces, from traditional to unique. Chocolate ice cream sauces are very popular, as are similar sweet sauces with flavors such as vanilla cream, caramel and peanut butter. Fruit-based sauces are an ingredient in many classic ice cream dishes, some containing whole chunks of fruit and others appearing only as thick, colorful syrups full of fruit flavors. Some sauces are simply cream that has been subtly infused with flavors like cinnamon, while unique flavorful ice cream sauces can be made from mashed avocado and sugar. Adults can enjoy ice cream sauces flavored with liqueurs or other spirits such as rum mixed with nuts in a sugary base.

Cream can be added to enhance the flavor of an ice cream sauce.

Of all the different ice cream sauces, chocolate is one of the most popular. Chocolate sauces can be made from just chocolate chips or chocolate powder and melted sugar until smooth and poured over ice cream. It can also be made from chocolate that is mixed with cream, butter, and other ingredients to make a rich sauce. Raspberries, vanilla notes or nuts such as almonds can be included to add more flavor to the sauce.

For a special touch, use cinnamon-flavored Mexican chocolate to make chocolate sauce.

Caramel ice cream sauces are similar to chocolate sauces, except with a different flavor. The base of most caramel sauces is some type of sugar, with brown sugar being very common. Sugar is melted in water with butter and thickeners like corn syrup. Flavors like vanilla, or even a little heavy cream, can be added to help bring out the sweet caramel flavor of the sauce. The color of the sauce may become deeper the longer the sugar is cooked, turning more golden brown over time.

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Ice cream sauces made from fruit can add a lighter flavor with a different kind of sweetness than other sauces. Strawberries, blueberries, pears and cherries are fruits that can be boiled in sweet syrup until soft and then poured over ice cream to add color and flavor. Some recipes for fruit-based ice cream sauces pull the fruit out of the final liquid to create a more formal presentation.

Many people enjoy enjoying liquor and ice cream together. Mint-flavored liqueur, bourbon or rum can be poured sparingly over ice cream to make a quick dip. Cooking the liqueur first can reduce the amount of alcohol present and develop a different, more concentrated flavor. Caramel sauces are an effective base for infusing complex flavors such as the licorice flavor in ouzo or the smoky undertones in darker liqueurs. Even red wine can be reduced with cinnamon sticks and butter to create a thick, decadent sauce to pour over vanilla ice cream.

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