Salted Caramel Sundae

Ina's over-the-top sundae got the ultimate vote of approval: more than 30,000 likes on Instagram.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 35 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 6 servings
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Ingredients

1 cup roasted, salted peanuts

4 cups plain (not butter-flavored) prepared microwave popcorn, such as Newman's Own Natural

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon fleur de sel

Chocolate Sauce

2 pints Talenti Sea Salt Caramel Gelato

Sweetened whipped cream (See Cook's Notes)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚.
  2. Spread the peanuts on a sheet pan and roast for 7 minutes, until they become fragrant. Pour into a medium bowl, add the popcorn and set aside. Line the sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Place the sugar and 1/4 cup water in a medium (10-inch) sauté pan and mix with a fork until all the sugar is moistened. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves —from this point on, don’t stir the caramel, swirl the pan! (Don’t worry if the mixture looks as though it’s crystallizing.) Continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes until it becomes a clear golden brown, swirling the pan constantly at the end. (Be careful, the caramel is very hot!) Off the heat, quickly add the corn syrup and vanilla (it will bubble up!) and swirl the pan to combine. Working quickly (the caramel will continue to cook in the pan), add the popcorn and nut mixture plus the kosher salt and toss with two large spoons until the popcorn and nuts are completely coated. 
  4. Pour the mixture plus any extra caramel in the pan onto the prepared sheet pan and spread the mixture out in one layer, pulling it apart with two forks. Sprinkle with the fleur de sel and set aside to cool. When it’s completely cooled, carefully break into large clusters with your hands.
  5. To serve, pour puddles of chocolate sauce into shallow bowls. For each serving, place 3 small scoops of gelato on the chocolate sauce, sprinkle with some of the caramelized popcorn and add a dollop of the sweetened whipped cream in the middle. Serve immediately.

Cook’s Note

To make sweetened whipped cream, combine 1 cup cold heavy cream, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla in an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until the cream forms soft peaks. When making caramel, if even a grain of sugar drops into the hot mixture, it may cause the caramel to solidify. While you're cooking the mixture, use a wet brush to brush down any stray grains of sugar on the side of the pan.