Baking With Dorie Greenspan: Ice cream sundaes, cool desserts for hot days and more.

Aug 10, 2016

Beloved cookbook author Dorie Greenspan ("Baking Chez Moi," "Baking: From My Home To Yours," "Around My French Table" and more) answers your questions about baking, her "Everyday Dorie" column and everything else she's cooking.
This week's column: Betcha can’t beat this sundae — on any day of the week
This week's recipe: Dorie Greenspan's Summer Sundaes With Raspberry Ice Cream

Another day, another heat advisory, another reason to have another Summer Berry Sundae.  I've been wearing out that recipe.  I made a fresh batch of the ice cream yesterday and served the sundaes with gingersnaps - fun!

What have you been up to?  Let's chat!

Hi, Dorie. Which ice cream maker do you recommend? I don't have a lot of space but could store it in my basement if need be. Thanks

Does anyone out there have an ice cream maker that they love?  Chime in, please.

I have a professional ice cream maker that I bought about 15 years ago, so I've been out of the ice cream maker buying department for a long time.

Many of my friends have and like the Cuisinart machine.  Even friends with small New York City apartments!

Would love to hear from other chatters with suggestions.


I know you must get this question often: what are your favorite recipes for a sturdy bar or cookie that freeze and/or travel well? I'm going to a family reunion next weekend that's about a 6-hr drive away and would like to make 2 or 3 items in advance, then "defrost" them on the drive down. [My husband is tired of transporting elaborate baked goods, with me yelling at him to slow down and go easy on the curves :)]

You made me laugh with the "slow down and go easy on the curves" line.  Once, just once (because once was one time too many), I made a wedding cake and delivered it to the party.  The cake and I traveled in the back of a station wagon and my normally patient husband, Michael, drove through New York City with me keeping up a running commentary on his driving and the ever diminishing condition of the cake.  Never again.

Cookies are the best idea!  Easier and more beloved than elaborate cakes.

Look for a terrific shortbread recipe, maybe some biscotti and, of course, a brownie.  (I wish my new cookie book were out already, because I've got all kinds of new biscotti and brownie recipes that would be great for make-ahead and travel.)

Wait - I just found this online.  Here's a recipe for Fudgy Mocha Brownies from the upcoming Dorie's Cookies that could be great for you.

And here's a link to a biscotti recipe that I adore - in fact, I love it so much, I only make the biscotti when I know I'm going to be giving them away. No control with these



For almost every holiday--Thanksgiving and Christmas--we had Charlotte Russe as it was our family's favorite, and still is, but it didn't look anything like what was on the British Baking Show. For starters, was it "baking" because of the lady fingers which came from the bakery in Pennsylvania? More importantly, it wasn't clear from the show if there were eggs were in the recipe they got cooked. Ours are always raw but raw eggs make some people nervous. The local bakeries which also sold Charlotte Russe didn't have jelly inside their product.

The Charlotte that I just looked at - Paul Hollywood's with passion fruit and lime (is that the one?) - is what I think of as a French Charlotte.  The filling, a bavarois, is essentially a creme anglaise set with gelatin and lightened with whipped cream, and it's set in a ring of ladyfingers.

This isn't the Charlotte Russe of my childhood, which was ladyfingers, whipped cream and fruit. Actually, I'm not sure about the fruit.  And the one I loved most came in a push-up-from-the-bottom cardboard thing.

Tell us about the Charlotte Russe that your family had.


Hi Dorie! I wrote in last time about frangiapane tart fillings, and ended up selecting pistachios and nectarines-- delicious! For the crust, I made your sweet tart dough recipe from Baking Chez Moi-- my first time with this type of dough. Pre-baking the shell for 20 minutes @ 450 got the edges QUITE brown, such that I skipped the last 7-10 minutes without the lining. It was very dark after finishing with the filling inside. Thus it was a little more fragile. I prebaked with foil/rice sort of loosely set inside the crust. How brown should we aim for when pre-baking? Could it have been the foil, or my lining technique? Should I lower the temp next time? Please advise! The taste was divine and I plan to make it again!

Oh dear, the correct temperature for blind-baking the crust is 400 degrees F, not 450, no wonder your shell was so dark.

Foil is fine for pre-baking and, in fact, a little easier than parchment because you can use it to cover the edges too.

You want the crust to be a deep golden brown.  With pastry, color = flavor.  

I bet the pistachio and nectarines were fabulous together.  So glad you liked them!

Can you transport them in the pan(s)? That should keep them from getting damaged. Also, set the pans on the floor of the back seat, if feasible, so they won't move around as much.

Yep - good ideas!

I am baking sugar cookie sea stars for a friend's daughter's birthday. I want to do some decorative work with sugar icing and have done some research. I agree with simple bloggers that royal icing is too hard for this project but there is a split between sugar icing with or without corn syrup. I have to get this done by Saturday so i don't have any trial and error time. I'm baking them up tonight and will decorate tomorrow. What is the best recipe for sugar icing that can be piped on sugar cookies for decoration

You're sweet to be baking cookies for your friend's daughter's birthday.

I decorate with plain powdered sugar and milk icing, but here's a link that might be helpful to you.

When you have more time, I'd urge you to play with royal icing. I'm not much of a decorator, but I love working with royal icing.  Once you get the feel for the consistency you want, it's easy - the icing is fun to work with and long-lasting.

Anyone have a favorite cookie-decorating icing?  Let's hear.

The key to transporting cookies is to pack them in whatever container you're using REALLY TIGHTLY. If there's no room for them to bounce around, they'll be fine. In college, I'd sometimes get cookies in the mail, and even the crumblier varieties arrived more or less intact as long as Grandma didn't leave any extra room for them to shift.

Good advice.

Also, if you're packing cookies to ship (which our original chatter isn't), always make sure to pack like with like - if you pack soft cookies with crispy ones, they'll all be soft by the time they land.

Also, pack spice cookies separately - see above.

I like to use popcorn - real popcorn - to pack cookies. The popcorn keeps everything from bouncing around and it's deliciously recyclable.

I use the ice cream maker attachment that goes with my KitchenAid Mixer. I like it, but it is annoying that you have to plan in advance (at least 24 hours) in order to freeze the bowl. You can't speed that process along...I thought I was okay once. I was wrong! When buying an ice cream maker, consider the dimensions of your freezer. When we moved, the freezer was smaller than my previous one. It takes up significant real estate, and since it's summertime, we make ice cream more often. I've been shoving frozen bags of berries in it for now!

Thanks for piping up.

The 'problem' with the KitchenAid attachment and really with all of the machines that have bowls that you have to put in the freezer for 24-hours is, just as you said, real estate and time.

The machines that have internal compressors are easier, of course, but they're much more expensive and they're usually larger pieces of machinery.


Hi, Dorie -- Your custardy apple squares recipe is a staple for me. At this time of year, I use peaches. Individual versions in ramekins are especially good fresh-baked. To be ready for guests this weekend, I'm wondering if I can mix the batter a day ahead - or will the baking powder be deactivated if not baked right away?

Yum - I bet the custard is great with peaches!

I haven't tried making the custard ahead, but I think you might be okay with it.  To be on the safe side, why don't you mix the dry ingredients together and leave them on the counter in a bowl and mix the wet together and refrigerate them overnight.  Then, on baking day, blend the two together.  That would be the best solution.

Send pictures if you can - I'm sure the minis are pretty.

Thanks for the awesome recipe, just in time for a weekend trip to the Berkshires where my blueberries will be ripe. Can I sub them in the ice cream?

Blueberries will be great in the ice cream recipe.

On a whim, we put the Cuisinart one (I don't recall the model, but it's silver and square-ish, with the round inset of course) on our wedding registry and got it! We don't use it nearly enough, but it's great when we do!

Thanks for this.

Dorie, what are your top three all-time favorite ice cream flavors? Think last meal/desert island...

It's always impossible for me to narrow my choices, but I love great vanilla ice cream, super-good chocolate ice cream, coffee (with shards of dark chocolate) ice cream and I'm a sucker for mint-chocolate chip.

My favorite is fresh peaches in season, served over Raspberry sherbet, frozen yogurt or ice cream (whether homemade or store-bought). Très Melba!

Très Melba, indeed.

We have had no local peaches in CT this summer and the ones in the supermarket are consistently not stellar, so - because I can't go the summer without peaches - I've been buying the not-good ones and poaching them in a light sugar syrup, sometimes with lemon peel and lemon verbena, sometimes with a little crème de cassis for color.  The peaches are terrific over ice cream.

Is it possible to make your ice cream without an ice cream maker? Any modifications that need to be made?

I have never tried to make this as a no-churn ice cream.  It might work, but I'm not sure. I'd let it freeze for an hour or so, stir it and then try to use it when it's at its most luscious soft-serve consistency.

I've seen several no-churn recipes that call for using condensed milk and then there's this intriguing one based on meringue.

Lemon Meringue 'Ice Cream'

RECIPE: Lemon Meringue 'Ice Cream'

If you make a no-churn, let us know how it goes.

Charlotte Russe came as "dainties" and Dad was eating them as in the 20s. He started purchasing the dessert from a bakery in the 30s and Mom made it at home based on a local bakery recipe beginning in the early 40s. It is basically whipped heavy cream, eggs, powdered sugar, Knox gelatin--pkg and half, and vanilla (after it is chilled it gets a layer of whipped cream on top). Although we have a bowl which we can line with ladyfingers, we usually serve the ladyfingers separately--nothing fancy. People serve themselves.

"Your" charlotte russe sounds closer to the one I knew as a kid - I was too young to be discerning enough to suss out (or care) whether there were eggs or not :)  Certainly 'ours' were not the essentially French version as seen on the Bake-off.

Thanks for the follow-up.

If I make the biscotti with pecans instead of almonds, would I use the almond extract or vanilla? Thanks for the recipe. Its raining in Massachusetts and I'm going try it out.

The biscotti will be great with pecans.  I'd skip the almond extract, but keep the vanilla - vanilla extract makes just about everything taste better. Have fun - it's a great rainy-day activity.

Made your ricotta cheesecake recipe last month for a party, and it was a hit!!! as a very novice baker, what books would you recommend to start off? I'm a pretty decent cook, but lack in the baking department.

So, so happy that you liked the cheesecake!

I taught myself to bake by working my way through Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts, an oldie but a real goodie.  And many people have written to tell me that they learned to bake by baking their way through my book, Baking From My Home to Yours. In fact, some bakers started a group in 2007 - it's still ongoing - called Tuesdays with Dorie to bake through that book and now others.

The pleasures of learning to bake are many.  And everyone around you will be happy that you've taken up baking!

Dorie, can you double this recipe and bake in a 13x9 or are you better off baking two 8x8's? Thank you!

I think you'd be okay in a 9-x-13, but I'd prefer the two 8-x-8s.

I have the Hamilton Beach 68330N 4-Quart Automatic Ice-Cream Maker. I love it! It's one of those old fashioned style, but electric. The only planning ahead needed is to make sure you have the rock salt and enough ice. My only issue is that it's super noisy, but my daughter (8 years old) has a lot of fun being in charge of adding ice and salt to the outside tub.

Thanks for chiming in.  Old-fashioned ice cream makers are fun, especially for kids!

As always, it was fun to be together.  And we can do it again  - I'll be here on Wednesday, August 24 at 1 Eastern.  Come back!

In the meantime: cook, bake, share and enjoy - xoDorie 

In This Chat
Dorie Greenspan
Dorie Greenspan is the award-winning author of 11 cookbooks, the most recent of which is "Baking Chez Moi." Read more on her Web site,, and follow her on Twitter: @doriegreenspan.
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