Fire & Ice

So hot, they’re cool. Try your hand at some desserts inspired by summer’s heat, with just the right amount of chill.

  • Category
    Eat & Drink
  • Written, produced & styled by
    Kara Mickelson
  • Photographed by
    Shane O’Donnell

Fiery Dragon Passion Fruit Pops with Ginger & Serrano Chili

Offset the summer heat by adding spicy ginger and chili to fruit pops. A colorful crowd-pleaser with just a little kick.

Serves 4 to 6

3.5 ounces unsweetened frozen purple pitaya (dragon fruit) puree

3–4 ounces unsweetened frozen passion fruit puree (without seeds)

¾ cup nonfat Greek yogurt

Ginger Serrano Syrup (recipe below)

Defrost fruit puree and pour into separate containers if making layers or mix for a blended pop. Reserve space to add ginger syrup. Add ¼ cup or more of syrup to each fruit puree. Check desired sweetness and heat; adjust as needed. Add ¼ cup of ginger syrup to ¾ cup of Greek yogurt. Add enough syrup to create a thin, pourable liquid.

Ginger Serrano Syrup

1 cup granulated sugar

½-inch piece fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced

1 cup of water

3 small slices from 1 serrano chili pepper

Place sugar, ginger and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes off heat. Add a few slices of serrano pepper, using more or less depending on desired level of heat. Syrup will get spicier as the chili steeps. Start with 2-3 slices and increase as desired. Reserve and chill. Can be made several days in advance. Fruit will sink to the bottom.

Smoky Banana Flambé Sundaes with Hazelnuts, Whipped Cream & Toffee

Boozy, smoky banana, adult-style sundae is better than a hot summer night out!

Serves 4


  smoker (gun or cold box)

1 pint vanilla ice cream smoked
( use technique in jubilee recipe)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ cup granulated sugar

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch ground nutmeg

1 ripe banana, washed, peeled and halved

½ cup dark rum

2 tablespoons banana or
hazelnut flavored liqueur

½ cup coconut palm sugar

chocolate toffee, broken into small pieces

brûléed bananas (recipe follows)

whipped cream

Put 2 scoops of ice cream in each (freezer-safe) serving dish and place in freezer.

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add granulated sugar and spices. Heat until sugar combines with butter. Lower heat as needed as not to burn. Add banana and liquor. Off heat, use a match to flame. Slowly rotate saucepan until flame dissipates. Remove banana and discard or break down with a spoon. Add hazelnuts. Reserve sauce off heat.

Remove pre-scooped ice cream from freezer. Drizzle with sauce (warm up if needed), sprinkle with coconut sugar, toffee, brûléed bananas and whipped cream.

Brûléed Bananas

2 ripe bananas, washed, cut in half and then cut lengthwise into halves (2 per serving)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

Place bananas on a sheet tray and sprinkle with sugar. Torch to caramelize.

Hickory-Smoked Cherry Matcha Jubilee

Smoky matcha green tea ice cream and brandy-soaked cherries add intriguing depth of flavor and a new twist on a summer dessert favorite.

Serves 4


  smoker (gun or cold box)

1 pound ripe red cherries,
washed and pitted

1 pint matcha green tea ice cream

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

½ cup granulated sugar

1 lemon, zest and juice, seeds removed

⅓ cup Kirschwasser (cherry brandy)

whipped cream

Place cherries in a large freezer bag and seal, leaving a small opening for the nozzle of a smoking gun (filled with hickory chips). Or place directly in a cold smoking box. Follow manufacturer’s instructions. Smoke for 5 minutes.

Remove lid from ice cream and place in the freezer bag or box with the cherries. Smoke for another 5 minutes. Can be smoked up to 2 days in advance. Scoop ice cream into freezer-safe dishes and place into freezer until ready to serve.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan with a heatproof handle. Add sugar, lemon juice and zest. Heat over medium heat until sugar melts. Lower heat if needed to prevent sugar from burning. Remove from heat, stir in liquor and light with a long match. Slowly swirl cherries until flame subsides. Let sauce cool until warm but still pourable. Reheat briefly if needed before serving. Sauce can be made up to 2 days before.

Top smoked matcha with cherries. Drizzle with sauce and add a dollop of whipped cream and cherry on top.

Rainbow Cloud Cone

Every summer cloud should have a rainbow. Toasted meringue and vibrant sherbert dazzle in this haute cone.

Makes 4


• kitchen torch

• piping bag and decorative star tip

• large ice cream scoop

• holders for cones (tall glasses or vintage milk bottles will work)

What you’ll need:

• waffle cones

• rainbow sherbert or assorted ice cream

• crushed cookie crumbs, such as chocolate wafers or butter waffle cookies

• meringue (recipe below)

Pre-scoop the rainbow sherbert to a size that will fit the top of the cone. Coat bottom and sides with crushed cookie crumbs. Place on a wax paper-lined sheet tray and freeze solid. Place cones in glasses exposing the top of the cone.

Transfer meringue to a piping bag fitted with star tip.  Pipe meringue on inside rim of cones to create a seal for the scoop. Top a single cone with ice cream scoop and pipe meringue in a circular pattern until scoop is completely covered. Cover all ice cream to protect from torching.

Torch meringue and serve immediately, or quickly transfer to the freezer and repeat with the remaining cones. Cones can be decorated 30 minutes to 1 hour in advance.


¼ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup water

3 egg whites, pasteurized

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

flavoring extract or oils: vanilla, marshmallow, etc.

1½ to 2½ cups powdered sugar, as needed

Whisk granulated sugar and water in a saucepot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, place egg whites in a mixing bowl and whisk until frothy. Add cream of tartar and continue whisking until stiff peaks start to form.

Place sugar and water mixture back on burner and heat to a boil. Continue to cook for 5 minutes. Mix meringue and then carefully pour liquid sugar mixture into meringue (avoid pouring onto whisks) and beat until combined, thick, bright white, smooth and shiny. Add flavoring.

Slowly add 1/3 of the powdered sugar and continue to whisk. Repeat steps until sugar is mixed in and meringue is thick and firm. Use up to 2½ cups of powdered sugar.

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