Sometimes you wake up in the morning and decide to make brownie ice cream sandwiches. What’s for breakfast? Where’s the coffee? No. The first thing I think of when I wake up is usually what will I eat in the future. I’ll figure out what to put on my toast later.
This wasn’t a completely random thought; there was progression. I saw the blog post yesterday, realized I had all of the ingredients (including a new tub of ice cream) and thought, why not? It’s the weekend after all. Not that mid-week inspiration has ever hindered me before. Ok, so there wasn’t really a good reason for brownie ice cream sandwiches being the biggest ‘to-do’ of my day, but I don’t see anyone complaining.
As with many delicious things, I’m always a little bit upset when someone has thought of an amazing food combination before me. I know it’s nearly impossible to have a truly original idea, but I mean, how have I never put brownies and ice cream together? Until now fair people.
These really don’t need a lot of introduction. You have a tried and true, chocolatey brownie sandwiched around (my personal favourite combination in the entire world) espresso caramel ice cream. It’s oddly refreshing, equally decadent and totally worthy of a high-end ice cream shop. Yep, I consider my roommates pretty lucky they live with someone that feels the urgency to make the weekend’s dessert first thing in the morning.
Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches (With Espresso Caramel Ice Cream)
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
For the brownies
3 ounces (85 grams) unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for pan
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt or 1/4 teaspoon table salt (about 2 grams)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
For the filling
2 to 3 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened – or whatever ice cream/sorbet/gelato your little heart desires
2/3 cup espresso
1/3 cup caramel (I used this one, but I’d also recommend dulce de leche)
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line two 8×8-inch square baking pans with parchment paper, extending it up two sides. Or use a 9×13 pan; I did this and divided the one large brownie in half.
2. In a medium heatproof bowl over gently simmering water, heat chocolate and butter together until about 3/4 of the way melted. Remove from heat and stir until smooth
3. Stir in sugar until fully combined, then eggs, one at a time and vanilla. Stir in salt until combined, then flour, until it just disappears.
4. Divide batter between two prepared pans (or one) and spread it evenly — an offset spatula will make this easier.
5. Bake brownies on different racks for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating once top to bottom and front to back, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of each pan comes out batter-free.
6. While your brownies are baking you can prepare your ice cream: Blend ice cream and espresso together until fully combined. Transfer to freezer until ready to use.
7. I let my brownies cool at room temperature, but you can also start the process immediately:
Transfer hot pans directly to freezer (you can put down dish towels or a cooling rack to protect shelves). Chill until cold and firm, about 15 to 20 minutes.
8. Remove first pan from freezer, and, working quickly, cover with ice cream.
9. Use a spatula to smoosh it down and smooth the top. Swirl in your caramel here.
10. Remove second brownie pan from freezer. Run a knife between edges of brownie and pan to make sure it’s not sticking anywhere and use parchment sling to life the brownie out of the pan, remove the parchment and place it on top of the ice cream.
11. Place the empty brownie pan on top of the brownie lid, to weight it, and press down a little. Keeping the weighting pan on top, return brownie-ice cream stack to freezer until fully firm, another 30 minutes.
12. Run a knife around brownie stack again to make sure it’s not stuck, and use the parchment sling to transfer the ice cream sandwich block to a cutting bard. Cut into squares
*Because my pans and parchment were limited I didn’t follow these seamless and easy steps to achieve my sandwich masterpiece. It always seems to work out.