Remember a couple blog posts ago when I said I was looking forward to making a peanut buttery creation for my dads birthday? Well I got a surprise. When I asked what treat he wanted for his birthday, he said his only guideline was strawberry. Like….a peanut butter sandwich with strawberry jam right? Nope. He went on to say he wanted strawberry ice cream, which I know he absolutely loves. Fair enough. It was time to go to the drawing board.
When I’m not sure exactly what to do, I usually start with a brownie because brownies are never a bad thing. When life gets tough, the brownies are soft and chewy. As you probably already know, I usually cheat on my brownies and do a boxed mix. Very few homemade brownies have I ever tasted that are better than a boxed brownie mix. There are a few, but I reserve those homemade recipes for when the brownie will be shining alone, as opposed to it being a part of a larger dessert vision.
In my family, we like a lot of brownie, so I used two boxes and a 9×13 pan. Mix according to the package directions and add in some vanilla or caramel extract for extra pizazz. Grease your pan and cook them according to the directions. Doubling it like that, I usually cook it according to the directions for the thickest brownies, but I check it using the good old toothpick trick periodically.
If you have overnight, it’s best to let the brownies chill completely and keep a half gallon of strawberry ice cream in the fridge. Yep, you read that right. In the fridge. The ice cream needs to get pretty soft so you can spread it over the cooled brownies.
Once the ice cream is spreadable and the brownies are cool, spread the ice cream evenly over the brownies and set the pan flat in the freezer so the ice cream can freeze back to its normal consistency.
While it’s freezing, it’s time to make the ganache. There are so many ganache recipes out there but I prefer the simple one: heavy cream and chocolate chips. The ratio of cream that you decide on is totally up you. You can make it super thick or super runny. For this, I decided on a medium consistency slightly on the thicker side which ended up being a 1:2 ratio. I didn’t want it to run all over, but I also knew it would be frozen.
Heat your heavy cream in a sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk almost constantly until it starts to bubble. After it’s just about boiling but not quite, remove it form the heat and add in your chocolate chips. Take your time getting them worked into the warm cream. It will take a bit of whisking, but it will smooth out beautifully. Once it’s incorporated, cover it with a lid or towel and let it cool to room temperature, stirring every 30 minutes or so. As it cools, it will thicken nicely.
Remove the dessert from the freezer and pour the ganache over the ice cream layer as evenly as you can. If the ganache is still a little warm, it will swirl with the ice cream a bit and it gives it a really cool marbled effect. Once it’s evenly spread over the top, you can put it back in the freezer until it’s ready to serve. The nice thing about this is that it’s a frozen dessert, so you can make it a fair bit in advance without having to worry about anything spoiling.
The best part is, you can customize this with any kind of ice cream you want. Imagine how good it would be with peanut butter ice cream……..
Strawberry Ice Cream Brownies
- 2 boxes brownie mix, prepared to package directions
- 1 half gallon strawberry ice cream
- 1 c. heavy whipping cream
- 2 c. (or one bag) milk chocolate chips
NOTE: You’re going to want to start this recipe about two days in advance to allow for cooling and refreezing.
Place the ice cream in the refrigerator overnight so it can get melty and spreadable
Preheat your oven to 350 and bake the brownies according to package directions, making sure a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Once the brownies are completely cooled, take the ice cream out of the fridge and stir it to even out the consistency before spreading it evenly on top of the cooled brownies. Place the pan in the freezer, making sure it’s flat so the ice cream can freeze again.
Once the ice cream is frozen, you can make and add the ganache.
To make a simple ganache, take your heavy cream and place it in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk almost constantly until it starts to bubble a bit but is not quite boiling. Remove it from heat and add in your chocolate chips. Whisk them in until the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature covered with either a lid or a towel, stirring about every 30 minutes. Once cooled, pour it over the ice cream layer and even it out with a spoon or spatula. Place dessert back in the freezer and remove 10 minutes before serving.