Ramekin Brownies with Coffee Ice Cream

Ramekin Brownies with Coffee Ice CreamWelcome to 5 Degrees! A new blog devoted to impressing and tantalizing a large (a.k.a. tall, but not “Starbucks’ tall”) yet modest (in the social sense, obviously) following with our kitchen handiwork. Well, actually, Melissa and I would simply like to welcome you warmly as you share in our adventures in and outside the kitchen. We hope you will find something here to return to, whether it be the wit, the charm, the irreverent humor, the recipes, or even just the pictures.

Speaking of warm… what better way to tempt you than with individual brownies a la mode, made in ramekins (what doesn’t taste better in a ramekin?). How standard and uninspired you say?! Well, in my opinion, when Jefferson wrote about creating a more perfect union it was a tall order to supersede the pairing of chocolatey goodness and coffee ice cream! Okay, fine, America is pretty great too. But we start this way, because I have just introduced Melissa to this wonderful concoction despite her objections to the contrasting textures and temperatures. Suffice it to say, opinions can and do change after a little convincing.

Melissa: I just want to interject here for a momentYes, my eyes have been opened to the amazing phenomenon of warm, gooey chocolate brownies with cold, creamy ice cream slowly melting on top of them.  BUT, my one stipulation in admitting that Forrest was right (a rare occurrence) is that the brownies always be warm- it’s the only way to achieve the magic that managed to convert this former non-believer.  Okay, the chocolate Kahlua sauce didn’t hurt either

Coffee Ice Cream adapted from David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”

1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
5 egg yolks
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp finely ground espresso

Combine the milk, sugar, coffee beans, salt, and 1/2 cup of the heavy cream in a saucepan, and set over medium heat to warm.  Once warm, remove saucepan from heat and allow the mixture to steep for at least an hour.

Separate 5 egg yolks into a medium bowl and whisk them.  Pour the milk/coffee bean mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly.  Once combined, pour the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan, and stir over medium-low heat until the mixture thickens– it should coat the spoon.  Pour the remaining cup of heavy cream into the medium bowl, and set a strainer or colander over it.  Strain the coffee bean mixture into the cream, pressing on the coffee beans to extract as much of the liquid and coffee flavor as possible (confession- we were a bit distracted (a.k.a drinking Jasmine cocktails!) and strained out the coffee beans before adding the milk/coffee concoction to the eggs.  The ice cream still turned out great!).  You can discard the beans.

Add the vanilla and the ground espresso, and then allow the mixture to chill in the refrigerator (we usually let it chill overnight).  Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Brownies adapted from Smitten Kitchen (makes 3 ramekins)

5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup plus 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Butter the insides of three ramekins (or use non-stick cooking spray).

Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder, and salt.  Add vanilla and egg, and mix well.  Stir in flour until just combined.  Distribute evenly among ramekins.  Bake 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (hint: place the ramekins on a cookie sheet to make them easier to move in and out of the oven).  Allow to cool for 15 minutes.  Top with ice cream and chocolate sauce while still warm.

*Note: This recipe fills three ramekins, leaving room for ice cream.  If you would prefer to make a larger pan of brownies, double the recipe or follow the link to the Smitten Kitchen recipe.  

Chocolate Kahlua Sauce from Emeril Lagasse

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp Kahlua

Place the chocolate chips in a medium-sized bowl.  Heat milk and heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Pour the hot milk over the chocolate chips, and let sit for approximately a minute to allow the chocolate to melt.  Whisk until smooth.  Add Kahlua and mix until combined. Drizzle over coffee ice cream (or vanilla ice cream, or fruit, or… anything, really.  It’s that good).

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