Just a few things to keep in mind. While this dessert is quite easy to make, it does take a lot of prep time. So tip one, make it the day before, or at least several hours before you want to serve it. Basically you have to thaw the ice cream until it is soft enough to spread, and then you have to let it refreeze before you put the chocolate sauce on top. Secondly, the strawberry sauce is good, but if you use too much (as we did the night I served this at my book club) it overwhelms the rest of the flavors, which you don't want to do. I like it with some strawberry sauce, but not too much (as pictured above). And third, because this is a frozen dessert it is a pain in the butt to cut. I would suggest pulling it out 30 minutes before you want to serve, so it is easier to cut and easier to eat.
Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis (with my adaptations noted)
Picture by Caroline
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups brownie mix (recommended: Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge)
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 (1.4-ounce) milk chocolate-toffee candy bars, coarsely chopped (recommended: Heath or Skor)
Ice cream layer:
1 pint dulche de leche or caramel ice cream (recommended: Haagen-Dazs), softened (*I used a French Vanilla)
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 3/4 cups milk chocolate chips
1 (12-ounce) bag frozen strawberries, thawed
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Brownie layer: (*I doubled the entire recipe, and used a 13x9 dish)
- Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 by 8-inch glass baking pan with vegetable oil cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of paper to overhang the sides. Set aside. Spray the parchment paper with vegetable oil cooking spray. (*I did not use parchment paper, but after having quite a bit of difficulty getting this out of the dish, I would suggest it.)
- In a large bowl mix together the water, oil and egg. Add the brownie mix and stir until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips and candy bar pieces. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool the brownie layer completely in the pan, about 1 1/2 hours.
Ice cream layer:
- Using a spatula, spread the softened ice cream on top of the brownie layer and freeze until firm, about 4 hours or overnight.
- In a small saucepan, heat the cream over medium-low heat until hot but not boiling. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth. Using a spatula, spread the chocolate mixture over the ice cream layer. Freeze for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve.
- Put the strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a blender and blend until smooth.
- Remove the layers from the pan and peel away the parchment paper. Cut the layers into squares and drizzle with the strawberry sauce.