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Monday, April 18, 2016

cheesecake brownie "ice cream" pops.

This is for all the folks out there who when the degrees celsius and fahrenheit are rapidly ascending past the point of cool breezy comfort, ice cream is practically superimposed onto everything you see to the point that you suspect that your contact lenses are ice-cream-tinted but for the life of you you have not even the ghost of a clue why you purchased a fridge without a freezer compartment.

Can't empathise? Then how about this - you just feel like camouflaging a brownie as an ice cream pop because it's April and these are so dang cute.

The focal point of this idea is to transfigure anything but ice cream into an approximate resemblance to the aforementioned summertime treat; if cake is more your kryptonite, you need not use a brownie as your base. Having said that I must expound my reason for my favourite cocoa brownie recipe from Alice Medrich as a prime candidate for ice cream deception. This is a brownie of the fudgiest degree that when chilled, is near parallel to the texture of the richest dark chocolate ice cream.

Decorating the brownies post-ganache-jacuzzi was as exciting as witnessing a giant block of brownie transform into the likeness of popsicles with some light knife work. I went with a generous sprinkle of walnuts and lashings of salted rum caramel sauce but needless to say, you are free to adorn your creations with whatever toppings you please. That could mean more chocolate, popping candy, sugared petals, edible glitter etc - the available surface area's your only limit.

Cheesecake Brownie "Ice Cream" Pops
makes 8

For the brownie:
10 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large cold eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For the cheesecake swirl:
1/2 cup cream cheese
3 tbsp sugar

For the ganache:
6 ounces chocolate, chopped
3 ounces cream

For decoration:
8 ice cream sticks
any toppings you wish to use

Preheat oven to 325F. Prepare an 8 inch square pan.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove bowl and set aside until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick and shiny, add the flour and stir until just combined.

In a separate bowl, stir together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.

Scrape half the chocolate batter into the pan. Spoon alternating dollops of the cream cheese mixture and remaining chocolate batter on top. Swirl with the back of a spoon.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer plunged into the chocolate batter portion emerges slightly moist with batter. Let the brownie cool to room temperature on a rack then refrigerate until cold.

Make the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate into a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until it comes to a simmer. Pour into the bowl of chocolate and let the mixture stand for a minute. Stir until the mixture is combined and smooth. Set aside until ready to use. If the ganache is too fluid, place it in the refrigerator to let it firm up.

Assemble the brownie pops: When the brownie is completely cold, remove from the pan and divide it into eight smaller rectangles. Trim one end of each brownie rectangle into a semicircle. Insert an ice cream stick into one end of the brownie until three quarters of the way through. Dip the brownies into the ganache until fully coated. Decorate with your chosen toppings. Return to the fridge to let the chocolate coating solidify and decorations adhere before serving.

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