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Sunday, August 25, 2013

white chocolate chip brownie + mixed berry jam + chocolate ice cream bars.

Well that's a mouthful. To be honest, I wanted to add in "marshmallow" and "m&m" into the recipe title to but I had no idea how to slot it in. Perhaps to cut it short, I should have just named these the ice cream bar version of the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink cookies.

If the name doesn't sum it up as accurately as possible, let me give you a rundown of the components. From bottom up: white chocolate chip cocoa brownie, mixed berry jam, chocolate ice cream, marshmallows and m&ms. Actually it doesn't sound so complicated listed this way doesn't it?

I didn't start out with such an ambitious and complicated plan. I really just planned to make a simple ice cream sandwich at first. But then I realized that I had a small handful of white chocolate chips lying around in the fridge and I though ah heck, why not throw them in anyway because I love the contrast of bittersweet chocolate and creamy sweet white chocolate. So the batter was made, scraped into a pan and baked. When the brownie came out of the oven, it was a bit too thick for my liking. I didn't want a repeat of a skewed ratio of thing-that-sandwiches-the-ice-cream to ice cream again (I mean, it isn't the end of the world but for a comfortable eating experience...), so I opted to change my idea of an ice cream sandwich to an ice cream bar, because that way the ratio of brownie to ice cream would be a balanced 1:1, thereabouts.

And then I thought again. Since I was making ice cream bars, which lend themselves so much more easily to creative layering of flavours and ingredients than sandwiches (okay maybe that isn't true but that was how my mind worked at that moment), I thought it would be such a waste to not add in more stuff to the construction of the bars. What would go nicely with chocolate, chocolate and white chocolate?


I knew I had a jar of mixed berry jam so conveniently available so I grabbed that and spread a thin layer on the cooled slab of brownie. Once that was done, I spread a generous amount of chocolate ice cream on top of the jam. And for good measure, pressed a few marshmallows on top of the ice cream.

That's not all of course- you should have noticed that the m&ms are missing. I topped the ice cream bars off with them at the last moment, because I know that they bleed when they come into contact with moisture. Why then, you ask, do I do that when the m&ms aren't exactly integral to composition of the dessert? I would say, why not? And because they're blue and they represent the mixed berry jam hidden in between the chocolate and chocolate.

The ice cream bars are not extremely pretty, I admit, so I didn't quite know how to take good pictures of these. I had to work quickly to keep the ice cream from melting all over the place so I decided to just snap randomly and hopefully the pictures come out decent. I hope these were okay to look at.

Looks are one thing, taste is another. I have a few comments about these bars so I'll list them in point form for easier reading:
1. I love the marshmallows in these! Awesome pairing of textures.
2. These are quite sweet overall especially because of the jam so it's best if you use an ice cream that is mildly sweet.
3. A chewy brownie vs a fudgy one (this recipe) would probably fare better because fudgy brownies do get quite hard when cold.
4. Don't restrict yourself to m&ms! I bet a sweet-salty candy would do great with these bars. Hmm... Reese's? Butterfingers?

Lastly, I know I've not been updating this blog as regularly as before but I hope you will stay with me! Life has gotten really busy but I always make time for baking. For sugar is essential to my overall mental well-being.

(It's true, honest.)

White Chocolate Chip Brownie + Mixed Berry Jam + Chocolate Ice Cream Bars
makes a 8 x 5 inch slab's worth

For the brownie:
Make a third of the recipe here, replacing the nuts with white chocolate chips as I did and baking the brownie in a 8 x 5 inch pan for 13 minutes. Let the brownie cool to room temperature before assembling. You can chill it in the fridge or freezer to speed up the cooling process.

For assembly:
Mixed berry jam, or blueberry or strawberry
About 1 1/2 cups chocolate ice cream, softened until spreadable
A handful of marshmallows
M&Ms, as many as you want really

Proceed with the cooled brownie still in the pan. Spread a thin layer of jam on top of the brownie. Spread the ice cream on top of the jam. Dot the surface with marshmallows and freeze the whole thing until completely firm, at least 2 hours. Slice into modest-sized bars and place them back into the freezer until you are ready to eat. Before serving, shower with m&ms.

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