Brownie-Bottomed Ice Cream Pie
For the brownie bottom:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee powder (optional)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
For the filling:
4 cups of your favorite ice cream, softened
1 and 1/3 cups heavy (whipping) cream, chilled
4 teaspoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate coffee beans for garnish (optional)
Grated chocolate for garnish (optional)
To make the brownie bottom:
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly butter the bottom and side of a 9-inch pie plate.
Place the chocolates in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in a microwave oven on high for 1 to 3 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking time, until the chocolate is melted. The chocolate turns shiny as it melts. Stir the chocolate, because it is probably melted even though it appears to have held its shape. (Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not simmering, water, stirring until smooth. Remove the top part of the double boiler from the bottom.) Cool the chocolate for about 10 minutes, or until tepid.
In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at medium speed, beat the butter, oil and sugar for 30 to 40 seconds, or until combined. Beat in the egg. Beat in the melted chocolate and vanilla. At low speed, mix in the flour and salt, just until combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pie plate, smoothing the surface with a rubber spatula. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted 2 inches away from the center comes out slightly moist. Cool the pie on a wire rack until completely cool.
Add the filling:
Using a rubber spatula, quickly spread the ice cream in the brownie-lined pie plate. Cover the pie with plastic wrap; freeze for at least 8 hours or overnight.
In a chilled, large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer set at medium-high speed, beat the cream, sugar and vanilla just until stiff peaks start to form. Remove the pie from the freezer and unwrap. Using a large metal spatula, spread the topping over the entire surface of the pie. Decorate with chocolate coffee beans and sprinkle with grated chocolate, if desired. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
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