Strawberry Ice Cream Brownie Cupcakes

img_2040
Fall is pretty much here, but I’m not quite ready to say goodbye to summer just yet. Even though the temperatures are dropping and the breeze drifting through my open window is much cooler than it was last week, I’m still desperately holding on to denim shorts, cropped tops, sunkissed skin, open waters and the summer memories of a blissfully careless kind of freedom.

img_2019I made these cupcakes back in May as a treat to celebrate one of my closest friends, Paige’s birthday. I knew I wanted to make her something really special in honour of the occasion so as soon as I stumbled upon these cupcakes I knew that these were just right. I fell in love with the idea of combining 2 different desserts into one: fresh strawberry ice cream and brownies. You can of course use store-bought ice cream, but I had fresh strawberries on hand so I figured why not make it from scratch.

img_2031I was worried that after freezing these cupcakes overnight, the brownie base would either become really dry and/or tough to bite into, but as long as you leave out the cupcakes to thaw for about 5-10 minutes before serving, the brownie base will still be chewy and absolutely delicious when combined with a the strawberry ice cream!

img_2024Paige is like me and loves all things cute and pretty, so I thought these chocolate butterflies would be the perfect topping! Check back in a few days for a tutorial on how to make these chocolate butterflies :)

Strawberry Ice Cream Brownie Cupcakes 

Ingredients:

For the brownies:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1 1/8 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the ice cream:
1 batch strawberry ice cream, slightly softened

For the ganache:
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup heavy cream
2 tbsp. butter, at room temperature

To garnish:
Fresh strawberry slices

 Directions:
To make the brownie bottoms, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line two cupcake pans with foil liners.   Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; stir together and set aside.  In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water combine the butter and chocolate.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth.  In a large mixing bowl combine the eggs, egg yolk, sugar and vanilla extract.  Whisk to blend.  Stir in the warm chocolate mixture, and then the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.
Scoop 1 tablespoon of batter into cupcake liner.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 6-8 minutes.  Leaving the brownies in the cupcake pans, cool on a wire rack to room temperature.  Freeze for at least 30 minutes.  Top with strawberry ice cream until the cupcake liner is full.  (If the ice cream is freshly made, it is just the right consistency for filling the cupcake liners.)  Return the cupcake pans to the freezer for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
To make the ganache, place the chocolate chips in a small bowl.  Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan.  Pour the cream evenly over the chocolate, let stand for 1 minute.  Stir until smooth with a rubber spatula.  If the ganache is too thin, allow it to stand at room temperature to cool and become more easily spreadable.  Once the ganache is at the correct temperature, scoop it by the teaspoonful on top of the ice cream cupcakes and spread over the tops.  Garnish with fresh strawberry slices, if desired.
Remove cupcakes from the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!
—SOURCE—
Annie’s Eats, adapted from Joy the Baker 
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  1. Chocolate Butterfly Cupcake Toppers – A Tutorial « The Little Spork
  2. A New Year « The Little Spork

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