Slutty Brownies for My Birthday

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It’s my birthday.  Hooray!  Happy birthday to ME!

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As such, it means I can do whatever the eff I want to do today.  And I choose to be totally lazy and completely unhealthy and make these brownies*.  I’ve been hearing amazing things about this thing called a “slutty brownie,” and after looking them up on the interwebz I decided to go to the source, which, apparently, is a lady known as The Londoner.  Seems legit.  I could definitely get behind this sort of recipe.

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Normally I’m not one to make stuff out of pre-packaged food.  It’s just not my style.  For the most part, if you make something from scratch it tastes way better and is far more satisfying to make.  In this particular case, however, I think I can make an exception.

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It IS my birthday, you know.  But I have to say that the word “chocolatey” versus “chocolate” is always worrisome, though these did include real chocolate after all.

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Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a baking dish with parchment.  I figured that seeing as some of the contents of my dish would fit normally into a square pan, and because I had extra ingredients on top of that, I should use a bigger pan.

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So you take a some chocolate chip cookie dough. In the British version, cookie dough comes in a box like cake and brownie mix, but here, unless you want it in bulk, it generally comes pre-made in refrigerated rolls.  The Londoner recommends using a teaspoon extra oil and water than recommended for the dry mix, because the cookie dough will be baking longer than usual and might dry out.  And you want this baby to be moister than moist.  So mix that up according to directions and add a bit more liquid. Smoosh the cookie dough into the bottom of the pan.  Use your fingers to make it all even and stuff. I decided I needed an extra roll of cookie dough.

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Take a package of Oreo cookies (double-stuffed is better, apparently), and line them up in the tray.  She says not to use the broken ones, but how else would one fill the gaps?  It’s thrifty.  However, I didn’t have any broken ones.  Way to go, modern packaging.

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And I didn’t have enough Oreos, actually.  So I moved everything to a smaller pan, which just involved some re-smooshing, and was very easy.

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Still didn’t have enough Oreos, though, and I couldn’t justify going out for another package when I was only a few short.

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So I just moved them over a bit.

THEN.  Then.  You take a box of brownie mix.  And you mix that up according to its directions. Mine had chocolate chunks in it!

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No need to add anything extra.  Just do it.  Giv’er.

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Pour that loveliness over top of the Oreos.  I’m serious.  Do it.  If you used a bigger pan like me you will need to spread it carefully so everything is covered.

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Bake that sucker for 40-50 whole minutes, then remove from the oven and put on a wire rack to cool.  Mine was big, so it actually took an hour.  A smaller pan would probably take you about 30 minutes. Look at that lovely shiny/crackly top!

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When it’s still a little warm, use the parchment as handles to remove the gloriousness from the confines of the pan, set it on a cutting board, and cut it up.  I recommend smallish cubes, as larger cubes of the stuff might result in DEATH.  And nobody likes death.

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Serve it up with a dollop of ice cream on top, or whipped cream, or caramel sauce, or fudge sauce, or all four in combination.  With a cherry on top.  And sprinkles.  Okay maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.

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And I’m not going to give you storage instructions because if you have any sense, there won’t be any left to store.

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* This is actually a lie.  I don’t do ANYTHING on my birthday.  It’s a rule.  I made these a week BEFORE my birthday (because despite what you may believe I don’t get up at the crack of dawn and bake in time for a 7AM NST post).  The Pie is creating a magical birthday cake for me as we speak.  There may be a post on it.  Who knows.

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The Pie’s I’m-Turning-Old Ice Cream Birthday Cake, with Fudge Sauce

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

I will let you in on the worst-kept secret in our family: Saturday was the Pie’s thirtieth birthday.  He’s finally as old as me and will (hopefully) shut up about my aging process.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake
The Pie’s birth flower is the delphinium. That peony just happened to be there.

Now, for me, being born the week before March Break, as a child I often celebrated more than one birthday.  There was my actual birthday, then there was one when my grandparents came to visit the following week, and then maybe one with my friends from school.  Through no fault of my own, this happened consistently through to my adulthood, just little low-key celebrations dotting a week of aging, with maybe a cake at the end of it.  For the Pie it’s a bit different. Because he was born in the summer, all of his friends were out of school and so he generally had one big bash to celebrate his big day.  Needless to say, since we became broke and moved to Newfoundland, his expectations have taken a hit.  Fortunately, Papa John and Mrs. Nice are in town, so we can make it a bit of a party.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake
One of his “big boy” gifts: a sweatshirt designed to look like Optimus Prime. If you zip the hood all the way up it forms Prime’s large blue head, with mesh eyeholes. It wouldn’t zip over the Pie’s rather prominent nose.

As a rule (because we’re broke), we don’t exchange gifts, but on our birthdays, the other makes the celebrant a cake.  Last year, I made the Pie that disastrous leaning tower of chocolate.  This year I thought I would try for something a little more refreshing, given that it is summer, after all: ice cream cake!  Having watched several of the bloggers I read try and fail at this feat last summer (Caroline, I’m thinking of you!), I think I know what NOT to do, so here goes …

Start with a springform pan.  The fact that you can dismantle it means that getting the cake out when you’re done won’t be that hard.

Now you need some ice cream flavours.  One of our favourite restaurants in St. John’s, Get Stuffed, used to have this boozy ice cream cake, where the three layers of ice cream were flavoured with various liqueurs.  It.  Was.  Fabulous.  So I’m going to try to recreate that, but with a little less booze.  Just a little less.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

I’m using ice creams I made from scratch, but you can use store-bought ice cream that has been softened.  The first layer, at the top of the cake, is raspberry (you can see the recipe here, though this time I used cognac instead of vinegar!).  Simply spoon 2 or 3 cups of softened ice cream into the bottom of the pan and smooth it out.  In retrospect, I should have frozen the empty pan before plopping the ice cream in it, because just-churned ice cream on a hot day has a habit of melting, and this seeped through the edges of the pan a bit before it re-froze.  No big deal, just something to remember for next time.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

You might also want to scrape down the sides a bit, just so residual ice cream doesn’t interfere with the look of the following layer.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

This cake took a couple of days to make, because each ice cream mixture needs to sit in the fridge overnight before you churn and freeze it, but that gave each layer ample time to get nice and solid before I added the next one.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

The middle layer is vanilla, and the Pie loves his vanilla ice cream, so I used the best recipe possible.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Because the pan was frozen and the ice cream underneath was frozen, it was an easy job to smooth on this layer.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Then a chocolate layer.  Neither the Pie nor I are particularly fond of chocolate ice cream, but I have never seen an ice cream cake, especially one with a fudge layer, without it, so it had to go in.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

You will be able to see the recipe here on Wednesday.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

So, with that all frozen, I could work on my chocolate fudge layer, which, in my opinion, was always the best part of the store-bought ice cream cake.  Fudge sauce recipes abound on the internet, but I was looking for something with a bit of substance, something that would take well to freezing, and this one from The Foodess seemed perfect.  She even said it went well in ice cream cakes.

Making it was super easy, too, which I like.  I did it on the stove, but The Foodess recommends working with the microwave, so that should tell you how easy it is.

In a small saucepan with a thick bottom, pour 3/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup powdered cocoa, and 1/2 cup heavy cream or milk (I used homogenized milk here).

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves, and bring the mixture to a boil, all of which should take about 3 minutes.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Add in 4 tablespoons butter and cook for another few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens.  You might want to turn the heat down a little bit, so that the sauce doesn’t burn.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Remove the sauce from the heat, add in 1 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt and you’re all done.  Wasn’t that easy?

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Let that cool before smoothing it onto your final ice cream layer. Mine was in the fridge overnight and so I just stuck it in the microwave for a minute to soften it up a bit.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

It slathered onto the frozen chocolate layer quite nicely.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Then you want a crumb crust.  You can use Oreo crumbs, but I also had some leftover pieces from some particularly crumbly gluten-free brownies that were in the freezer, so I pulsed them in the food processor and used them instead, which meant that everything in the cake was made from scratch (you gotta put in the extra effort sometimes).

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

 

 

As an aside, I also broke my mini food processor doing this — not because of the density of the brownies, but through my own mishandling of the situation.  Alas.Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Smooth the crumbs over the fudge layer.

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Right to the edge. Yes, I licked the fudge off my finger later.

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Press that stuff down and re-freeze for a couple of hours.

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To serve, run a bit of hot water around the edges of the springform pan and release the cake, flipping it upside down onto a plate (make sure it’s a plate with a lip, otherwise the cake will dribble everywhere as it melts).

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

I used an icing scraper to texturize the sides and scrape away dribbles from other flavours that ruined the effect.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Then I used a fondant smoother to get rid of the weird melty marks on the top.

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

You can decorate it any way you want, but the Pie is a huge Street Fighter fan and he plays the character of Hakan, a Turkish oil wrestler.  So I bought some teal and white icing from Sobeys and put a stylized version of his face on the cake, as his skin is almost the same colour as the raspberry ice cream (okay so now not everything is made from scratch. Sue me).

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Hakan Ice Cream Cake

Cover the cake with plastic wrap or seal in a container and store in the freezer when you’re not eating it.

Most Meta Milkshake

Most Meta Milkshake
I had a meta moment the other day.  Hear me out.

So there are these Oreo cookies, limited edition.  Cookies and cream.   In a cookie.  With cream.
Most Meta Milkshake

Cookies and cream is, on its own, a popular ice cream flavour, and by extension, a good milkshake.  Because it’s cookies.  In cream.  In fact, as you can see, the picture on the front of the Oreo package is of a cookies and cream cookie in a cookies and cream milkshake.  My mind was slightly blown.

So we of course made milkshakes with our cookies and cream cookies.  We would have used cookies and cream ice cream as well but we thought that might be pushing it.

Basic formula: take about 4 cookies per milkshake and crush them up in a food processor.
Most Meta Milkshake

Crush them into crumbs.
Most Meta Milkshake
Plop as much ice cream as will fit into the cup into which you will be putting your finished product.
Most Meta Milkshake
Fill the rest up with milk.
Most Meta Milkshake
Pour that stuff into a blender, together with your crumbs.
Most Meta Milkshake
Blend and pour.
Most Meta Milkshake
Enjoy your cookies and cream cookies with cream in a meta manner.