This raspberry java brownie sundae is for those moments you want something rich and decadent, but brightened with fruit and kicked up with coffee notes! Enjoying this after a *light* meal is highly recommended (or just skip dinner altogether)!
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Brownies, Raspberry Ice Cream + Java Ganache for One Incredible Sundae
What an experience this was! You’d think making a brownie and ice cream inspired dessert would be a piece of cake (hee hee). You’d be right if you were NOT me — always overcomplicating things before I finally just go back to basics.
I was really feeling the pressure to come up with something grand for our first cooking club event. The heroine of the book we’re reading, A Deadly Inside Scoop, is an ice cream shop owner and makes wonderful, unique ice cream recipes and desserts. It is her mini raspberry java ice cream cakes that inspired me — chocolate-espresso flourless cake with raspberry ice cream covered in chocolate ganache.
After several attempts at espresso brownies from scratch, using molds to make a layered dessert and ganaches with white and bittersweet chocolates, I decided a good old fashioned brownie sundae (something I absolutely adored growing up) was how I needed to play this.
When All Else Fails, Reach for the Box
I have no problem whipping up baked goods — when it’s someone else’s recipe. I couldn’t get that espresso brownie to be just right, so I turned to a box mix and made a couple tweaks:
- Espresso — Nearly every store-bought brownie mix calls for adding water (along with eggs and fat) to the dry mix. I substituted fresh brewed espresso for the water. Try it with really strong brewed coffee, cold brew concentrate, or instant espresso if you’d like. I also snuck in a little instant espresso powder for good measure.
- Butter vs. oil — I swapped vegetable oil for butter. I think butter is supposed to give you a more cakey result, but it’s an acceptable substitute. Especially when you’re out of vegetable oil, as was the case. (No science magic in my decision! 😉)
- Raspberries — I bought freeze-dried raspberries to crush and use as decoration on a different iteration. There were some left, so I added crushed freeze-dried raspberries to the mix. And because I can, I studded the batter with some fresh raspberries, too.
So, I’m watching Nadiya Bakes on Netflix (she is so stinkin’ cute!), the Baking with Chocolate episode, and see chocolatier Aneesh Popat make a chocolate tart with a water ganache. He explains that using water not only cuts back on calories and fat, but really lets the chocolate flavor shine through. How brilliant is that?!
Anyway, I remember this episode and think, what if I sub in espresso for water…again? This dessert is supposed to have a java edge to it, so using espresso here makes sense. Forgoing all cream I think heightens the coffee flavor.
For a rich, yet pourable ganache at room temperature, use a ratio of 1.5 parts chocolate to 1 part espresso:
- Warm the chocolate in the microwave for 30 seconds to soften it.
- Pour fresh, hot espresso over the chocolate.
- Mix with a whisk until the chocolate melts completely and the ganache is smooth.
Leave it to cool on the counter. You can refrigerate any leftover ganache in an airtight container. It will set up. To make it pourable again, dish your desired amount into a microwave safe bowl and zap it in 10-15 second intervals until it reaches the consistency you want without getting too warm.
Assembling Your Sundaes
I’m not going to tell you how many squares of brownie, or scoops of ice cream, or ounces of ganache to use. It’s your sundae, use as much as you want, in any order you want!
Feel free to add more fresh or freeze-dried raspberries, chocolate shavings or chips, or whatever floats your ice cream boat.
Heck, go full on affogato and pour a shot of hot espresso over this mountain of goodness!
It doesn’t really matter…you are going to swoon over this sundae!
My kitchen scale and I are on very good terms. It’s a super handy tool for baking. Granted, it’s not going to be of much service when you’re baking from a box. But, in general, it’s great to have one. I used mine to weigh out dry and wet ingredients (all two of them) for the ganache.
Nah. Leave it out if coffee flavor isn’t your thing. Also, you could use decaffeinated or even coffee flavoring to reduce the amount of caffeine.
Use your favorites! But…I would say, use the best quality you can afford. I went for Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownie mix, Breyer’s Black Raspberry Chocolate ice cream, and Ghirardelli 60% Cocao Bittersweet Chocolate baking chips. These are accessible to me in our local grocery stores and won’t break the bank.
Other Desserts You Might Enjoy
- Red Velvet Pop Tarts (from a Box Cake Mix)
- Hazelnut Chocolate Meringue Cake
- Easy Mini Desserts (from Trader Joe’s Ingredients)
- Easy Cranberry Gingerbread Bundt Cake
- Salted Caramel S’Mores Cereal Bars
- Easiest 5-Ingredient Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches
Deliciously Decadent Raspberry Java Brownie Sundae
- 9 x 9 baking pan
- ¼ cup espresso or strong coffee, cooled
- 1 stick unsalted butter melted + cooled
- 1 large egg
- 1 box brownie mix (18 oz)
- ½ cup freeze-dried raspberries crushed
- ½ cup fresh raspberries
- 1 tsp instant espresso granules optional
- 300 grams chocolate chips (about 10.5 oz) bittersweeet or semi-sweet
- 200 grams espresso (about 7 oz) or strong coffee
- raspberry ice cream
- fresh raspberries, chocolate shaving or chips optional
- Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly grease an 8×8 or 9×9 metal pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine espresso, melted butter and egg. Add the brownie mix, freeze dried raspberries and instant espresso granules. Mix together with the wet ingredients until incorporated. Transfer the batter to a prepared pan. Stud the batter with fresh raspberries and smooth over with a spatula. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Test with a toothpick for doneness.
- Meanwhile, place chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 30 seconds to soften the chocolate. Pour hot espresso or coffee over the chips. Using a small whisk, stir until the chocolate is melted and the ganache is smooth. Set this aside to cool for a bit on the counter.
- Assemble sundaes by adding brownie, ice cream and ganache to a bowl. Top with fresh raspberies, chocolate chips, and any other garnishes you wish.
Nutritional values are estimated and provided as a general guideline only. I earn a commission from Instacart from qualifying ingredient purchases.