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Dark Chocolate Brownies, Ginger Ice Cream & Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

Dark Chocolate Brownies, Ginger Ice Cream & Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

For the first few years I moved away to the US, my family would always ask me to bake brownies when I’d come back to visit. There is a little of an unspoken love affair for that simple square of dark chocolate, sometimes studded with nuts, sometimes often adorned with a scoop of ice cream. Almost always with a short cup of espresso.

I can’t even recall where I found my first recipe for brownies and I admit I go through what B. dubbed my “brownie baking frenzy phases”. I have been known to bake quite a few batches in the span of a few days just to keep finding the elusive “perfect” one. I know I am not the only one with that problem.

Dark Chocolate Brownies, Ginger Ice Cream & Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

Just as with anything in life, and after hundreds of batches tested and enjoyed by our friends and neighbors, I do believe there is no perfect recipe for us – just the one we like then. Consistently different and yet every time just right

However, there is one I have favored a bit more over the years, probably because I memorized it easily and it has never failed so far to produce the same deep dark squares of chocolate brownies, smooth and rich as velvet. The thing is, I am pretty sure I have never baked this one for my family here. I’m hoping to have enough time to do so and leave a batch on the kitchen countertop before I head back home to the US.

Dark Chocolate Brownies, Ginger Ice Cream & Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

When Caitlin and her fiancé came to visit this past month so I could shoot their engagement session, I had just worked on a savory food feature and the fridge was fairly void of anything sweet. One evening that we had planned to grill and just chill on the patio, I figured Caitlin and I could tackle a batch of brownies as we went about the kitchen getting dinner together.

Who better than an “engineer baker” to share the kitchen with? Well, all my blogging friends actually but the dogs would go insane from excitement!! As we were baking, I threw in the idea of vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce. Salted butter caramel sauce to be exact. All of sudden I had 3 pairs of eyes staring at me with such intensity that I knew I could not get around that one and take my words back. You cannot take back “salted butter caramel sauce”…Period.

Dark Chocolate Brownies, Ginger Ice Cream & Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

Before I left for France I made B. a double batch and tucked one in the freezer labeled "in case of an emergency – ice cream to your right". After only one week away, he said that batch is about gone. His schedule has been a frenzy of work and rehearsals for Hairspray (he plays trombone) afterwards and he has had no energy to cook afterwards. We are traveling in the Alps and Provence as you read this (the magic of scheduled posting) and I sure hope I don’t get a text "come home now – brownies all gone!"…ehehe!

Vanilla ice cream worked perfectly with the brownies but I got to tell you that the ginger ice cream I made a couple of days after that weekend was so much better. It highlighted the intensity of the chocolate and contrasted with the sweet/salty caramel in such a way that it took us great self control not to polish a couple of more servings.

Dark Chocolate Brownies, Ginger Ice Cream & Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

I made the same batch of brownies, ginger ice cream and salted butter caramel sauce three times that week. And if you find yourself with extra of either or and nothing to go with it, just a spoon will do. Trust me.

Dark Chocolate Brownies, Ginger Ice Cream & Salted Butter Caramel Sauce

Dark Chocolate Brownies, Ginger Ice Cream & Salted Butter Caramel Sauce:

For the brownies (adapted from Martha Stewart):

Notes: you can replace the gluten free flours with 3/4 cup all purpose flour if not gluten sensitive.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup best-quality unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup superfine sweet rice flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup millet
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup Kahlua or strong coffee

Preheat oven to 350°F and position a rack in the center. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on 2 sides. Butter the paper and set aside.
In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt together the butter, chocolate, and cocoa. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth; let cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the rice flour, cornstarch, millet, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the eggs, sugar, and vanilla until pale on medium high speed, about 4 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture. Add kahlua or coffee. Add flour mixture and beat until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake 30 to 35 minutes until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool 15 minutes, lift out of pan, and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool completely. (check at 15-20 minutes if using smaller molds). Cut into 8 rectangles. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days.

For the ginger ice cream:
2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
1 cup (250ml) whole milk
1 cup (200gr) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly and very finely grated ginger

In a large saucepan, stir together the cream, milk, sugar and ginger. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium low heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and let steep as it cools to room temperature. Refrigerate, preferably overnight. Strain if desired.
Process the mixture into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s intructions.

For the salted butter caramel sauce:
1 1/4 cup (250 gr) granulated sugar
80 ml water
1 stick (115gr) salted butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces
150 ml heavy whipping cream

In a heavy saucepan set over low heat, combine the sugar and water. Cook just until the sugar is dissolved. Add the butter. Let it come to a boil and cook until it reaches a golden caramel color. Remove from the heat and add the cream ( it will splatter and get crazy). Whisk to combine and put back on the stove. Let it come to a boil again over low heat and cook 25-35 minutes until you reach a creamy consistency. Pour into a jar and try to refrain yourself from drinking it!

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The Bella Life September 3, 2010 um 5:05 am

Mmmmmmmm. My mouth is watering.

My husband doesn't like ginger. However, I bet the chocolate and carmel compliment the ginger very nicely. I'm sure this is one ginger treat he would eat!

Gorgeous, as always.


Christina September 3, 2010 um 5:40 am

Oh my this is fantastic, gotta try it out today – we got guest´s al the way from Rome visiting.

Thanks for sharing 🙂

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking September 3, 2010 um 5:48 am

Yumm, these look just beyond amazing!!

Indirect Heat September 3, 2010 um 6:07 am

Wow. Wow. That sounds amazing.

Rosa's Yummy Yums September 3, 2010 um 6:25 am

What a fantastic dessert! That combination is really mouthwatering and the presentation is gorgeous!



Anonymous September 3, 2010 um 6:38 am

I just LOVE your blog!! I am in an eternal search for CHEWY & MOIST brownies… Every brownie I have made is moist, but NEVER chewy… Can I hope that this recipe is??? ^__^


keighley@thebellalife September 3, 2010 um 6:47 am

Holy Yum! I so wish I could cook!!!!! I am demanding that my sister Cami make these for me this weekend. (she has culinary talents) Oh to be so lucky!

I heart your blog so much.

LOL I just saw my sister already posted a comment. oh well, I too will comment.

Nina Timm September 3, 2010 um 7:00 am

Definitely a yum factor of 100%

Paula September 3, 2010 um 8:58 am

mmm brownie and caramel sauce… love it!

More than Mode September 3, 2010 um 9:32 am

I will get sooo fat, if I still following your blog!!! 😉

More than Mode September 3, 2010 um 9:32 am

I will get sooo fat, if I still following your blog!!! 😉

Swee San September 3, 2010 um 9:55 am


BriBriMX September 3, 2010 um 10:11 am

12h10, encore au bureau, et de voir ces petits délices ahhh c'est encore plus dur….

chika September 3, 2010 um 10:12 am

oh my,

that looks delish!!
yummmmm ^___^

Jessica @ How Sweet September 3, 2010 um 10:35 am

Ah how delicious! That caramel sauce looks incredible.

Engineer Baker September 3, 2010 um 12:22 pm

I read the title and just started laughing – you know the fiance has been begging for me to make brownies and salted caramel sauce ever since our visit? Maybe I'll oblige him this weekend, because now I'm thinking it sounds pretty darned wonderful… 🙂

Anonymous September 3, 2010 um 12:33 pm

¡son hermosas! 🙂

Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) September 3, 2010 um 12:40 pm

Ginger ice cream and salted caramel? Oh my gosh….this is seriously the most delicious looking browning I've ever seen. Can you mail it to me? =) hehe

Unknown September 3, 2010 um 12:42 pm

You know you're like my teacher, don't you? You put things here, I know what I'll be baking this afternoon! xo Karen

steph- whisk/spoon September 3, 2010 um 1:03 pm

chocolate + ginger + salted caramel = probably the best combination ever! those brownie sundaes are seriously calling my name!

Alyson September 3, 2010 um 1:39 pm

You had me at salted caramel.

Kelly-Jane September 3, 2010 um 2:01 pm

How absolutely divine! Desperate for choccie now…and caramel!

natalia September 3, 2010 um 2:25 pm

This is a great brownie recipe for my son's upcoming birthday… Only problem is the dairy, he's lactose intolerant tooo. Any suggestions?? I just wish I could give thim the whole thing, brownie, ice cream and caramel 🙁

Mallory Elise September 3, 2010 um 3:12 pm

i know exactly what you mean about your family loveing brownies; Brazilians are obsessed with brownies. im not sure what it is, but everyone knows them and when i say hey lets get together what should i bake? everyone shouts brownies! it's so strange. there are even specialty "brownie" stands selling gourmet "brownies" for unthinkable amounts of money. and people are willing to pay. brownie is definately the american specialty 😉

danni September 3, 2010 um 3:38 pm

It's so funny, I was just about to suggest Martha's brownies. The one's from her baking book are amazing, but then I saw the title lol. Ginger ice cream sound great by the way.

Sil BsAs September 3, 2010 um 3:44 pm

this is maybe a silly question, but would they come out right replacing rice and other flours by all purpose flour?
thanks! love your blog as usual…

Melissa September 3, 2010 um 3:47 pm

oh it's bad enough you post a brownie recipe but there is absolutely no way I am going to be able to get past that salted caramel sauce – that might just be my absolute most favorite thing in the world. Thanks for posting!

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking September 3, 2010 um 3:59 pm

This looks incredible! What a dessert!

Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking September 3, 2010 um 3:59 pm

This looks incredible! What a dessert!

Angharad September 3, 2010 um 4:22 pm

I can't get over how decadent and perfect these look! Ginger ice cream just sounds out of this world – beautiful photos!!

Gaba September 3, 2010 um 4:43 pm

They look delicious! I will try them this weekend. How long do I bake in tart molds?

Thank you

PinkLibrarian September 3, 2010 um 4:46 pm

In your beautiful pictures you made the brownies in little individual tart pans. How long and at what temperature did you bake them for? Your recipes lists a different pan. I have the same mini tart pans and would love to try this. Thanks!

Brilynn September 3, 2010 um 4:46 pm

It's like all of my favourite things combined into one!
I never tire of brownies and yes, I am always in search of the 'perfect' one.

Patty September 3, 2010 um 5:04 pm

That is my favorite dessert ever. Warm brownie, ice cream and fudge. I'll have to try the Carmel sauce however, I'm sure it is fabulous.

One question, you have coffee in your brownie recipe (as so many do with chocolate) could you suggest something else to replace that liquid. I detest coffee, and I know you are going to say you can't taste it in there but I always can. (my dislike runs very deep LOL)

Danielle September 3, 2010 um 5:25 pm

I find myself more and more inclined towards ginger ice-cream than plain old vanilla ones. Somehow its spicyness works to temper the richness of chocolate, meaning that I can have more spoonfuls without feeling over-satiated! 🙂 Lovely pics as usual, and now you've got me curious about trying *another* brownie recipe.

Vicki September 3, 2010 um 6:55 pm

Gosh, these look fantastic! Beautiful photos, too. Out of curiosity, have you ever tried the recipe on the back of Ghirardelli cocoa powder? It's the butteriest brownie on the planet.

Gen September 3, 2010 um 7:23 pm

Ca l'air vraiment délicieux! Le support de brownie avec la glace parfumée, je fond!

Patricia Scarpin September 3, 2010 um 7:31 pm

Chocolate and caramel are a match made in heaven, Helen – and adding ginger is making me drool here! Love it!

Helene September 3, 2010 um 7:59 pm

SilBsAs: having tried them both ways, I can say they come out exactly the same.

natalia: they are lactose free butters at the stores but I can't vouch for any of them unfortunately.

Baking time for smaller molds is listed in the recipe intructions.

Thanks everyone!

Cookin' Canuck September 3, 2010 um 8:12 pm

Good Lord, woman – I will be daydreaming about these beauties today. I hope you are having a wonderful visit with your family.

oneordinaryday September 3, 2010 um 8:19 pm

Ooooooh. This is incredible!

Vicki Wilde September 3, 2010 um 8:25 pm

The brownies look amazing (and super cute baked in those little tart pans!) I just finished eating my last batch of homemade ice cream and this ginger ice cream is calling my name!

Maria September 3, 2010 um 8:55 pm

I need these in my life! The engagement photos you took of Caitlin are beyond stunning! I hope you are enjoying your time in France with your family.

Blandine September 3, 2010 um 8:56 pm

This looks amazing 🙂
Caramel au beurre salé with ice cream is something I love, so I am sure it will be fantastic with brownies too!

Anonymous September 3, 2010 um 9:05 pm

I hope you have been in the States long enough to understand it is a compliment when I say:
You're killing me.

Just the name makes my mouth water and your photos take it over the top.

I have posted before, I am not a baker, except for cookies at Christmas. I have a separate file for ginger cookies. I think this post is going to stick in my mind for quite some time.


Angie {Everyday Inspirations} September 3, 2010 um 9:06 pm

I am seriously drooling. I think this includes most everything that makes my mouth water. Love the hint of ginger!

Juls @ Juls' Kitchen September 3, 2010 um 9:23 pm

Actually, I can't stop staring at the last picture, as it is really amazingly delicious and gorgeous.
I can perfectly figure out how the ginger ice cream can work with brownies and salted butter caramel, classy but fresh and young!

Lucy Vaserfirer September 3, 2010 um 9:24 pm

Beautiful as always! Baking the brownies in tartelette tins is a lovely idea!

The InTolerant Chef ™ September 4, 2010 um 12:04 am

Natalia, pure butter has very little lactose and chocolate over 70% usually has none either.
The post looks so yummy, I love ginger.

Where My Heart Is September 4, 2010 um 12:19 am

I have been trying to decide what to bake for Fathers Day which is tomorrow here in Australia. Thanks for the inspiration – Dark chocolate brownies, ginger ice cream and salted butter caramel sauce it is!!!

[email protected] September 4, 2010 um 1:19 am

The Alps & Provence?? You lucky girl, hope you are having a ball! We do love these scheduled blog posts. I bet B had a field day with these goodies. The brownies are cute in the fluted pans. xo

Honey @ honeyandsoy September 4, 2010 um 1:25 am

I've been having a bit of a tussle with pastry this last week, and made what I've now called fugly tartelettes! 😉 But now I will use this brilliant idea of a brownie base and ice-cream!! Looks amaaaazing!

CoffeeJitters (Judy Haley) September 4, 2010 um 1:47 am

gah! I nearly burst into tears when I saw this. Maybe I'm a little hormonal, I don't know. but chocolate, this chocolate with ginger ice cream and salted caramel ins particular, is surely the cure for whatever it is that's wrong with me.

Shaheen {The Purple Foodie} September 4, 2010 um 4:24 am

Oh gosh I love this, just love this! Ginger ice cream is a favourite here.

Bakericious September 4, 2010 um 10:33 am

looks so seductive 😛

Sweet C's September 4, 2010 um 12:55 pm

Salted Butter Caramel Sauce! Wow, I quickly browsed for the recipe. It looks so yummy, can't wait to make this.

Keri September 4, 2010 um 7:44 pm

I love brownies. They're my simplest but favourite chocolate recipe. This looks fantastic with the ginger ice cream and sauce. Yum:)

miniNigella September 4, 2010 um 8:26 pm

It looks amaaaaazing, so gooey…..I'm definitely going to try this recipe….thanks for sharing it !!!!

Pretty. Good. Food. September 4, 2010 um 8:38 pm

These are so pretty. Your photographs are gorgeous and make my mouth water! I will definitely try these! 🙂

Katie September 5, 2010 um 4:45 am

WOW, that looks amazing! I love when the ice-cream slightly melts, it just makes it taste even better!

Chocolate Freckles September 5, 2010 um 6:20 am

Ohhh Wow!! just starred this recipe! It is the next one of my list!

boogie September 5, 2010 um 7:59 am

congratulations! you just made me sigh & close my eyes at the same time! these look incredibly delicious & beautifully photographed.

Y September 6, 2010 um 12:04 am

What a sweet post!

My preference for brownies changes all the time, but one thing is always a given – brownies are a definite must-bake as often as possible, in my kitchen. 🙂

Weekend Cowgirl September 6, 2010 um 12:08 am

Oh my, what a wonderful trio!

Christine September 6, 2010 um 3:13 pm

Oh this looks just divine!
I'm one of those unusual people who don't go crazy over brownies, but my eyes went wide over the this recipe. From the Kahlua in the brownie batter, the ginger in the ice cream, and the caramel? Sounds like heaven!

Vari September 6, 2010 um 4:02 pm

Hi Helen! first time posting a comment but this post deserves some feedback. Yesterday, I made two batches of the ginger ice cream for a pool party and it was a HUGE hit. It is absolutely delicious and oh so aromatic.. loved it! Thank you for sharing!

mkd September 6, 2010 um 6:35 pm

Hm … would 3/4 cup all purpose flour be the right substitute for the rice flour, cornstarch, and millet?

Anonymous September 6, 2010 um 7:04 pm

Also my first time posting a comment; I made the brownies yesterday as well as the caramel sauce. The brownies were delicious and I even had the little tart pans to bake them in; it made them look so much more special. I also made the caramel sauce and it looked great until we ate it. The second it touched the ice cream it turned to rock. I left a spoon in the jar and when the sauce cooled, I couldn't take the spoon out of the jar. I think the recipe says to cook for 20 or 25 minutes, but I turned it off after 15 as it was very thick by then. What did I do wrong?
The taste was great though. . .


Helene September 6, 2010 um 8:31 pm

Eva: no idea. I never had this happened but I'll sure give it some thought when I return. Thanks!

mkd: yes, I added a note about it after your comment. Thanks!

The Whimsical Wife September 7, 2010 um 3:47 am

What a gorgeous combination! Love the photos as well! Yummo have to give this recipe a go!

eliza September 7, 2010 um 4:27 am

looks so yummy, brownies, ice cream, caramel, just brilliant combo!

spacedlaw September 7, 2010 um 5:51 am


Katie Quinn Davies September 7, 2010 um 7:20 am

Helene – these look incredible, I am going to have to give these a bash myself and see how they go. The photos of your trip are brilliant too, my husband and I were discussing yesterday where to go on our holiday next year and I think you've sold it for me to go back to Italy and France, the scenery and food is just out of this world. Kx

Anonymous September 7, 2010 um 3:58 pm

Yummy! I'm going to try to make it but with a vanilla ice-cream (i'm not a big fan of ginger).

Unknown September 7, 2010 um 5:55 pm

You're right, there really is no going back from salted butter caramel sauce. It looks absolutely wonderful!!

Taz September 8, 2010 um 12:25 pm

I think this is the best brownie presentation I have every seen. I love the idea of baking them in tart cases – it's perfect!

Lillebi September 8, 2010 um 12:59 pm

Wow, it looks mouthwatering!

JillS. September 10, 2010 um 2:11 pm

No – you cannot take back "salted butter carmel sauce" – and now I can't stop thinking about it. The pull is too strong – I'll be making these this weekend to everyone's delight I'm sure!

Elise September 12, 2010 um 1:09 am

Just wanted to say I made these for my dad for Father's Day (in Australia) last weekend and they were a huge hit. Everyone loved them. Thanks so much 🙂 (I substituted ordinary white flour and they came out fine)

Nic's Notebook September 12, 2010 um 4:05 pm

Mmmmm these look so amazing! I have only tried brownies once – think I left them in the oven too long as they weren't gooey in the middle. Will have to try again with your recipe! love the sound of that sauce too lol..x

Cindy September 17, 2010 um 7:49 pm

i thought coconut ice cream was my favorite….i think this would be my favorite if i had an ice cream maker. the recipe sounds fabulous…..

Unknown September 29, 2010 um 5:13 am

I just wanted you to know that I made this. The whole thing including the GF brownie. It is all very delicious. It is a nice way to make the caramel sauce and the ginger is a nice touch. Thank you.

Unknown September 29, 2010 um 5:31 am

I had a similar outcome as Eva. My caramel turned out lighter in color so I figured I did not caramelize properly but it did not become hard, just very thick. I think next time I should not be so afraid of burning my sugar.
Still dangerously delicious though.
Thank you

Helene September 29, 2010 um 6:06 am

Marina: the sauce is thick – it's a reduced sauce close to dulce de leche. Don't burn your sugar or it will become really bitter but take it to a deep color.

spinkpup March 17, 2011 um 10:38 pm

Thank you for posting this recipe. I was actually looking for a Gingerbread and Pumpkin icecream recipe to match a dessert I had at Chow's in SF but I'm happy I stumbled onto your page. The pictures are amazing and really sold me on trying this out.

It took me three days to get everything made as I work until 6pm every day but it was well worth the effort and extended prep time.

I started with the brownies on Sunday and made the ginger icecream base too. Then Monday night I churned the icecream in my kitchenaid standmixer and put it in the freezer. Finally Tuesday night I made the salted butter caramel sauce. The caramel sauce was fun and interesting to make and frankly much easier than I expected. However I was hoping for more crazy when I added the cream so I must not have had the temperature up high enough.

Combining all three components made for a very satisfying and quickly consumed dessert. The caramel sauce sweetened the icecream bringing out the ginger flavor without being offensive. I was afraid it was going to melt my icecream but straight off the stove, the sauce went from liquid to firm on contact with the icecream.

I wonder if it's possible (for me) to prepare everything in one day. What's your timing like for this recipe?

Bethany Orbison April 11, 2011 um 8:10 pm

Helene… just wondering about the millet in this recipe? Can I leave it out? What does it do for the finished product? I plan to make these tomorrow and have everything I need to do it except the millet! Thanks!

Helene April 11, 2011 um 8:17 pm

Bethany: the millet in the recipe is another gluten free flour. So don't leave it out but replace with another one.

bojana May 10, 2011 um 11:48 am

this ice cream is fantastic. i made it two days ago and i already need to make it again.

Andrea December 1, 2011 um 2:29 am

That looks sinfully amazing.

Sarah B November 8, 2012 um 11:14 pm

Hi, first time here, love the sound of this combination, making it for my girls night in tomorrow. While heating the cream it suddenly went rather thick!! Kept stirring and it has become a bit smoother but am a bit concerned it will not have creamy texture once churned. is that just all the finely grated ginger or has it separated? It's now cooling, reckon I should sieve it before churning. Anyone else had this? What have I done wrong??

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