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Brownie sundaes

October 29, 2008

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Serves 8
Bake these in a foil-lined pan the night before you serve them, chill overnight, and the following day, turn out the solid cake of brownies and cut even pieces. (If serving right away, skip the foil; butter and flour the pan, tapping out the excess.)

BROWNIES

Butter (for the pan)
11 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with foil, pressing the foil into the bottom of the pan and letting the excess hang over the edges. Butter the foil.

2. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

3. Beat in the sugar.

4. In a bowl with a fork, beat the eggs and vanilla. Stir the egg mixture into the chocolate mixture a little at a time, beating well after each addition. The mixture will go from grainy to glossy.

5. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

6. Spread the batter in the pan. Bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes or until the edges are set and the middle is just firm when pressed with a fingertip. Remove the brownies from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool.

7. Cover loosely with foil; refrigerate overnight.

8. Using a long metal spatula, lift the brownie cake out of the pan. Transfer to a cutting board. Peel away the foil. Make 2 cuts in one direction, 3 in the other, to form 12 brownies.

CREAM AND ICE CREAM

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pint vanilla ice cream
1. In an electric mixer with cold beaters, beat the cream, sugar, and vanilla until the mixture holds soft peaks.

2. Cut 8 brownies in half on the diagonal.

3. In each of 8 shallow bowls, set the brownies, pointed ends up. Add a small scoop of ice cream to each bowl. Add a spoonful of whipped cream to each one. Sheryl Julian