What better way to break into my mini 6-inch cast iron skillet than to bake a brownie in it? I also have cornbread and skillet chocolate chip cookies in mind but I started with a brownie because frankly, I'll take/make any excuse to eat brownies.
This 6-inch skillet was one of my Christmas stocking stuffers; it's taken me more than six months to put it to use! Sometimes that's just how it goes but now that I've broken it in, I'll hopefully keep putting it to use.
So this is a very simple story...the familiar plot line of brownies and ice cream, which is just a match made in heaven. I made this as an easy dessert after we did a little grilling and chilling outside for dinner over the past weekend. And since we tend to stretch out our birthday celebrations (it has to span at least the weekend prior and up to the actual day), it also served as another birthday treat.
So I put a candle on it and we sang "happy birthday" again. I do feel a little bad that the little guy's birthday seems to eclipse Father's Day every year since they are so close together. Naturally, my husband doesn't mind one bit.
This is a dense, very chocolaty, cocoa-based brownie via Dessert for Two. It is very much like Alice Medrich's recipe, aka our "house" brownies. I had planned to halve that recipe for this small skillet but the recipe did the job for me.
Since we've had plenty of sprinkles lately and we were sharing this after a hearty meal, I topped the brownie with some neapolitan ice cream and just a little shower of sprinkles (I did have extra ice cream on the side for serving though). Please feel free to deck your sundae out with the works - bring on the whipped cream, hot fudge, chopped nuts, and cherry on top! This is just the kind of fun dessert to make a mess out of. It's fun for a quick dessert, to help celebrate a birthday, or even as a Father's Day treat. Eating brownies with ice cream is always a good time!
It'd be fun to dig right in with spoons and go wild but I scooped portions of this brownie up into bowls and served it with additional ice cream. This brownie is dense and rich; as small as it looks, it really is enough for 3, or even 4 people, to share. Since we were grilling and doing a few things at once, I made the brownie before we sat down for dinner and I let the brownie sit in the kitchen until we were ready for dessert.
If you can, bake the brownie and dig in while it's warm, but it's still decadently chewy and delicious even if you wait a bit like we did. If you're looking for something a little less-dense, more of a fluid and gooey texture (like that of a molten chocolate cake), check out a recipe like Ina's. This is making me realize just how many brownie recipes I've tried in the last few years! Where does it all go? (Let's not answer that...)
The 10th birthday festivities for our little guy has finally wrapped up! Now, I'm looking toward Father's Day. I'm planning to make one of my husband's favorite things for breakfast, a Dutch baby pancake. We have plans to go out for lunch and I'm going with a classic of steak and potatoes for dinner. Interestingly enough, of all things, my husband mentioned how much he'd enjoy the matcha almond sponge cake for dessert when I asked him what he'd like! I was planning on something else but now that he's said it, I just might attempt the matcha cake again. Whatever your plans are, I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Mini Skillet Brownie Sundae
Adapted from Dessert for Two
- Makes one 6-inch round skillet brownie -
4 tablespoons (60g) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder (I used natural)
1/4 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/4 cup (30g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons (23g) semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
For sundae toppings: ice cream of your choice; other optional toppings such as whipped cream, sprinkles, chopped nuts, hot fudge, and a Maraschino cherry
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prep a 6-inch cast iron skillet by lightly spraying with cooking spray.
Place butter into a medium-size microwave-safe bowl. Add sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder (if using) on top. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove the bowl from the microwave, stir, and heat again on high for another 30 seconds.
Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and stir in the salt and vanilla extract. Continue stirring for another minute to release some of the heat. Add egg and stir well to combine.
Sprinkle flour on top of the chocolate mixture and stir vigorously for 50 strokes with a wooden spoon. The brownie batter should look shiny and thick, pulling away slightly from the bowl. Stir in the chocolate chips, if using (make sure the batter is not too warm or the chocolate chips will melt).
Scrape the batter into the skillet. Bake for roughly 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out with a little bit of moist batter attached (err on the side of taking it out a bit early to ensure a moist center, remembering the brownie will continue to set some more with residual heat in the pan).
Top brownie with ice cream and other toppings and serve immediately, if possible.