Ghiradelli has been my favorite chocolate company pretty much since I realized that you can get as many of their free samples as you want by going back in again and again. They just keep giving you those delicious caramel squares. They also used to have a soda fountain attached to their store on Cannery Row in Monterey that had the best mint chip ice cream. I recently discovered that they are venturing into other chocolate based mixes like brownie mix. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the traditional Betty Crocker or Pillsbury mixes because they have this bit of artificial sweetness that allows me to instantly tell that they're not a true homemade brownie. Given that Ghiradelli makes superior chocolate, I had to give their brownie mix a shot. This was a perfect week for a quick and easy dessert too with my Haas interview before dessert night.
I must say that the brownies were intense and delightfully moist. I made them in an 8x8 pan, per the directions, but I think next time I might make them in a 9x13 pan to spread out the chocolatey goodness. As Amy astutely commented though, the low fat vanilla ice cream was a good pairing with the intensity of the brownie because it sufficiently diluted it.
Let's talk about this ice cream for a second. I attempted to make ice cream with 2% milk instead of cream and whole milk. For all of you out there who are thinking right now that this is a good idea, let me asure you that it is NOT a good idea. The resulting ice cream had a great flavor, but was very very icey. I even added a teaspoon of rum in an attempt to make it less icy. I'm sure it helped but not nearly enough. If you're trying to enjoy ice cream, but also trying to keep with your diet, I highly recommend just having a little bit of the homemade full fat stuff or buying some of the lowfat ice creams from Safeway.
So while the ice cream was a bust, I can officially highly recommend the Ghiradelli brownie mix. It's really worth the extra dollar over the Betty Crocker mixes.