When I received an ice cream maker for my birthday back in July, I was convinced I’d never buy ice cream from a shop again. I promised myself – and possibly all my readers in one of many excitable ice cream-related posts – that owning this machine would open a world of possibilities, of infinite exotic flavours, wonderful organic ingredients and not an E-number, stabilizer or acidity regulator in sight.
The majority of the time that promise holds true; we don’t eat a lot of frozen food so I hardly ever encounter those extravagant little £5 tubs that dominate that particular section of the supermarket. If I do spend money on eating ice cream out it’s usually in an amazing gelateria like Gelupo, or the mobile offerings of the incredible La Grotta Ices, but there is one shop-bought ice cream I’ve somehow retained an unaccountable weakness for; Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food.
Named after a favourite band of the ice cream inventors’, Phish Food consists of chocolate ice cream, marshmallow swirls, caramel sauce and tiny chocolate fish. It’s nothing particularly ground-breaking or unusual – I’m sure I could make it myself and Carnivorous Boyfriend has even been so brave as to suggest it borders on the sickly side of sweet – but there’s something about those stumpy purple tubs, swirly ice cream and perfect chocolate chunks that manages to tempt me every time.
When I was at University one of my new (now best) friends introduced me to the concept of eating a whole tub of ice cream in one sitting. Where previously this kind of decadence was the stuff of legends, confined to my parents’ single story of an old American friend who consumed a pint of it a day (and still managed to survive well into his eighties), now I was living away from home and allowed to do exactly what I wanted. Eat a whole tub of ice cream? Whyever not?
Pretty much once a week (generally after a big night out and feeling a little worse for wear), as many (if not more) of us as sensibly could would squeeze into my tiny blue Beetle and hotfoot it down to the local video shop to rent DVDs and buy our own body weight in chocolate ice cream. We’d then retire to someone’s tiny rented room, pile ourselves onto the bed and proceed to watch back–to-back chick-flicks, spooning ice cream into our mouths and only stopping when we felt more than slightly sick.
I’m sorry to say I don’t think I ever managed to eat a whole tub. Usually by the time I reached the gloopy final third of the tub, a strong sensation of dairy overload would creep through my body and the sugar shakes would start to set in. Not exactly a gourmet story, but these are the kind of gossipy, girly, over-indulgent evenings are what great friendships are built on. Nowadays I prefer to get my ice cream fix from more of a David Lebovitz-style ‘single perfect scoop’ (ok, who am I kidding, let’s say two ‘perfect scoops’ just to be on the safe side), but every time I see a tub of Ben and Jerry’s, a strange sort of nostalgia seeps over me . . .
Anyway, I digress. This isn’t a recipe for ice cream – I’ve posted quite enough of that over the last couple of weeks. Instead this recipe takes its inspiration from that flawed but still firm favourite of mine, Phish Food. I had some salty caramel sauce left over from making this tea and biscuit ice cream, and originally intended to make some salted caramel brownies, inspired by this incredible post. However as I started to think about chocolate and caramel swirled, a tiny Phish Food-shaped idea started to take shape. A handful of fluffy marshmallows and a sprinkling of chocolate chunks later and these brownies were born.
If you’re a brownie purist, look away now. My base recipe doesn’t include any cocoa (although there is some lovely rich dark chocolate in there) and the sugar content is fairly high, meaning when combined with the salty swirl of caramel and melting marshmallows you get a fairly uncompromisingly sweet batter. But it’s good. It’s unctuous. If I was the kind of person who didn’t slightly cringe when people use these kinds of words about food, I might even say it’s a little bit sexy.
Try to eat these straight out the oven and you’ll get a face full of oozing caramel and molten chocolate – fine for Nigella but you might want to wait until they firm up slightly, becoming a bar that slices to perfection, holds its shape yet melts in your mouth. Sophisticated, elegant and artisan this brownie is not, but just like my every-so-often Phish Food ice cream consumption, sometimes you need something a little less classy to satisfy a certain craving. Best served with a big scoop of cold vanilla bean ice cream (shop-bought, if you like).
Phish Food Brownies (basic brownie batter based on Angela Hartnett’s recipe in A Taste of Home)
3 large free range eggs
210g golden caster sugar
125g good quality dark chocolate, broken into pieces
100g plain white flour
100g dark chocolate chips or chunks
50g mini marshmallows
125ml salted caramel sauce (or you could use dulce de leche from a jar)
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C. Grease and line a 20 x 20cm baking tin.
Beat the eggs and caster sugar together until pale and creamy. Melt the chocolate and butter in a bain marie until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
Once the chocolate mixture is cooled, fold it into the eggs and sugar with a spatula. Sieve the flour and salt into the bowl and fold in carefully, along with the chocolate chips and marshmallows.
Pour the brownie batter into your prepared tin. Spoon the caramel over the top, then swirl gently into the mixture. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25 minutes until the edges are set and the centre slightly gooey. Leave to cool completely then cut into squares and serve.
36 RESPONSES TO Phish Food Brownies
Love phish food. Love brownies. This is the perfect recipe for me!
OMG! Phish Food is my fab B&J ice cream! I’m so making these this weekend! Love it! Thanks for the recipe!
I can’t eat a lot of ice cream but I remember digging into a tub of Ben & Jerry’s for those marshmallow fish. Great idea to turn it into a brownie! 🙂
I definitely have a soft spot in my heart for Ben and Jerry’s. In college…I ate whole pints of their cinnamon buns ice cream…THE.BEST. I haven’t had any since because I just know that it will be devoured within about twenty minutes.
Fairly certain the same would go for these brownies. The fudgier the better!
Oh gosh where have I been all this time! I have never heard of this Ben and Jerry flavoured ice-cream! I can eat so much ice-cream i think it’s a little disgusting hahaha but like what you said a ‘perfect’ scoop or two is always better than store bought ice-cream 😉
I am so so so excited about this phish brownie recipes! I love anything that is deathly sweet!!! Thanks for sharing!!!
I’m bookmarking this recipe. It sounds wonderful.
Phish food is my favourite shop bought ice cream too and your brownies sound amazing. Of course you could serve them hot with a scoop of Phish food though that’s possibly a step too far for most. A belated congratulations for a year of blogging too. I look forward to hearing about your sourdough.
Looks delicoius! I love the idea of a brownie based off of an ice cream flavor! 🙂
I adore phish food :D. It’s half price at the moment actually. These look incredible and are a great idea! I want many :D. I can’t eat a whole tub myself… too much.
I’m such a sucker for ben and jerry’s phish food!! And now to take the obsession to a new level and try out these brownies!!
Oh my goodness. These look AMAZING and I want to make them nownownow! Phish food is my favourite ice cream ever.
Your brownies look fantastic! I loved hearing about your ice cream adventures too. I don’t think I’d ever be able to eat a whole tub of ice cream either.
Kathryn – if you love both then it’s definitely one to try 😉
Made with Pink – my pleasure!
Lorraine – the little chocolaty fish swimming in pools of marshmallow cream are the best bit 🙂
Joanne – I don’t think I’ve tried their cinnamon buns flavour – sounds really good.
Daisy – I can’t believe you’ve never heard of Phish Food – go out and find yourself a tub to try now!
Baker Street – so glad you like it.
Laura – thank you!
Erin – 🙂
Frugal Feeding – you can’t go wrong with a half price tub of Phish Food . . .
Ashley – do give them a go!
Nellie – enjoy!
Jennifer – thank you. And yes, eating a whole tub of ice cream is a pretty big ask!
Brilliant stuff. Suffice to say, The Hungry One can easily demolish a tub. Me, I start flailing at the 2/3 mark. Sugar shock.
Lovely idea. I like phish food too!
I usually never use cocoa in my brownies, just good melted dark chocolate. I never managed a whole tub by myself. Well, I probably could, but I usually share it with my husband while watching a good movie. There are few things as satisfying as digging a big spoon into an ice cream tub (but just the good kind… otherwise, gelato any day).
What a great idea! My husband used to be a huge Phish fan… I have to make these for him!
Oh my goodness, these brownies look fabulous! I could easily gulp down five in a sitting with a tall glass of milk. Great recipe!
Hi there Little Loaf!! You’re such a great writer! Totally cracked me up with your one tub per sitting adventures 🙂 I’ve never heard of Phish food until today but I’d definitely like to try it out! Your brownies look so decadent! I bet I could finish them all up in one sitting too!
What a good idea, these look great…and I have to agree with you…Phish Food is irresistable! 🙂
Loved this post, memories of student decadence – for us it was great slabs of milky bar! Pfish food is one of my favourite bought ice-creams so that made me laugh too. had no idea there was such a thing as a brownie purist so am now wondering what a pure brownie looks like? And last of all, just love the decedent indulgence of your pfish food brownies – wonderful stuff.
I’ve never eaten Phish food as I’m not a huge fan of ice cream with too many bits in if that makes sense, but these brownies look so perfect I think I’m going to have to make them as they look like the perfect place to start making such things…
Tori – haha, yep I bet Carnivorous Boyfriend could give The Hungry One a run for his money in the ice cream eating stakes!
Working London Mummy – who doesn’t?! 🙂
Nuts About Food – I almost always use a combination of chocolate and cocoa in my brownies, but am really pleased with how these turned out.
Jen – you should! Or get him to make them for you . . . 🙂
Georgia – 5 would be a whole lots of brownies . . . but I could probably give it a go!
Samology – ah, thanks for stopping by! And find yourself a tub of Phish Food to try 🙂
Laura – thank you.
Choclette – I think everyone has student memories involving too much chocolate (or booze, or both!)
Miss South – I love the clean taste of Italian ice cream with no bits, but sometimes you need to go all out and eat something jam-packed with sauce, toffee, nuts, chocolate chunks and bits of cookie. Totally overindulgent but absolutely amazing 🙂
These look awesome! I’m a huge Phish Food fan… maybe we can have Chunky Monkey brownies next?!
Sarah – OMG, Chunky Monkey brownies would be amazing!
This is all around awesomeness. I looooove phish food
delicious – your blog is torture but in a good way 🙂 off to find food now…
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Phish Food is my favorite! In fact, years ago I got to tour the Ben & Jerry’s factory and I won a free carton of it “right off the line” after answering a trivia question. Anyhow, I love the idea of making it in brownies. Will have to try.
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Hello-many months after you posted this recipe but it seems like a great treat for my kids today. One problem I had was that the marshmallows got “lost” in the cooked brownies, as in, I could not find a single vein of white! Any thoughts on what I could do to make sure all parties are well represented(chocolate, marshmallows, caramel)? Thanks!
I’m afraid the marshmallows do get a little lost – you could try using bigger ones or just sprinkling them on top, but they will melt a little!
Thanks-I’ll try that, or some marshmallow creme. I’m looking forward to following your blog!
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