This sundae takes its inspiration from an affogato, an Italian dessert consisting of a scoop of ice cream or gelato topped with a shot of hot espresso. Here, I add a decadent espresso brownie at the bottom for a twist on the classic restaurant-style brownie sundae with the added bold shot and creamy texture of an affogato. For an extra special treat, serve with any flavor of ice cream on hand: coconut, caramel and pistachio would all be scrumptious!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8-inch square cake pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on at least 2 sides.
Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt in a medium bowl until combined and set aside.
Microwave the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl on high power in 10-second bursts, stirring between each burst until melted, 40 seconds to 1 minute. Set aside.
Place the eggs, granulated sugar, light brown sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Alternatively, use a large bowl and handheld electric mixer. Whisk until pale yellow ribbons form and the mixture is almost tripled in volume, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the mixer and add the melted chocolate. Mix on low speed until no streaks of chocolate remain, about 1 minute. Turn off the mixer and add the flour mixture. Mix on low speed until just combined and no pockets of dry flour remain, about 1 minute.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth with the back of a spoon. Bake until the edges are set but the center is still slightly soft and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly fudgy, 26 to 30 minutes. Immediately bang the pan against the counter several times to deflate the brownies and let cool in the pan for at least 1 hour. Lift the brownies from the pan by the parchment paper edges and cut into 16 pieces.
To serve, place one brownie in a small serving bowl, top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and pour a shot of hot espresso over top. Serve immediately.
If you don’t own an espresso machine, substitute the espresso with strong black coffee. To make espresso using instant espresso powder, dissolve 1 teaspoon in 6 ounces of hot water.