BLD's brownie sundae

CELEBRATE SUNDAE: BLD's brownie sundae. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Dear SOS: BLD's brownie sundae is the BEST brownie EVER! Please get the recipe!

Lynn Frankel West Los Angeles

Dear Lynn: Yeah, we were at a loss for words when we first tried this sundae, too (actually, we just couldn't stop eating it). The fudge-like brownies are super-rich and not too sweet, perfectly topped with creamy homemade coffee ice cream and hot fudge sauce. The components are each great on their own, but together they might just leave you speechless.

BLD's hot fudge brownie sundae

Total time: 1 hour and 45 minutes, plus chilling and freezing time

Servings: 12

Note: Adapted from BLD. An ice cream maker is needed.

Coffee ice cream

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 cups half-and-half

1 1/3 cups cream

Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole coffee beans

12 egg yolks

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brewed espresso, cooled

1. In a large, heavy-bottom saucepan, combine the sugar, half-and-half, cream, salt and coffee beans. Bring to a simmer over high heat, stirring to make sure the sugar is completely dissolved in the liquid. Remove from heat and steep for 1 hour.

2. Whisk together the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Bring the cream mixture back to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk one cup of the cream mixture into the yolks to temper them, then pour the yolks into the pan with the cream. Stirring constantly, cook the custard until it thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, 1 to 2 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the mixture or the eggs will scramble.

3. Strain the custard into a bowl set over an ice bath (this stops the cooking immediately; otherwise, the eggs might still scramble). Stir the mixture until it is cold, then stir in the espresso. Cover and chill the mixture, preferably overnight.

4. Freeze the custard according to your ice cream maker's instructions. Cover and freeze the fresh ice cream for at least 4 hours to allow it to harden before serving. This makes about 1 1/2 quarts ice cream.