Brownie à la mode Candles

A few months ago, I used a some silicone ice cream and waffle cone molds to make the ice cream cone candles pictured above. These ice cream candles smelled of chocolate toffee crunch, orange cream, and strawberry. While I was pleased with their appearance, I opted not to make any more of these due to safety concerns. Given the bulk of the simulated ice cream, particularly the first scoop over the cone; the candles were top heavy. Since I was worried about these candles tipping over and starting a fire, I haven’t made any more. The only way that I could possibly sell any of these would be to mount each one in a glass container.

The scooped ice cream molds were sitting in storage until I came across this picture on Pin Interest of brownie à la mode.

The concept of à la mode has two different origin stories. One story dates back to the 1890s and credits a man named Charles Watson Townsend who overheard a customer order pie à la mode while dining at the Cambridge Hotel in Cambridge New York. When the customer received a slice of apple pie topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, Mr. Townsend told his waiter that he also wanted pie à la mode.

In time Mr. Townsend traveled to New York City. While dining at Delmonico’s he ordered pie à la mode. When the waiter said that he had never heard of this dessert, Charles rebuked him by saying, “Do you mean to tell me that so famous an eating place as Delmonico’s has never heard of pie à la mode, when the Hotel Cambridge, up in the village of Cambridge, NY serves it every day? Call the manager at once, I demand as good a serve here as I get in Cambridge.”

Mortified over the idea that another establishment would serve something that Delmonico’s did not, the manager immediately added pie à la mode to the menu. A New York Times reporter who overheard this exchange wrote an article about it. Restaurants across the country soon began to offer pie à la mode

When Charles Townsend died in 1936, his obituary credited him with having started the pie à la mode craze. A reporter with the St. Paul Pioneer Press read the obituary and took exception to this claim. He wrote about this in his paper and attributed the creation of this dessert a restaurant in Duluth, Minnesota which began serving ice cream with blueberry pie during the 1880s. Since this was ten years before Charles Townsend got Delmonico’s to offer pie à la mode, the reporter claimed that the true originator of the à la mode concept was John Gieriet, a Swiss immigrant who had once served as the Executive Chef for the White House during the administration of President Franklin Pierce and later for President James Buchanan.

Blue berry pie à la mode

In 1885, John Gieriet purchased the Commercial Hotel in Duluth and re-named it Hotel La Perl. During the grand opening of this hotel, the hotel’s restaurant served Lake Superior trout, with peas and oysters. For dessert he offered blueberry pie à la mode.

In today’s world, the term “à la mode” refers to anything that’s served with an ice cream topping. Although “à la mode” is usually vanilla ice cream on top of a slice of pie, I’ve seen ice cream served on top of cobblers, Belgian waffles, brownies, and oversized chocolate chip cookies.

Since brownies offer a much wider base than an ice cream cone, I have begun making brownie à la mode candles. Pictured below are two different brownie candles. I topped the one on the left with vanilla ice cream, cherry sauce, and an Oreo cookie. The one on the right was topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate fudge, strawberry sauce, and a chocolate covered strawberry.

Pictured here is a brownie with cherry ice cream that’s been garnished with whipped cream.

As with cupcakes, I think that brownie à la mode candles offer a lot of possibilities since I can vary the type of ice cream being used along with any toppings.

Pictured below (foreground) is a brownie topped with vanilla and cherry ice cream swirl. The ice cream was garnished with strawberry sauce and whipped cream.

I used a different silicone mold to make the ice cream for these brownies. Below left is a brownie topped with chocolate ice cream. It was garnished with fudge, caramel sauce, and candy sprinkles. The other brownie, below right, is simply chocolate ice cream topped with whipped cream.

The use of brownie à la mode allows me to add vertical height to brownies which would otherwise not have been very interesting to look at. Since brownies aren’t particularly tall, the burn duration of these candles would also have been significantly reduced.

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