Is it me, or are husbands and men, in general, so goddamn (sorry, mom) hard to buy for? Often enough, in lieu of a wrapped gift for Father’s Day I prepare a dinner with all of his favorites. This mud pie is always on that menu, it’s outrageously good, easy to make and always feels like an event. A decade ago(!) we discovered this ice cream dessert on our honeymoon while staying at a resort in Fiji. The locals shared the recipe with me and it’s become a tradition to make it for special occasions.
This is dessert is great because you can make it ahead of time, which is always a bonus in my book. The layers of chocolate ice cream, hazelnut chocolate sauce and coconut make for an insanely delicious indulgence.
If you can’t find McConnell’s ice cream, please substitute with a high-quality or homemade Dutch chocolate ice cream- the fewer the ingredients the better. This recipe is pretty simple, so it’s important to use the good stuff. I have a soft spot for McConnell’s for a few reasons: it’s tasty ice cream with quality ingredients, they’re a local Santa Barbara company and growing up it’s what my sisters and I would throw in the cart when my mom wasn’t looking at the grocery store.
Fijian Mud Pie
You’ll need a 10- inch tart pan with removable bottom
40 Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafer Cookies (1 package, I found these at Von’s where the ice cream toppings are displayed)
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/3 cup Nutella
½ cup shredded unsweetened coconut, divided
2 pints McConnell’s Dutch Chocolate ice cream, slightly softened
Preheat oven to 350
For the crust:
First crush your cookies. I put them in my Cuisnart and pulse until there are uniform fine crumbs. Mix cookie crumbs with the melted butter and press into the tart pan. I use my hands first to press it down and then pinch with my fingers for the edges.
Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Allow the crust to cool before moving on to the next steps.
Heat the Nutella in the microwave for about 20 seconds, just to loosen it up a little. Then pour Nutella into the crust and spread in an even layer using a spatula. Next, sprinkle 1/4 cup of the unsweetened coconut.
When your ice cream has softened enough to spread around, use an offset spatula to smear it all around to create an even layer. Sprinkle with the other 1/4 cup of unsweetened coconut. Then, place tart pan on plate or cookie sheet and stick in the freezer for at least two hours to freeze. If you keep it in there overnight be sure to cover it with plastic wrap.
When ready to serve, lift bottom out of tart pan and place on cake plate. Cut into wedges and serve.