Put the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat and gently bring to the boil. Meanwhile, chop the chocolate into small pieces using a heavy knife and prepare the coffee.
Once the cream is just boiling, turn off the heat and throw in the chopped chocolate. Stir gently until completely smooth, then add the coffee and brandy (if using).
To serve, divide between 4 small bowls and add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to each.