I don’t write about the stuff I bake for Spilled Milk all that often, because it’s usually the same things over and over again. I mean, how many times do you really want to hear I made 175 mini cupcakes?
But last week we had a media tasting for a bunch of DC food writers and bloggers (check out the scrumptious pics), and I decided to challenge myself and do something different. Everything on the menu was something I had never made before – which sounded like a great idea when I proposed the menu, but was a little stressful when it came to execution.
One of the items I was determined to make was mini ice cream sandwiches. Ever since my ice cream sandwich fail from last year (they tasted good, they just weren’t pretty) I was determined to do it again right. Not that messy ice cream sandwiches don’t have their own charm – but I want the desserts I make for our clients to be as pretty as they are tasty.
My mistake last year was the sandwich type. I did a chipwich style sandwich – I took a cookie, scooped on some ice cream, and pressed a second cookie on top. This resulted in very messy sandwiches – the ice cream started melted and squishing out the sides and getting all over the cookies. It also didn’t squish evenly – the bottom of the mound of ice cream was much larger than the top, so they were poorly balanced. And the cookie sizes varied slightly, so all the sandwiches were different sizes. Tasty, yes, but servable to the food media, no.
This time I decided to use a different approach. Instead of cookies, I made two half sheets of sponge cake (specifically a roulade sponge, which is normally rolled up with a filling) and sandwiched a layer of ice cream in between. Then I let the whole thing freeze for 24 hours and punched out the sandwiches with a fluted circular cutter. All of the sandwiches looked awesome – the ice cream was in a perfect layer between the cake and all the sandwiches were the exact same size. Instead of looking like a messy craft project, I actually looked like I knew what I was doing.
Eventually I’d like to perfect the chipwich style ice cream sandwich, but if you’re looking for an easier and prettier method then the stamping method is the way to go. Sponge cake is perfect because it’s flexible and the high egg white content makes it sturdier than butter cake. I used this ginger sponge cake recipe and made my own goat cheese ice cream to sandwich between, but it would be lovely (and beautiful!) with a variety of cakes and ice creams.