Is there such thing as a micro-trend, something happening in just a few places but which feels like the start of something? I don't know, but it definitely feels like ice cream sandwiches are having a moment, three new street food traders have popped up recently here in London, all selling variations of that frozen piece of deliciousness and I'm definitely taken with the idea, actually I'm smitten. Blu-Top Ice Cream is by far the best of the bunch, trading with Kerb, and on Saturdays at my favourite new market, Druid St. Richard, the ice cream peddler behind Blu-Top, creates a choose your own ice cream adventure, letting you choose the ice cream, the cookies and the topping, meaning an endless array of flavours and that's part of the fun, creating the perfect sandwich for you. He is also currently collaborating with Bread Street Kitchen on a special ice cream sandwich dessert menu, available until the end of August, so check that out!
Having a freezer lying empty and crying out for some ice cream I whipped up a batch of oatmeal cookies and some rum raisin ice cream and turned them into sandwiches, and they actually make brilliant prepare ahead desserts, simply whack them in the freezer and they are there waiting for hungry mouths whenever the mood strikes. Make sure that you don't keep them in the freezer for too long as homemade ice cream, made without stabilisers, starts to lose quality after a couple of weeks.
Rum and Raisin Ice Cream Sandwiches
125g unsalted butter, room temperature
200g caster sugar
100g light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp fine salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
150g rolled oats
Rum Raisin Ice Cream
500ml double cream
250ml whole milk
5 large egg yolks
150g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
60g dark rum
To make the ice cream place the cream and milk into a large saucepan and place over medium heat and bring to the boil. Meanwhile place the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla bean paste into a large bowl and whisk together until combined. Pour the cream mixture over the yolks and whisk to combine. Pour the custard back into the pan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the custard thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (if you have a thermometer it should reach between 75-80C). Pour the custard into a clean bowl, pressing a sheet of clingfilm onto the surface of the custard, refrigerating overnight until thoroughly chilled.
Place the raisins and the rum into a small bowl and cover with clingfilm, setting aside at room temperature until ready to churn the ice cream.
Churn in your ice cream machine according to the manufactures instructions. As the ice cream is almost finished churning tip in the raisins and the remaining rum (should be no more than 2 tbsp remaining) Once the ice cream is finished place into a container and freeze for a couple hours before serving.
To make the cookies place the butter and the sugars into a large bowl and using an electric mixer beat together until light and creamy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Mix together the remaining ingredients and add to the bowl with the butter and gently mix together to form a soft cookie dough. Press a piece of clingfilm onto the surface of the dough and refrigerate until firm, at least four hours.
To bake, preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan) and line two baking trays with parchment paper. Divide the dough into 30 portions and roll into small balls. Place the cookies onto the prepared baking trays leaving a couple inches between each ball (you may need to bake in batches depending on the size of your trays). Dip a glass into flour and use to press each ball of dough flat (about 1cm thick). Bake in the preheated oven for 12-14 minutes or until very lightly browned around the edges. Allow to cool on the trays for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To assemble place a scoop of ice cream onto half of the cookies and sandwich together with a second, pressing together to squish the ice cream towards the edges. If you want to dip the sandwiches in chocolate melt 300g of dark chocolate in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water and stir in 3 tbsp sunflower oil, setting aside to cool for a few minutes before dipping halfway into chocolate, setting onto parchment to set (the oil helps keep the chocolate fluid when dipping but also helps it set).