Chocolate Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches #IceCreamWeek

Welcome to Day #2 of #IceCreamWeek. As a kid, I adored ice cream sandwiches. In those Paleolithic times food-wise, that meant vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two artificially flavored chocolate wafers.

For #IceCreamWeek 2014, I decided to update my ice cream sandwich by making fudgy chocolate layers, about half as thick as a normal brownie, and in-between a vanilla ice cream base infused with ginger and flecked with tiny bits of crystallized ginger

ginger ice cream with brownies

These sandwiches are not the precision-cut rectangles of my youthful ice cream dreams. Instead, they are a rustic, sigh-worthy grownup dessert. If ice cream sandwiches aren’t your cup of tea, bake the brownies in a single layer (cooking them a bit longer than the specified 30 minutes) and put one below a scoop of the ginger ice cream. You’ll miss the excitement of catching the drips on an ice cream sandwich, but you’ll still get the thrill of the chocolate-ginger combination. 

Don't miss all the info about Ice Cream Week and the giveaway below the recipe. (Many thanks to our wonderful sponsors!) And visit all the participating bloggers for the 99 ways to make ice cream we're providing this week.

Chocolate Ginger Ice Cream Sandwiches

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwich Layers

Adapted from David Lebovitz’ Chocolate Mint Brownies

Servings - About 16 2”x3” sandwiches    Cost - $8-9

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee or espresso
  • 2¾ cups granulated sugar
  • 1⅔ cup sifted flour (sift first, then measure)

Equipment

  • 2-9” x 13” pans, preferably with straight sides, lined with parchment
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Microwave or double boiler
  • Mixer, preferably a stand mixer
  • 3 bowls – 1 large, 1 medium (for chocolate and butter) and 1 small (for flour)
  • Spatula
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Strainer or sifter
  • Cleaver or large knife for cutting brownie layers

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Line the pans with parchment overhanging the longer sides (so you can lift the cooled brownies out on the parchment.)
  • Break or chop the chocolate into pieces no larger than 1” and cut the butter into roughly tablespoon-size pieces. Melt the chocolate and butter together, either in a microwave (being careful not to burn the chocolate) or a double boiler. (A double boiler can be made by boiling 1-2” of water in a small pot and setting a bowl over the pot so that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. Set the chocolate and butter in the bowl and mix gently as the water boils below.) I used a microwave at 40% power for 2 minutes, stirring gently a few times during the melting process. 
  • Combine the eggs, vanilla, salt, instant coffee or espresso, and sugar and beat for 10-15 minutes at high speed with a whisk attachment until the mixture is foamy and thick. David Lebovitz says the batter becomes stiff, but mine never did and it worked out fine.
  • Gently fold the melted chocolate and butter into that mixture, trying to turn it a uniform color. Then add the flour, again gently folding it into the mixture.
  • Pour half the batter into each pan. Smooth the batter out as best you can and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pans about halfway through cooking.
  • Cool the brownies to room temperature in the pan, then refrigerate them. Once chilled, lift them out of the pans by holding the parchment and cut them into small squares or rectangles.  If necessary, even out the edges and maybe even the top. But are you complaining about having brownie crumbs to nosh on? Match up the halves and keep the brownie pieces refrigerated if making the ice cream sandwiches within a day or 2, or freeze them, tightly wrapped for later use.

Ginger Ice Cream

Adapted from Bon Appétit True Vanilla Ice Cream

Servings – About 3 ½ cups   Cost - $5

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated. (At a friend’s suggestion, I froze peeled ginger to keep it fresh longer; it is easy to grate when frozen.)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 large egg yolks (use the whites for another purpose, meringues anyone?)
  • 1 ½ cups heavy (whipping) cream
  • ¼ cup finely minced crystallized ginger (Use 2 tablespoons of corn syrup at the beginning of the final round of cooking – when granulated sugar added – to keep the ginger slices soft. Here's how to crystallize ginger - it's easy and you can eat it plain or use it in lots of baked goods and other desserts.)

Equipment 

  • Ice cream maker
  • Measuring cup for liquids
  • Measuring spoons
  • Grater, spoon or peeler, and small plate or bowl for fresh ginger
  • Medium saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Whisk
  • 2 medium bowls
  • Strainer
  • Pan with ice cubes and cold water

Preparation

  • Combine the cream, milk, ¼ cup of the sugar, salt and vanilla in the saucepan. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar. Take the mixture off the heat and stir in the grated fresh ginger. Let the mixture steep for 20-30 minutes.
  • Whisk the egg yolks and the second ¼ cup of sugar in a medium bowl until they are pale yellow - about 4 minutes vigorously by hand or 2 minutes with a hand mixer. Gradually whisk in 1 cup of the cream/milk mixture and pour that egg yolk/sugar/cream/milk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the cream/milk. Cook the combined liquid over medium heat until it is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon.
  • Strain the custard into the second medium bowl and set it over the pan of ice water. Once the custard is cool, process it in the ice cream maker, using the manufacturer’s directions. Just a few minutes before the churning is done, add the minced crystallized ginger. Finish the churning and transfer the ice cream to an airtight container for at least 4 hours to harden.

Making the ice cream sandwiches

  • Remove brownie layers from the refrigerator or, if frozen, defrost until cool but no longer hard.
  • Cut chunks or spoon the ice cream onto one layer of brownie, top it with another, and enjoy!
chocolate brownie sandwich with ginger ice cream

Here is the scoop (pardon the pun) on how Ice Cream Week 2014 works:

This event is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of  The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. We (Kim, Susan and the team of 25 participating bloggers) will bring you ice cream treats all week long. We hope you have as much fun as we have had making all these incredible ice cream treats. Break out those stretchy pants and celebrate Ice Cream Week with us. Today is Day #2. 

Our sponsors for the event have provided us with some great prizes. A huge thanks to Cake BossAnolonMicroplaneWÜSTHOFPage Street Publishing and Quarry SpoonKim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen have tossed in a bonus prize of a Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker because they think everyone should own one! The entry form is at the bottom of this post.

Here's what is up for grabs in the giveaway, which ends at midnight, August 31st. One Winner Takes All. (Giveaway open to residents of U.S. and Canada):

Make sure you swing by for a scoop from each of today's Ice Cream Week Participants: