Saffron and almond ice cream sandwiches

Vanilla and saffron ice cream sandwiches


We have been having plenty of ice cream weather this month, and what better time of the year to enjoy some delicious home made ice cream sandwiches. This recipe is taken from the book “Sweet” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh, you may remember me mentioning it in a post a few weeks ago. This book is a must have for anyone who loves their baking and/or treats as it is filled to the brim with recipes for fabulous cakes, desserts, cookies and pies to name a few. There is also an entire chapter devoted to cheesecakes, what’s not to love?!


Vanilla and saffron ice cream sandwiches

Vanilla and saffron ice cream sandwiches


This saffron and vanilla ice cream sandwich recipe was one of the first things to grab my attention whilst paging through the book. They are not particularly difficult but it does take a bit of time to prepare the cookies, ice cream and almond coating and then assemble everything. I love the colour contrast of the golden saffron infused ice cream and dark chocolate cookies. The flavour combination is also incredible, just a few strands of good quality saffron and some vanilla seeds take this ice cream to the next level. Throw in some dark chocolate cookies and you’ll be in ice cream sandwich heaven!


Vanilla and saffron ice cream sandwichesVanilla and saffron ice cream sandwiches


Cook’s tips:

  • If you don’t have an ice cream maker you can churn the ice cream yourself. Simply pop the custard in the freezer and stir every few hours until completely frozen.
  • The weather was particularly hot when I made these. I found it helped to pop the ice cream AND the baked cookies in the freezer for a few hours before assembling them.
  • Be sure to pop each ice cream sandwich in the freezer as soon as you have assembled it.



For the chocolate cookies:

  • 200g flour + extra for dusting
  • 55g cocoa
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 160g light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup full cream milk

For the coating:

  • 100g whole raw almonds (skin on)

For the ice cream:

  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 320ml full cream milk
  • 300ml double cream
  • ½ vanilla pod
  • ¼ tsp saffron threads

1.) For the cookies: Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Set aside.

2.) Place the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a freestanding mixer, (or use a beater). Beat together for 3 minutes until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and mix to incorporate.

3.) Add one third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix to incorporate, then add half of the milk. Beat in another third of the flour mixture followed by the remaining milk. Add the last of the flour and mix until everything comes together. Tip the contents of the bowl onto your work surface. Knead the mixture together into a soft dough.

4.) Dust your work surface with a little flour. Roll the dough out to a thickness of 3mm. Cut out 8cm circles and arrange them on a lined baking tray. Use baking paper in between the layers to prevent the circles from sticking together. Pop the tray in the freezer for 15 minutes.

5.) While the biscuits are freezing preheat your oven to 200ºC. Arrange the biscuits on the lined tray and bake for 6-8 minutes. They should be firm on the outside but slightly soft in the centre. Leave the cookies to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

6.) Reduce the oven temperature to 180ºC. Spread the raw almonds out on a tray, then bake for 8 minutes. Allow the nuts to cool, then pop them in a food processor and blitz into small pieces (about ½ cm). Store the cooled cookies and ground nuts in airtight containers until ready to use.

7.) For the ice cream: Whisk the yolks and sugar together for a minute, then set aside. Place the milk and double cream in a pot. Cut the vanilla pod in half and scrape out the seeds. Add these to the pot with the saffron threads.

8.) Heat the milk mixture for a few minutes until bubbles appear. Slowly pour half of the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking continuously. Then add this mixture back into the pot. Stir continuously over a low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the custard coats the back of a spoon.

9.) Transfer the custard to a clean bowl, remove the vanilla pod and allow to cool completely, either in the fridge or an ice bath. Use an ice cream maker to churn the custard until thick waves appear.

10.) Place a baking tray in the freezer, you will pop your ice cream sandwiches on this as you assemble them. Place a heaped tablespoon of ice cream on a cookie. Place another cookie on top and gently squeeze the biscuits together to spread the ice cream out evenly. Use the back of a teaspoon to remove excess ice cream, give a final gentle squeeze then pop the ice cream sandwich on the tray. Repeat with remaining cookies and ice cream. Freeze for at least 6 hours.

11.) At serving time allow the ice cream sandwiches to sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften the edges. Roll the edges of the cookies in the ground almonds, then serve.

Vanilla and saffron ice cream sandwiches

2 thoughts on “Saffron and almond ice cream sandwiches

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