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Black-Sesame & Plum-Ripple Ice cream Sandwiches on Ginger-Sorghum Blondies

June 2018
To make a super hand-held dessert for summer cookouts, chef Cynthia Wong of Life Raft Treats uses blondies to bookend trendy black-sesame ice cream rippled with plum puree
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For the blondies:

1 tsp. kosher salt
1⁄2 tsp. baking soda
1⁄2 tsp. ground ginger
1⁄4 tsp. cinnamon
1⁄8 tsp. allspice
1⁄8 tsp. white pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 oz. unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1⁄4 cup granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup sorghum
1 large egg

For the plum ripple:

4 oz. ripe black plums, pitted and cut into small chunks
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1⁄4 tsp. pure vanilla extract

For the black sesame ice cream:

1 cup black sesame seeds
10 egg yolks, lightly beaten
11/2 cups sugar
3⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
13/4 cups whole milk


For the blondies:

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 9- by 13-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Line it with parchment paper cut with an ample overhang on all four sides.

Combine the salt, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, white pepper, and flour in a medium bowl and whisk together.

Heat the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until the butter browns, five to seven minutes. Watch it carefully, as it can go from brown to burnt very quickly. Cool to just warm, then combine the two sugars, sorghum, egg, and liquid browned butter—including the browned bits in the butter—in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until smooth. Add the flour mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.

Spread the batter out evenly in the prepared pan and bake the blondies until they are fragrant and beginning to brown around the edges but are still soft to the touch, eight to 12 minutes. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until firm, about one hour. Remove them from the pan, peel the parchment paper off, and flip them onto a cutting board. Cut them into 16 rectangles and freeze them overnight. Wrapped airtight, the blondies will keep for up to two weeks in the freezer.

For the plum ripple:

Combine the plums, sugar, and lemon juice and toss to coat. Set aside at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Combine the plums, their juices, and the vanilla extract in a small saucepan and cook them over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the plums soften to a jam-like texture, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and process with a hand blender or in a food processor until smooth. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate. The plum ripple will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator.

For the black sesame ice cream:

Roast the sesame seeds in a sauté pan over low heat until they begin to pop, three to five minutes. Transfer them to a plate and cool to room temperature. Put the seeds in a food processor and pulse just to crush them up a bit into a rough paste. Put the yolks in a bowl. Combine the sugar, salt, cream, milk, and sesame seeds in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir well, and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat. Pour 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then whisk in an additional cup. Whisk the egg yolk mixture back into the hot cream in the saucepan. Return the saucepan to medium-low heat and cook, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the spatula, 12 to 15 minutes.

Pour the mixture into a large heatproof bowl and use a hand blender to blend until smooth. Set the bowl into a larger bowl filled with ice and water and stir occasionally until the mixture is completely cool. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to two days.

Spray a 6 1/2- by 9 1/2-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Line it with parchment paper cut with a small overhang on all four sides. Place the pan in the freezer while you churn the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once churned, scrape the ice cream into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Drop spoonfuls of the chilled plum ripple into the ice cream and swirl them together with a knife. Freeze the ice cream in the pan until hardened, six hours to overnight.

To complete:

Place a piece of parchment on the surface of the ice cream. Place a cutting board on top of the parchment paper and invert the pan onto the cutting board. Peel the parchment paper off of the ice cream and quickly cut it into eight rectangles to match the size of the blondies. Leaving them on the parchment and cutting board for ease of handling, return the cut ice cream to the freezer to firm up again.

Place a blondie onto each ice cream rectangle and press down lightly. Using an offset spatula, pick the ice cream and blondie up and flip them over. Place another blondie on top to make a sandwich. Repeat. Return to the freezer until the ice cream is firm, at least four hours or overnight. In a covered container, the ice cream sandwiches will keep for up to two weeks in the freezer.

CHEF’S NOTE: It’s easy to make the components ahead of time, freeze them, then assemble them into ice cream sandwiches the day they’ll be served.