Introduction: Gingerbread Icecream Sandwiches - Robot Style!
During lockdown I bought something I had been dreaming of for a long time - an icecream churner. So as you can imagine, recently, we have been having no end of frozen treats at our place. We have proved that the weather doesn't have to be scorching hot to find an excuse to make (and eat of course!) frozen treats of all sorts of different discriptions. Even in the cooler months icecream is a very acceptable menu item!
Gingerbread is a favourite flavour around here, so I'm imaginging a gingerbread icecream sandwich (laced with special gingerbread butter) should be in hot demand! To go even futher than that, what would be cuter than a Gingerbread Instructables Robot?
If you don't have an icecream churner, please don't be put off - I have included instructions in this instructable for you. As a matter of fact, you are at no disadvantage!
Okay, let's get started!!
Step 1: All You'll Need
For the Icecream base you'll need:
-2 Tablespoons of dry milk powder
-2 Tablespoons of glucose syrup
-1/2 a cup of white sugar
-1 1/3 cups of whole milk
-1 1/3 cups of cream
-1 teaspoon of rum - completely optional
-1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the Gingerbread you'll need:
-3 cups of plain flour
-1/2 a cup of honey
-1 Tablespoon of ground ginger
-150 grams of butter - chopped
-1/2 cup of packed dark brown sugar - light brown sugar works just as good
-1 teaspoon of Bicarb soda
-1 teaspoon of mixed spice
-1/2 a teaspoon of baking powder
For the Gingerbread butter you'll need:
-1/3 cup of evaporated milk
-1 Tablespoon of brown sugar
-1 teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice
-Around 5 Gingerbread men - 3/4 cup of cookie pieces
-1 Tablespoon of melted butter
For the icing you'll need:
-3 x 1/2 cups of icing sugar (for colours fleshtone, yellow and black)
-2 x 1/3 of a cup of icing sugar (for colours red and grey)
-3 Tablespoons of milk (fleshtone, yellow and black)
-2 x 2 teaspoons of milk (2t each for red and grey)
Step 2: Making the Base:
To start making the icecream base, with a fork, whisk together the sugar and milk powder until combined.
Step 3: Getting Heated
-In a medium saucepan, add your milk, glucose syrup, sugar and milk powder mixture, your rum (this is absolutely optional, but I think it brings out the ginger flavour nicely) and vanilla extract.
-Place pan on stove on medium heat and whisk until no traces of sugar or glucose syrup are left.
*Ensure that you dont let your mixture come to a boil or simmer, you just want to heat the mixture to ensure the sugar is disolved*
-Once your mixture is free of any lumps, remove the pan from the heat and immediantly whisk in the cream.
Step 4: Just Chillin'
-Pour you icecream base into a large jar and place it into the fridge, I chilled mine for around 24 hours, but you can honestly use yours striaght away :]
Step 5: Gingerbreading Time!!
-To make your Gingerbread, add your honey, brown sugar, and butter to a small saucepan
-Warm on the stove top over medium heat and whisk until the sugar and butter has dissolved, around 2-3 minutes
Step 6: Explosions
-Once dissolved, bring your mixture to a boil, once boiling, remove from heat and add your bicarb soda.
Now! This step is fully hectic!!
The reaction between the bicarb and the heat for the mixture causes the mixture to quadruple in size!! Fortunately my emergancy reflexes kicked into place, I managed to grab a bowl before the mixture poured over the sides of the pan like molten lava - situation averted!
In the rush of activities I was unable to get a photo, but I'm sure you'll forgive me.
So...have a large heat proof bowl ready for your mixture. Once transfered to your bowl, cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes to an hour.
Step 7: Adding It All
-Once your mixture has cooled, add your flour, egg, ginger, baking powder and allspice.
-Mix untill combined and no visible streaks of flour remain.
Step 8: Shape 'n' Chill
-Tip your dough out onto your counter top and shape it into a round disk.
-Cut your disk in half, this will make it more manageable later on :]
-Roll and wrap you 2 sections of dough and place them in the fridge to chill for an hour.
Step 9: Templating
-While you dough is chilling, carefully cut out 5 Instructables Robots
Step 10: Rollin'
-Once the hour is complete, remove your dough from the fridge and let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes, this ensures the butter stays firm while the dough is plyable
-Roll 1 of your dough sections out, around 38 by 24 cm, and roughly 5 mm thick
-Place 4 of your Instructables robot templates out, and with the aid of a kitchen knife, carefully (very carefully) cut around the outside of the template, ensuring that the template doesn't tear.
Step 11: Robots!
-Once you have 4 awesome outlines of your robots move onto the next four (this reciepe makes 4 delicious icecream snadwiches)
-You will need to reuse the four templates for the second four robots.
-Once finished, place your tray of robots in the freezer to firm up. This will make the transferring process 100 times easier! :]
At this stage you can preheat your oven to 180 degrees celcius (356 Fahrenheit), fanforce.
Step 12: The Favourites
-Taking your second section of dough, roll out to the same measurements as the first, 38 by 24 cm and around 5 mm thick. This time, select cookie cutters of your chioce and punch out as many as you can fit. I went traditional and used gingerbread men and snowflake cutters (good favourites)
Step 13: Cookin'
-You can now place your second tray of gingerbread (the men and snow flakes) into the oven straight away, since we are cooking it as one single sheet, we don't need to chill it.
-Bake for 12 minutes
-Once removed from the oven, place your cookie sheet ionto a cooling rack and let cool for 10 minutes.
Step 14: Removing the Excess Gingerbread
-Once cool enough to handle, carefully remove (I used a kitchen knife) the excess gingerbread from around the shapes, dont throw this away, it's still perfect for snacking!!
This technique ensures that we have a crisp outline to our gingerbread men and so that they don't spread in the oven.
Step 15: Gingerbread Butter?!
- Let's move onto our gingerbread butter!!
- In a food processor, place 5 (3/4 of a cup) of your gingerbread men, (you could use your excess gingerbread here if you haven't eaten it all yet!) and pulse until they resemble a breadcrumb like texture.
-Now, add your milk, brown sugar, butter, and lemon juice. Pulse together until it is smooth and no big lumps remain. It should be the like the texture of soft peanut butter.
-Place your butter into a bowl, wrap and set aside into your fridge to chill while you start cooking your robots.
*Please ensure you take great care with this step, please dont stick your hands anywhere near the blade when the machine is running.
Step 16: Cooking Em'
-Now that you Gingerbread robots have firmed up in the freezer you need to remove them from the cookie sheet. Simply guide the blade of your knife around the outside and release your robot - simple as that!
-Place your robots on a baking sheet and cook in your oven for 8-10 mintues or until golden brown. Once they are cooked to your satisfaction, remove them from the tray and place on a cooling rack, let cool for 5 minutes.
*I cooked my robots in batches of 2 or 3, (so I could watch their progress closely!) but you can cook as many at a time as you are comfortable with.
Step 17: ICECREAM!!!
Let's move onto the icecream side of things...
If you are lucky enough to have acess to an icecream churner, youll be right to skip to step 19 :]
For the rest of you all, you dont have to miss out!! Follow onto the next step on how you can fully enjoy the experince!
Step 18: Non- Churners
So, making icecream this way is so much simplier than with a churner, but dont tell the others!! The results are so similar, maybe a slight difference in texture, but you wont miss out on much!! This is how its done...
-In the bowl of a stand mixer, (you can whip it with a hand mixer, but your arm may feel the urge to fall off more) Place 600ml of whipping cream and whip until stiff peaks form. This could take a while due to the large volume of cream but its all totally worth the wait!
-Once whipped, add one 395 gram tin of sweetened condensed milk. Whip just enough to combine the two together.
And your DONE!! You can now move to step 20 for the gingerbread add in's!!
Step 19: Churners!
Now, although this way is a little more time consuming, the full experience totally overides!
-If your icecream bowl doesn't need to be prefrozen, set your machiene onto the precool setting.
-Once you get the cue, pour your icecream base that we made in step 2, 3 and 4, into your bowl and set your dial onto the icecream setting. Secure your lid in place and let the magic happen.
Step 20: Add Ins
-When your machine sings out, or you have finished whipping your cream and condensed milk, we can start with the add ins. Either break your snow flakes up into chunks or collate your excess gingerbread off cuts, this will be one of our amazing add ins for our ice cream!
-Line a shallow tin, (mine was 30 cm squared, and 4cm deep) with cling wrap. Dollop around 1/3 of your icecream base into your tin, then start adding your broken up gingerbread pieces and place small chunks of your gingerbread butter.
-Repeat this until all of your icecream had been used, smooth out the surface with a spatula. Cover with baking paper and set aside in the freezer for 5-6 hours (ideally over night)
Step 21: More Templating
-To make the template for the icecream, hunt down a thin sheet of foodsafe plastic, for this project i am using a thin plastic chopping board.
-Using some bluetac or double sided tape, place your 5th Instructables robot template onto your plastic, chop around the outside to create a 6th template - you will be using this later on for the icecream.
Step 22: Time to Ice
These Robots need some character, so its time to give them a fresh coat of paint (or icing!)
-In 3 smallish bowls add 1/2 a cup of icing sugar to each, to those bowls than add around 1 Tablespoon of milk or enough to make a thick but useable icing.
-To the first bowl add 2-3 drops of yellow food colouring or enough to achieve the colour on the front of the robot.
-To the second bowl, add 1 drop of orange or fleshtone food colouring.
-To the third bowl add 2-3 drops of black food colouring.
-Mix all bowls thoroughly until no streaks of colour remain.
Step 23: Small Details
-In two smaller bowls add 1/3 of a cup of icing sugar and 2 teaspoons of milk to each, or enough to create a thick but useable icing. Colour the first bowl with a small amount of black to create a grey and the other bowl with 1-2 drops of red colouring.
-Place all of icings into 5 ziplock bags and cup small holes in the tip of each.
Lets start piping!!
-Start by outlining the main body in yellow, then move onto outlining the arms, head, and legs in fleshtone. If needed, use a toothpick to smooth the icing and to guide it into small gaps.
-Fill the head, arms, and legs in fleshtone, fill the yellow outline with the yellow icing.
-With your black icing, outline the main yellow body, the arms and legs, and then pipe a small line across the bottom of the legs.
*Remember you will only need to ice 4 of you 8 robots!
Step 24: More Icing
-Add lines to the base of the arms and 2 small dots just above that line, use the pictures for reference if I'm totally confusing you!
-Pipe a black line at the base of the yellow body, and inside, pipe around 8 small dots, these represent the cogs.
-Pipe a thin rectangle in black around about the bottom to middle of the main yellow body.
-Pipe two small black lines for the robots antennas.
-Pipe 2 grey dots on its feet and 3 smaller above the black rectangle. Oultline the 3 dots in black, I iced my first robot I made the mistake of making my grey dots to big, so they spread together, but practice makes perfect!!
-For the ears connecting the antennas to the head, pipe 2 red dots
-For the facial details, carefully pipe 2 red dots, one slightly above the other, then add smaller dots of fleshtone to the center to create the iris. To finish, pipe two black lines on slight angles, one above the eyes for the eyebrows and one below for the mouth. And finally, pipe a vertical line to the right of the face (see picture)
-And Voila!! Our little Robots are ready for action!
Step 25: Assembly Time!!
-We have to move fast with this step, remove your amazing icecream slab from the freezer and release it from the tin.
-Place it onto a chopping board and cut it into four.
-Place all but one of your icecream squares back in the freezer. Using your plastic stencil, cut around the template and remove any excess icecream.
-Immediately place back into the freezer and repeat for the remaining 3.
-Add 1 iced robot to the front and 1 un-iced to the back, return to the freezer while you work on the rest.
And now all that work has now payed off, there you have it - a delicious work of art!!
To save you licking melted icecream of the counter, I'll let you enjoy eating your robot immediately!! (If you could bear to - they're nearly too cute to eat!)
Step 26: Enjoy :]
Finalist in the
Frozen Treats Speed Challenge