My quest to develop a gluten free ice cream sandwich took much more time than I expected. I first tried to adapt my own moist Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake recipe. I just left out the leaveners. However, it turned out very gummy and too chewy. In my search to adapt a gluten ice cream sandwich recipe, all recipes fell short of my expectations by viewing their photos. I couldn’t even turn to Martha Stewart or Joy of Baking, two of my favorite cooking sites.Leavener or No Leavener
I felt that perhaps my original chocolate cake recipe was the way to go, but with a bit of leavener. So, I thought I would leave out the baking powder and just used the baking soda. To be sure this was the way to go, I did a bit of research on Klondike and Nestle ice cream sandwich ingredients, and sure enough, they include baking soda! I added too much the first time, but now this recipe is just right.
Corn Syrup Substitute
I also noticed they both include corn syrup. Brown rice syrup makes a great substitute for corn syrup. This made total sense to me as it prevents the cookie/cake from crystallizing once frozen and makes it soft and chewy.
The Key to Commercial Brands
To make them similar to the commercial brands I would have had to use Expandex, a gluten free, modified tapioca starch. However, I wanted to use ingredients you all can easily obtain. For those who already have some on hand, just replace 1/4 cup of the tapioca starch in my flour blend recipe with Expandex.
Some brands also include soy lecithin, but egg yolks naturally contain lecithin. So, that was easily handled.
The Ice Cream
After experimenting, I ran out of vanilla ice cream and had to make some homemade ice cream. I went the chocolate route this time. Adding xanthan gum or guar gum to ice cream prevents ice crystal from forming and provides a chewy texture. I had experimented with this once before, but my ice cream still had ice crystals once frozen. So, this time I doubled the amount, 1 teaspoon per quart of custard. Using plenty of heavy whipping cream versus milk also helps prevent ice crystals from forming. It turned out awesome! I’ll post the recipe tomorrow.
In the bowl of your mixer, mix together all dry ingredients, including the sugar.
Add the warm milk to the bowl of your mixer, add the brown rice/corn syrup and mix to dissolve syrup. Add the oil, egg and vanilla; and beat on medium speed until smooth.
Pour 3 - 4 Tablespoons of the batter (just enough to cover the bottom) into each round pan or distribute evenly in two 9 x 9 pans. Tap the pans several times on your countertop to allow the bubbles to rise to the top and pop. Bake for about 11 minutes in round pans and about 15 minutes in two 9 x 9-inch pans.
For Round Pans:
Allow the cake to cool in the pans for about 3 - 5 minutes. Remove the rings if using round spring form pans. Using a butter knife, loosen the cake rounds and transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Transfer four rounds back to clean round spring form pans upside down. Add a layer of softened ice cream and place a round top side up and freeze.
For 9 x 9 Pans:
Allow the cake to cool in the pans for about 3 - 5 minutes. Using the parchment paper, transfer the cakes to a wire to rack to cool. Freeze each layer.
Once frozen, place a layer upside down in a clean 9 x 9 pan lined with plastic wrap. Layer it with softened ice cream and add the top right cake layer, right side up. Freeze the entire pan.
Once frozen, cut the ice cream sandwiches in your desired shapes.
Wrap the gluten free ice cream sandwiches in wax paper or parchment paper. Store them in a ziplock storage bag.
*You have the choice of using tapioca flour/starch or cornstarch in the all-purpose flour blend recipe. I used cornstarch.
If you are using spring form pans, be sure to remove the ice cream sandwiches as soon as they freeze; wash and dry the pans immediately. This will prevent them from rusting. Even non-stick pans have metal clamps that rust easily.
If you use a different size pan than specified above, pour only enough batter in the pan to cover the bottom.
For a less cake-like texture, substitute the egg for 2 - 3 egg yolks.