the No.9 - toasted brioche ice-cream sandwich w homemade caramel sauce

All plans for my next recipe post hit the back burner literally, when I laid eyes on No.9.  No 9. that is in the new Gourmet Traveller HOT 100 list.  But in this case it's COLD.  We’re told Sydney’s hip cafes are the place to enjoy the re-birth of an old favourite, ice-cream toasted sandwiches. It’s the Monaco bar gone gourmet. And it's heavenly.  

As a delicious day of play in Sydney is not on my radar anytime soon (sob, poor me), I thought "let's make it at home, pronto!" I used top quality vanilla ice-cream and my quick homemade caramel sauce and... voila.  Of course you can buy a loaf of freshly baked brioche to super express this recipe if you’d like. I’ve made mine cause good brioche is hard to find around here. Plus I adore baking bread and wanted plenty leftover for Mum’s classic Bread and Butter Pudding to share with you next time. It’s only the most popular cool weather dessert for the past 100 years or so. 

IngredientsFor Brioche dough - 160 ml milk   1 ½ teaspoons dried yeast ❤ 5 egg yolks, at room temperature, lightly beaten ❤ 375 grams plain flour, sifted plus extra for kneading ❤ generous pinch of sea salt ❤ 30 grams caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling ❤ 150 grams butter, diced and softened to room temperature, not melted plus a litte extra for greasing dough bowl    Egg wash - 1 egg yolk mixed with 1 teaspoon of water to glaze 

Good quality Vanilla Ice-Cream

For Quick homemade Caramel Sauce - 1 tablespoon butter ❤ 1 cup brown sugar ❤ 1 teaspoon cornflour dissolved in 1 cup of milk ❤ 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method + Tips

To make brioche - Grease and line large loaf tin with baking paper. Heat milk in a small saucepan over low heat until warm.  Put half the milk in a bowl and sprinkle over the yeast, stir until dissolved if necessary. Stand this bowl in a warm place (not hot, just warm) until yeast has activated and become frothy (8-10 minutes). Whisk eggs yolks and remaining milk in a bowl and set aside.

Place the dry ingredients; plain flour, caster sugar and salt into the bowl of your mixer with the dough hook attached.  You really do need a mixer with dough hook for brioche, it’s pretty hard work kneading it sufficiently by hand. Combine dry ingredients at low speed. 

Make a well in the dry ingredients and add egg mixture and yeast mixture to the centre. Mix continuously on medium speed for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and sticky. Stop the mixer and clean down the bowl sides with a spatula.  Turn mixer back on medium and add diced butter in three additions until the butter is well combined and dough is elastic, shiny and comes away from the sides of the bowl (about 8 minutes). Place in a lightly buttered bowl and allow to stand covered for 1 ½ hours until dough has doubled in size. Knock back dough with your fist and knead lightly until smooth. Shape into the loaf size and place into the prepared tin to rest a second time, another ½ hour.

 Preheat oven to moderate 180C (350F).  Brush loaf with egg wash and sprinkle caster sugar all over.  Bake until golden and risen well, approx 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

To assemble - Toast thick slices of brioche until golden brown and butter lightly. Place buttered side of one slice down on the serving plate. Spread vanilla ice-cream on top in a thick even layer.  Sandwich other brioche slice on top of ice-cream with the un-buttered side facing down.

Drizzle caramel sauce around the plate and over the top of sandwich too if desired.

To make the caramel sauce

Dissolve cornflour in a cup of cold milk and set aside. Heat and melt butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan, stirring well.  Cook for 4-5 minutes slowly over low heat. Add the cup of milk to the pan and stir with wooden spoon until it boils. Take off the heat and add the vanilla to mix through when the caramel sauce is cold. I don’t cook this particular caramel sauce for too long as it’s more an ice-cream drizzle than a tart filler so best on the bit runnier side.  It thickens a little too, once cooled.  Store any leftover caramel in a sealed jar in the fridge for another use.

I should say this isn’t the recipe Wilbur’s Place in Pott’s Point Sydney use. Their brioche looks like it’s been in the sandwich press - very lovely and golden. I’ve created this recipe to replicate the dish but credit Wilbur's and Gourmet Traveller for the inspiration and gorgeous p.97 pic in their May edition. Enjoy!