There are photographs from the Jersey Shore circa 1905, titled "On the beach, Atlantic City," showing ice cream sandwiches were popular then for only a penny each. The ice cream sandwiche as most of us know it—chocolate wafers and vanilla ice cream—was invented in 1945 by Jerry Newberg when he was seling ice cream at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. There have been lots of variations—chocolate chop cookies, other ice creams—but we think the original is still the best, especially when taken to new heights by Bambara's pastry chef, Rebecca Moore.
Disclosure: Moore's version costs considerably more than one cent.
Chocolate Sponge Cake
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 10x15-inch-rimmed baking pan, and line it with parchment paper, leaving a slight overhang on two sides of the pan. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Stir in the melted butter until smooth. Add the sifted flour mixture and stir until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cake is no longer wobbly in the center. This cake is thin, and there is no need for the toothpick test here. You want the cake to be very soft, or it will be difficult to assemble and cut the sandwiches.
Let the cake cool completely. Using the parchment overhang, remove the cake from teh pan carefully. Cut the cake in half. Put one half of the cake back in the baking pan, top side down. Remove the parchment from the cake. Spread softened ice cream on the cake, reaching to the sides. You can make is as thick or thin as you like. Put the other half of the cake on top of the ice crea, top side down. Remove the parchment. Place plastic wrap over the sandwiches, and place in the freezer to set overnight.
Cut sandwiches in eight pieces. Serve immediately or wrap individually and store in the freezer.