Sichuan Chile Crisp Sundae With Peanut Streusel
This sundae is based on the soft serve and chile oil combination that started showing up in Chengdu and Chongqing in 2018. The combination doesn’t sound like it should work, but it does, especially paired with a Sichuan snack-inspired spicy peanut streusel. You can use store-bought chile oil or chile crisp, such as Lao Gan Ma, in place of homemade Sichuan Chile Oil. You can also omit the peanut streusel or replace it with crushed peanuts.
- Serves: 2 persons
- 2teaspoons whole Sichuan peppercorns
- 2teaspoons Sichuan or Korean chile flakes
- 1whole star anise pod
- ½teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- ½teaspoon whole fennel seeds
- 1cup plus 1 tablespoon/170 grams blanched, skinless peanuts
- ⅓packed cup/85 grams light brown sugar
- ½teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓cup plus 2 tablespoons/55 grams all-purpose flour
- 6tablespoons/85 grams softened unsalted butter
- 4scoops vanilla ice cream
- 4tablespoons Sichuan Chile Oil, with its debris
- ½cup Sichuan Peanut Streusel
Step 1Prepare the peanut streusel: Adjust oven rack to center position and heat to 350 degrees. (If your oven has a convection setting, make sure it is off.)
Step 2Using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle, grind Sichuan peppercorns, chile flakes, star anise, cumin and fennel together into a fine powder.
Step 3Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade attachment. Pulse until peanuts are roughly chopped and a coarse meal-like texture is formed. (Alternatively, mix together with your fingers, lithely crushing the peanuts in a mortar and pestle or under a skillet before adding to other ingredients.)
Step 4Spread mixture over a parchment-lined sheet tray in little crumbles. Bake until deep golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through cooking, about 16 to 20 minutes. (The mixture will spread and flatten as it bakes.) As soon as the streusel is cool enough to handle, break it up into small chunks — it’s OK if they are a little uneven — then cool completely. Do not let the streusel cool completely before trying to break it! Once cooled, streusel can be stored at room temperature in a sealed container for up to two weeks. This recipe makes about 3 cups.
Step 5To serve, scoop ice cream into 2 bowls. Top with chile oil and streusel.