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Spanish restaurant hacks a sandwich press to bake ‘hot’ ice cream. Say what?

Ice cream is good any time of year, but it’s particularly refreshing when you go indoors and away from the sweltering summer heat to an icy cold treat. So why would a restaurant decide that “hot” ice cream is a genius menu item? Because it just is.

Before you get too confused, it’s not the ice cream that actually gets hot. El Celler de Can Roca, a restaurant based in Catalonia, Spain, has reconfigured a sandwich press so that it can bake fresh batches of brioche with ice cream inside. Calling the machine the Oxymoron Maker II, all the baker has to do is scoop ice cream (and whatever other fillings you want) between two pieces of dough. The raw sandwich is then placed inside the machine for a few seconds to thoroughly cook the dough, and the result is a single piece of bread with a deliciously cool surprise inside. Take that, physics.

Designed by artist Andreu Carulla, the machine is made with stainless steel and bamboo plywood, custom made to bake just the perfect personal portion of ice cream brioche. “The contrast … is quite an experience,” he writes. “It is worth tasting!”

The Oxymoron Maker II, as Carulla indicates in the name, is the second edition of this device. The new version has better LED lighting to indicate on or off, and a cooling system to keep the machine from getting too hot and melting the ice cream too soon. Sadly, the machine is not for sale as El Celler de Can Roca wants to make this menu item an exclusive.

For those who won’t have to chance to fly to Catalonia in the immediate future, there’s always fried ice cream generously found at various restaurants and state fairs. If you want to hack your own version at home, however, we would recommend cutting slices of bread, flatting out the middle area for an ice cream scoop, and piecing your own using a regular sandwich press. We can’t promise the ice cream scoop won’t slop everywhere before your treat finishes cooking, but it can’t hurt to give it a shot for the sake of fattiness.