I don’t think there has ever been a more Australian sounding sentence than Anzac biscuit Golden Gaytime ice cream sandwich. If you’re not from Down Under then you’ll have no idea what this recipe is about, so let me enlighten you.
Today is Anzac day. A day of remembrance for the Australians who have died in wars, conflicts and peacekeeping missions. But what does that have to do with biscuits? Well, as the story goes, Australian wives and mothers would bake these oat, coconut and golden syrup biscuits to ship to their fighting boys during WWI. Since the biscuits lasted a lifetime, the men could keep them in their pockets as a tasty reminder of home.
I always make a batch of Anzac biscuits around this time, but this year, I thought I would ham it up with another Australian classic, the very dicey named Golden Gaytime. The GG was an ice cream from my mother’s era on the dusty streets of suburban Melbourne. The flavours were toffee, honeycomb and vanilla all dipped in chocolate and shoved on a stick. Mum loved it, but it had well and truly lost favour (partly thanks to the name) by the time I was old enough to choose my own ice cream and they’ve since stopped making it.
Since I’m a sucker for nostalgia, I thought would shove the two together for a summertime treat that is more Australian than 100 shrimp on the barbie!
If you’ve never had an Anzac biscuit by the way, you’ll quickly learn that they are devilishly addictive. The list of ingredients sounds like the sort of thing your grandmother would get hyped over – coconut, oats, golden syrup? Golly that sound delicious!… said every Nan ever, but actually, once baked, the flavour is similar to a really grown-up muesli bar with plenty of toasted nut notes and a caramel depth that comes from the brown sugar. Of course, then I go and make it super childish by chopping up a chocolate bar and swirling it through a toffee-laced vanilla bourbon ice cream.
Frankly this is the best thing that has ever happened to a Crunchie bar. On their own, those things taste like a dusty cough. They have found their new calling as delicious bits of honeycomb texture in this ice cream, which, if I haven’t made clear enough is VANILLA BOURBON. No sweeter words hath the English language ever paired. Oh yeah and then there’s toffee, which is just the cherry on a smoky, smooth, sweet, crunchy eat-by-the-bucketful ice cream that quite simply makes gelato ashamed in the sort of over-the-top way that only loud boisterous foreign tourists in the St Mark’s Square can.
The Italians have never seen a dessert like this is what I’m saying. So happy Anzac Day, happy ice cream sandwiching and happy culinary excess. Simple, understated flavours, the door is thata way!
Anzac biscuit Golden Gaytime ice cream sandwich
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
¾ cup coconut
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
1 tbsp golden syrup
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp boiling water
vanilla and bourbon ice cream
150ml thin (pouring) cream
200ml full-cream milk
4 egg yolks
30g brown sugar
35 g caster sugar
40ml bourbon (optional)
1 vanilla bean
1 Crunchie chocolate bar, chopped
300ml double cream
85g butter, diced
100g light muscovado sugar
Preheat oven to 150°C. Combine your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Melt the butter and syrup over a gentle heat. Add the boiling water and stir into the dry ingredients. Heap tablespoons of the mixture onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Leave 2cm of space between each biscuit as they tend to spread. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Cool completely.
For your toffee sauce, put the cream, butter and sugar in a saucepan. Melt together, then bubble, stirring, until toffee-coloured. Remove from the heat and set aside.
For your ice cream, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and combine a small saucepan with the cream and milk. Place over a low heat and bring almost to the boil. In a separate bowl, combine the yolks and sugar. Pour the heated cream into the eggs while whisking constantly. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirringly constantly, until the custard coats the back of a spoon (8 minutes). Cool completely, then stir in your bourbon and churn according to your ice cream machine’s instructions. When the ice cream is set, fold through the chopped up Crunchie bar and about 3 tablespoons of toffee sauce to get a ripple effect.
To assemble your ice cream sandwiches, grab a biscuit, top with a scoop of ice cream and a drizzle of toffee sauce and pop another biscuit on top. Squeeze slightly to join and chow down.