Sunshine Happytime (Golden Gaytime) Ice Cream

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Most Australians have grown up with Golden Gaytimes (and apparently in New Zealand they’re called Cookie Crumbles?), an ice cream on a stick that consists of toffee and vanilla ice-cream coated in milk chocolate then rolled in honeycomb biscuits.”It’s hard to have a Gaytime on your own” has been their tag line ever since the 80’s, which I feel shows that someone in the company had a great sense of humour. The tagline for my ice cream would be “Who would like a Happytime in the mouth?” a la Arrested Development.

A persistent Facebook campaign means that the beloved Golden Gaytimes have been released in tub form. Apparently a lot of people are excited about this development but I had a few questions. Will they add enough chocolate? How will they keep the biscuits crunchy? Will they keep the same BISCUIT TO ICE CREAM RATIO?! I decided to figure out my own version rather than spend the money on a tub and risk disappointment.

My first big decision was to go with just one type of ice cream flavour. To be honest I didn’t want to wait the time it would take to make two lots of ice cream so I settled on Salted Butter Caramel as my base flay-va. Making caramel is a bit terrifying at first (boiling sugar, what could go wrong?) but practice makes perfect. Just make sure that your spatula is heat proof or you will end up with poisonous and more importantly horrible tasting caramel.

I couldn’t find honeycomb biscuits anywhere so I figured chocolate coated honeycomb plus biscuits would work a treat. You will end up with a whole lotta honeycomb but you will eat half before the ice cream is even churned so don’t even worry yourself about it. The coconut oil in the chocolate helps the chocolate to melt quickly in your mouth, I hate it when you’re still chewing on a piece of chocolate long after the ice cream has melted away.

Space the stages out over a few days and this won’t be as much of a mission as it seems. I made the custard first, got it chilling away then got onto the honeycomb. If your ice cream machine has a tub that needs freezing beforehand get it done ASAP, even before you start the recipe. My freezer bowl has a permanent spot in my freezer but I’m aware that not everyone can cram it in there 24/7. You could always make your own biscuits but I felt it would be a shame to do all that work just to chop them up into little pieces.

Sunshine Happytime (Golden Gaytime) Ice Cream

Chocolate Coated Honeycomb (Adapted from Hokey Pokey over at Nigella.com):

100g caster sugar

4 tbsp golden syrup

1 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

250g milk chocolate

4 tbsp coconut oil

Line a large baking tray with baking paper then spray lightly with oil.

Place the sugar and golden syrup in a medium saucepan, mix together then place over medium heat.

The mixture will melt then start to bubble, allow to bubble without stirring for 3 minutes (if you have a thermometer the temperature should reach 150-154 C or 300-310 F).

Quickly but thoroughly mix in the bicarbonate of soda, the mixture will expand rapidly.

Turn out onto the prepared baking tray and leave to cool completely.

Line a slice tin with baking paper.

In a large microwave-safe bowl place the chocolate and coconut oil, melt gently in the microwave ( I use 80% power and do 30 second bursts).

Using you sharpest knife cut the honeycomb into small pieces (1 cm cubes) and quickly mix into the melted chocolate.

Pour into the prepared slice tin and smooth the mixture down evenly, place in the freezer until set.

Cut the block into small pieces (1cm cubes), store in the freezer until assembling your ice cream.

Ice Cream Base (Adapted from Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream over at David Lebovitz):

2 cups milk, divided

1 1/2 cups caster sugar

60g salted butter

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 cup thickened cream

5 large egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla extract

8 butternut snap biscuits

Pour 1 cup of the milk into a medium bowl and place a strainer over the top, set aside.

Spread the sugar in a large saucepan over medium heat.

When the sugar starts to melt use a heatproof spatula to gently stir the un-melted sugar near the hot parts of the saucepan.

Stir until all of the sugar has dissolved (don’t worry about some lumps).

Cook at the same heat until the caramel starts to smoke and smell like it’s burning.

Remove from the heat and and whisk in the butter and salt, add the cream once the butter has melted.

Parts of the caramel may harden but put the saucepan back on low heat and stir until all hardened bits have melted.

Stir in the remaining cup of milk.

In a small bowl whisk together the yolks then ladle in some of the warm caramel mixture and keep whisking.

Add this back into the saucepan with the rest of the caramel mixture and cook on low heat, mixing and scraping the bottom of the saucepan constantly with a heatproof spatula.

Cook until the mixture thickens or the temperature reaches 71-77 C (160-170 F).

Pour the mixture through the strainer set over the milk, remove the strainer and stir in the vanilla.

Cover with glad wrap, pressing it onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming.

Chill in the fridge overnight.

Freeze in your ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions.

While your ice cream is churning chop the biscuits into bite-sized pieces, keep in the freezer until you assemble your ice cream.

When the ice cream has finished churning layer it with the chocolate coated honeycomb and biscuits, you will need two 1L containers to fit all the ice cream and mix ins (You will probably have leftover honeycomb, it won’t last long).

Allow to freeze for at least 4 hours if not overnight.

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Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

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Winter is heeeeeeere! I know it’s a faux pas to talk about the weather too much but as a chronic warm-body winter is the only time of year I can stand having more than one layer on. It also means we can bust out Coco’s extensive collection of dog jumpers and now she’s too old to put up a fight (15, yo).

The only problem with winter is that my breakfast smoothies become slightly less appealing due to the can’t-feel-my-fingers-any-more factor. These cookies are an awesome make-ahead option that you can chuck in your bag to munch on before work/school/ sitting at home watching Glee etc. (DON’T JUDGE ME!).

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If you go with frozen blueberries use them straight from the freezer, don’t let them sit around at room temperature for too long. This will make them more likely to leak colour and make your cookies grey, but it won’t affect their flavour.

Blueberry Breakfast Cookies

Only slightly adapted from Blueberry Breakfast Cookies over at How Sweet It Is.

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup + 2 tbsp whole wheat flour

2 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

115g dark choc chips

2 ripe bananas, mashed

1 large egg

2 1/2 tbsp butter, melted

2 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

3 tbsp milk

3 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cups frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 175 C and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

In a large bowl mix together the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and choc chips.

In a medium bowl whisk together the banana, egg, butter, coconut oil, milk and vanilla.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.

Add the blueberries and barely mix them in (otherwise the colour of the blueberries will make your cookies go grey).

Drop 2 tbsp of mixture at a time onto the baking tray (I use my mini ice cream scoop) leaving at least 2 cm to allow for spreading.

Bake for 12-15 minutes then allow the cookies to cool on the baking tray.

Repeat until all of the mixture is used.

Cookies can be stored for up to 5 days.

Malted Nutell-Oat Smoothie

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I’m on a smoothie rampage, after drinking the same thing for breakfast err-day suddenly I’m obsessed with trying every smoothie recipe that comes my way. I’m a creature of habit, though, so that means a Mango Passionfruit Smoothie to start the day and a new recipe to take to work (I’m convinced that my daily smoothie is what’s keeping my immune system going even though I’m having trouble sleeping). This recipe in particular has everything I want in a milkshake but the addition of banana and oats makes it feel more nourishing. I figure as long as I’m getting some fibre and nutrients with my sugar I’m all good. Banana also has the magic property of keeping your smoothie thick even after sitting for a while, although you have to give it a stir to incorporate the oats having a rest at the bottom. I’m not a major banana fan but there is enough going flavour-wise to keep it in the background, although the sweetness it brings to the party is welcome. A smoothie to get you past 3 o’clock without getting into that family size bag of Malteser’s that keeps looking at you.

It still tastes great without the malt (not that I would ever sanction leaving out malt) but don’t pass up the vanilla extract and salt. Experiment and add more or less milk to change the consistency.

Malted Nutell-Oat Smoothie

Adapted from Nutella Oatmeal Cookie Shake over at How Sweet It Is.

1/3 cup oats (any kind)

375 ml milk

2 bananas, peeled and frozen

1/4 cup ice

4-5 tbsp nutella

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp malt powder

pinch of salt

(If your blender needs a little help getting the oats smooth, combine oats and milk in the blender, allow to sit in the fridge for 1 hour).

Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until combined.

Taste and add more Nutella if desired, blend again if adding anything.

Serve immediately.

Salty Choc Chip Oat Slice

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I felt so grown up today, I had to inform all interested parties about my change of address, something that I’ve been putting off since we moved in December (thank the lawd for mail re-direction). To reward myself I did something not so grown up and watched the episode of Pop Asia that I missed on Sunday (thank the lawd for SBS on Demand). This song is my current favourite. G Dragon, why you so pretty? As someone with a chronic lack of rhythm I’m also jealous of their dance moves. I know that I talk about Pop Asia a lot but if you could peer into my skull it would just be a vision of G Dragon and TOP dancing around a nacho hat and not much else.

If your days are as busy as mine, you need this slice recipe in your life. One bowl and only 20 minutes in the oven and you get a chewy, salty and chocolate-ey mouthful. It makes a biiiig pan of it too, share the love. Or eat the whole thing yourself and never tell a soul. No judgement here, it’s a safe place.

Salty Choc Chip Oat Slice

Slightly adapted from Salty Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars over at Cookies and Cups.

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tbsp milk

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp coarse sea salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 3/4 cups plain flour

2 3/4 cups oats

1 1/2 cups dark choc chips

Preheat oven to 175 C and line a 9 x 13 inch baking tin with baking paper (if your tin is larger or smaller you will have to change the cooking time accordingly), spray the baking paper lightly with oil.

In a large mixing bowl combine the oil, brown sugar, eggs, milk, vanilla and salt, mix well.

Whisk in the baking soda, flour and oats until just combined, then mix in the choc chips.

Transfer to the prepared baking tin, spreading it into an even layer.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tin then slide the slice out onto a wire rack to cool completely (the baking paper helps with this).

Honey Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Swirl

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The last few months have been hectic but satisfying. I’m working more which makes me really appreciate my leisure time. The way I’m choosing to spend my down time at the moment is basking in the glory that is Bridezillas. Watching crazy people makes me feel normal by comparison and I can’t help but point out to The Boyfriend how happy he should be with me. My immersion is getting to the point that hysterically yelling “I’m calling off the wedding!” is becoming the normal response to any kind of opposition. The best part is definitely the passive aggressive narration, it really is a cut above normal reality show standards. It has also strengthened decision to never, ever help anyone to plan and execute a wedding (sorry, Sarah).

With less time for recreational cooking I have to get my priorities in order and with the humidity that the citizens of Brisbane are subjected to on a daily basis, ice cream is very much at the top of my list. I’m still working my way through Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home and loving every minute of it. I had all of the ingredients for this in my fridge and pantry, my favourite kind of recipe. Whenever I try to drip chocolate into ice cream to create freckles, it reaches a critical point where the chocolate starts clogging up the spinning blade in my machine. Rather than blow my motor I find that it’s easier to layer the rest of the chocolate in the tub with the ice cream. If you have a fancier ice cream machine than me you might not even run into this problem (and if having your ice cream machine jam up with chocolate isn’t a first world problem, I don’t know what is).

Honey Peanut Butter Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Swirl

Adapted from The Buckeye State Ice Cream from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.

2 cups milk

1 tbsp plus 1 tsp cornflour

3 tbsp cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup peanut butter (if using salted, omit the salt from the recipe)

1/2 tsp fine sea salt

1 1/4 cups thickened cream

2/3 cup caster sugar

2 tbsp glucose syrup

2 tbsp honey

115g dark chocolate

2 tbsp coconut oil

In a small bowl mix together 3 tbsp of milk with the cornstarch to create a slurry, set aside.

In a bowl large enough to hold the finished mixture whisk together the cream cheese, peanut butter and salt (if using) until smooth, set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, glucose and honey, bring up to a boil over medium heat and boil for 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat, whisk in the cornstarch slurry, return to the heat and stir for 1 minute until mixture has thickened.

Remove from the heat and gradually whisk into the prepared peanut butter mixture until smooth.

Cover the mixture with cling film, pressing it down on to the surface to prevent a skin forming.

Chill overnight in the fridge.

Churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

While the mixture is churning, melt the chocolate and coconut oil together, stirring until smooth.

In the last minute of churning, start drizzling in the chocolate mixture (if the chocolate starts jamming up the machine, layer the chocolate in the tub with the ice cream instead).

Transfer the mixture into a 1L capacity container and freeze overnight.

Raw Choc Chip Cookies

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I’ve had more days off than usual lately, and unfortunately/fortunately that means more opportunities to cook. I’ve got baked goods coming out the wazoo and not a whole lot of it is healthy. I’m not a health nut but I do my best to keep things balanced (please ignore the kilo of Doritos that I got from Costco yesterday) and these Raw Choc Chip Cookies caught my eye. Another bonus is that they don’t require any kind of heat to make and that is kind of essential this time of year, all my homies in Queensland will know what I’m talking about. There is a large list of things that become an absolute no-no in summer which includes but isn’t limited to turning on the oven, leaving the house, eating soups/stews, moving beyond the limit of your fan and any unnecessary movements in general. As a result I’ve been collecting recipes that don’t need the oven, as well as watching every possible thing on my hard drive (had an all day Back to the Future Marathon, dayum that is an awesome trilogy).

If you want them to be gluten free then you will need to track down some gluten free oats. Oats are naturally gluten free but commonly gluten-tainted from being processed.

Adapted from Raw Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies over at This Rawsome Vegan Life.

1 cup rolled oats

10-15 dates, pitted

1 cup nut butter ( I used peanut butter)

2 tsp vanilla essence

2 tbsp water

5 tbsp liquid sweetener (I used honey but that makes them not vegan)

1 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 cup raw vegan chocolate, chopped

Blend the oats in a food processor until coarsely ground.

Add in all other ingredients (except for the chocolate) and pulse until the mixture starts sticking together in a dough.

Pinch the mixture between your fingers, if it sticks together easily it is done, if it is crumbly add more liquid sweetener 1 tbsp at a time and pulse until it does stick together.

Tip the mixture into a mixing bowl and stir through the chocolate.

Roll tablespoon sized balls (or press into a tablespoon measure and slide the formed cookie out like I did) and place on a tray lined with baking paper, chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

Whole Grain Double Chocolate Muffins

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Baking 12 muffins at a time works for large numbers of people but if you are baking for two and you like your muffins fresh, what’s a girl to do? Here’s what. Make up your own muffin mix and bake 4 at a time! Freshly baked muffins err-day. The muffin mix lasts quite a while but mine didn’t last a week (if you know what I mean). It took a few goes to get the timing right with my moody oven but that’s another benefit of baking small batches. If you can’t find/don’t want to buy spelt flour then just replace it with an equal amount of whole grain flour.

Whole Grain Double Chocolate Muffins

Adapted from Whole grain double chocolate muffins with salted caramel sauce over at Two Red Bowls.

Muffin mix:

1/2 cup spelt flour

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

2 tsp bicarb soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

In a large mixing bowl whisk together all of the dry ingredients until combined.

Add the vegetable oil and rub it into the mixture with your hands.

This mix will last for a month at room temperature or for three months in the freezer.

To make 4 large muffins:

1 1/4 cups of muffin mix

1 egg

4 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup dark choc chips, plus extra for sprinkling.

Preheat the oven to 180 C, line a muffin tin with 4 paper liners.

Mix everything together until just combined then divide evenly between the 4 paper liners.

Sprinkle the top of each muffin with choc chips.

Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a skewer poked in comes out clean.

Allow to rest in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.