Sunshine Happytime (Golden Gaytime) Ice Cream


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

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.


Oatmeal Lace Cookies


23 years I have lived without knowing that these cookies existed. They’re basically chewy caramel with oats in it. Problem number one, they are mostly comprised of butter and sugar. Problem number two, this recipe makes about 60 cookies, so make sure that you have people to give these away to. What ever you do, don’t bake these and watch a whole season of Dance Moms because you will stress eat half of the batch.

A teaspoon doesn’t sound like a lot of mixture but this recipe spreads massively while baking. I did a test batch using a tablespoon of mixture and the cookies ended up waaay too big.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

Barely adapted from Oatmeal Lace Cookies over at Add a Pinch

225g unsalted butter

2 1/4 cups brown sugar, packed

3 tbsp plain flour

1 tsp salt

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/4 cups rolled oats

Preheat oven to 190 C and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper.

Combine the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring until the butter and sugar have melted together.

Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Beat in the flour, salt, egg and vanilla then mix in the oats.

Drop teaspoons of the mixture on to the prepared baking trays at least 5 cm apart.

Bake for 5-7 minutes, keeping a close eye on them to prevent burning (my oven took exactly 5 minutes).

Slide the cookies (baking paper and all) on to a flat surface and allow to cool completely before moving.

Repeat until all of the mixture is used up (have one batch cooking in the oven while you prepare the next batch).

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Caramel Slice


This is one of the first recipes I remember my Mum making in the kitchen. The reason I remember it so well is because my sister and I would hover nearby, waiting for her to finish pouring out the sweetened condensed milk before handing the remains over to us to scrape out with a spoon. We always thought she was too meticulous about getting every little bit from the tin before handing it over and we would beg and scream as we watched her steal precious condensed milk away from us.


The recipe has changed a lot since then but it was originally based on the Nestle recipe that is printed on the tins of condensed milk themselves. I don’t know if this is an Australian thing or not but it seems that a lot of peoples treasured recipes originally came from some kind of recipe suggestion printed on a packet. One of my favourites is the recipe for Pea and Ham soup that comes on packets of green split peas.

The main modifications that I’ve made to the original caramel slice recipe are halving the base and doubling the caramel. For me this results in the perfect ratio of base-to-caramel-to-chocolate but play around with it to find what you like. Sometimes I’ll be in the mood for an even thinner base so I’ll make the usual amount but halve it and freeze the other half for making a slice in the future. I started adding coconut oil to the chocolate to make it shinier and easier to cut but if you don’t have it in the house just add a few tablespoons of butter instead.


It’s Mother’s Day here in Australia, you couldn’t forget it even if you tried with the amount of jewellery ads on TV. My mother died three years ago and days like this are just starting to get a bit easier. My memories of her are heavily connected with food, she didn’t love to cook as much as me but she definitely loved to eat. I think about her every time I’m eating the remains of a tin of condensed milk (yeah, I don’t eat straight from the tin or anything…) and whenever I eat coriander, her absolute favourite herb. Cooking is my happy place and I’m glad she’s in it.

Caramel Slice


1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup self-raising flour

1/2 cup dessicated coconut

1/4 cup brown sugar

60g butter, melted


2 tins sweetened condensed milk

4 tbsp golden syrup

Top layer:

200g 70% dark chocolate

3 tbsp coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 180 C, line a slice tin with baking paper.

Combine all of the base ingredients together in a large bowl, mixing well so that everything is combined and moistened by the butter.

Transfer to the slice tin, pressing down with the back of a spoon to form an even layer.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Allow to cool slightly while making the caramel.

To make the caramel place the condensed milk and golden syrup in a medium saucepan together over medium heat.

Stir constantly with a spatula, scraping the bottom of the pan until the mixture starts to thicken, at which point keep cooking for another 10 minutes.

Pour the caramel over the base in the tin, spreading evenly with the spatula.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the top of the caramel has blistered.

Allow to cool for 30 minutes.

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil together in the microwave or a double boiler, mix well to combine then spread evenly over the caramel.

Place in the fridge to set.

To cut easily, allow the slice to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cutting into squares.

Caramel Popcorn Ice-cream

I couldn't even keep my spoon out of it long enough to take a photo!

I couldn’t even keep my spoon out of it long enough to take a photo!

This is some life changing frozen dairy we’re talking about here. To be honest I was sceptical about how much flavour you could get out of simple unadulterated popcorn but consider me flabbergasted.  Feeding this to people without telling them what to expect has to be the most fun I’ve ever had with food. Your brain has trouble reconciling the flavour of popcorn with the texture of silky smooth ice-cream but once it gets there it’s heaven.

It’s tailor made for my sister, who has been know on occasion (frequently) to eat popcorn for dinner and has caramel running through her veins. She actually closed her eyes and did a little happy dance the first time she tasted it. It’s beautiful eaten out of the container standing in front of an open freezer but it really shines served in a crispy waffle cone. This would make a great dessert for a movie night with a twist.

When I first got my ice-cream machine I was obsessed with making egg yolk based Ice-cream which is luxurious and totally worth the effort but the cornstarch based ice-creams are just so ridiculously easy I’m churning out (pun intended) ice-cream almost daily. It’s also nice not to have spare egg whites piling up in my freezer.

Caramel Popcorn Ice-cream

Adapted from Cindy’s Dulce de Leche Popcorn Ice Cream with Almonds and Coconut over at Hungry Girl por Vida.

A note about Caramel Top ‘n’ Fill, it’s a tinned pre-made caramel that is widely available in Australia but I don’t know how popular it is in America or other countries. It’s basically Dulce de Leche in a tin. It tends to hold the shape of the tin but a quick whisk brings it to a nice spreadable consistency. 

2 cups thickened cream

2 cups whole fat milk

8 cups popcorn

5 tsps cornstarch

2/3 cup caster sugar

2 tbsp corn syrup

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tin Top ‘n’ Fill (more if caramel is your thang)

The easiest way to make the popcorn is to put 1/4 cup of popcorn in a brown paper bag, fold the top of the bag a few times and for my microwave 2 mins on high was perfect. All together I used a whole cup of popcorn which turned into around 10 cups after I popped it, but who in their right mind would complain about having some extra popcorn to nibble on?

In a medium sized saucepan on medium heat combine the popcorn and cream, bring to a low boil, remove from heat and allow to steep with the lid on for 1 hour.

Sieve through a strainer, pressing with a spatula to extract as much cream as possible.

There should be around 1 cup of popcorn scented cream left. If there is less, top up with cream to bring it to 1 cup.

Mix 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch to make a smooth slurry. Set aside for later.

In a medium saucepan mix together the popcorn cream, remainder of the milk, sugar, corn syrup and salt.

Bring the mixture to a low boil, remove from the heat to add the cornstarch slurry, return to the heat and on a low boil mix for 3-4 mins or until thickened.

Remove from the heat and pour into a bowl.

Chill and mix over an ice bath or cover with glad wrap, placing it directly onto the surface of the ice-cream mix to avoid it forming a skin.

Chill overnight to make sure it is as cold as possible.

Churn in an ice-cream machine according to manufacturers instructions.

In a 1 Litre capacity container alternate layers of ice-cream and caramel, beginning and ending with caramel.

Stash in the freezer for at least 4 hours to allow the ice-cream to firm up, leave it overnight to be safe.