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.

Sweet and Salty Crunchy Nut Bars

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This is a great recipe for any kitchen minimalists out there. It’s an amazing throw together recipe for edible presents and anyone who is a fan of peanuts will thank you for it. It’s sort of like a Peanut Slab but with salt and honeycomb mixed in. I always add an extra Crunchie Bar because I am a honeycomb fiend but just put in four if you want the ratio to tip in the favour of the peanuts. This recipe comes to you from the the lady who puts the kitsch in kitchen, Nigella Lawson. Anyone who has been to my house for dinner will have been subjected to hours of Nigella on the TV, not including my long suffering housemates. But not to worry, they don’t complain too much because they know which side their bread is buttered on. My sister is particularly susceptible to Nigella’s charms and if I don’t make any sudden movements she’ll stay curled up in the recliner, hypnotised, either until the series finishes or dinner is ready. If the boyfriend gets drawn in he says “Can we have that?!” to every second recipe. And if I could possibly find any fault with my idol, it would be this. She is so prolific that even watching her shows every possible moment, I can never remember which recipes that I planned to cook! I need to physically write down which recipes I want to try before I forget them.

To be fair, though, I might possibly have this problem with every other cooking show that I watch. It might just be a case of knowing that there are so many good recipes out there and I just want to cook them all right away! I have this chronic paranoia that my new favourite food is hiding  around the corner and what if I never cook it and miss out forever?!… And if you’re wondering, yes, I do get this excited in real life talking about food and I have on occasion embarrassed my significant other by babbling maniacally to shop owners or stall holders at the markets. Fortunately he is aware of the pro’s of our relationship (eg. constant supply of baked goods, cupcakes on demand for co-workers, etc), not to mention that he gets the exact same glint in his eye fanboy-ing over European boardgames.

Oh right, there’s meant to be a recipe somewhere in here. Change up the ratio of dark to milk chocolate to suit your mood, I’ll bet a white chocolate version would make super cute Christmas presents. The only tip I can offer is to melt the chocolate on super low heat but if your chocolate mixture doesn’t stay smooth, don’t freak, I make mine grainy all the time and it still tastes great.

Sweet and Salty Crunchy Nut Bars

Adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Sweet and Salty Crunchy Nut Bars from her book Nigella Kitchen.

200g dark chocolate, chopped

100g milk chocolate, chopped

50g butter

3 tbsp golden syrup

2 1/4 cups roasted, salted peanuts

5 X 50g Crunchie bars

Line a slice tin with baking paper.

Crumble Crunchie’s (or chop) and put into a large bowl and add peanuts, mix well.

Combine both types of chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a small saucepan and place over low heat, stirring until melted.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the large bowl and stir until all ingredients are combined and evenly distributed.

Transfer mixture into the lined slice tin, spread evenly with a spatula.

Place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours, then cut into desired shapes.

Will keep in an airtight container, refrigerated for 3-4 days.