It’s un-Australian to not have a day off work to commemorate Anzac Day.
There, I said it.
There were much blood, sweat and tears shed leading up to the eventual celebration of this public holiday so that we- I mean they! They, the Anzacs, and subsequently other war veterans, can kick back, have a stubby with their mates and play two-up on a day off work. Sure, there was a public holiday declared on the Saturday but what use is that if there isn’t a compensatory day given the following Monday. This doesn’t even warrant a question mark as we all know what the answer is.
In reflection of the un-Australian act only adopted by a few states, I’m going to be doing what, at the heart for me, is a very un-Australian thing to do – mess with the Anzac biscuit.
Initially, I went with the idea of making them by hand and including some wacky ingredients. Then, a simpler idea presented itself.
But first, the ingredients.
This moment of inspiration began when shopping for Anzac biscuits. There were two varieties available at the time – the off-the-shelf variety made by Unibic pictured above and a supermarket variety that was supposedly produced from their in-house bakery.
Just look at the packaging! How more Australian could you get than that? It would draw a salute and a proud tear from the eye of a patriot.
It also drew a tear from my eye but only because these were terrible Anzac biscuits, at least in my opinion. There is no saluting this biscuit, as everything I would expect from an Anzac biscuit wasn’t there – crunchy without the moist chewiness, no visible sign of oats, the taste and texture felt all wrong and so forth.
The picture as a visual metaphor says it all. When stacked up along side the supermarket bakery one (right), it falls short and does not surpass it.
Not to say that the other ones were fantastic either. It was ok, and served its purpose considering I wasn’t in the mood to bake. This was the one I selected.
Now, the next step in the process involves a cookie cutter ring. The cookie cutter serves a dual purpose here – firstly to cut things to a uniform shape and, later on, as a mould to hold things together.
Is it just me or is there some irony in using a cookie cutter after the cookie has been baked.
Anyhow, as illustrated you use the cookie cutter to cut into the Anzac biscuit. Now, if you’re going to try this one out yourself, you may want to select a softer, chewier Anzac over a crunchy one. Otherwise, this will be a lot of hard work.
The Digger is an Anzac biscuit inspired ice cream from Homer Hudson. Though I wouldn’t say that it tasted like an Anzac biscuit, you can tell where they were heading with this flavourwise. It’s a great ice cream and probably my favourite from the Homer Hudson range.
Now, with one of the Anzac biscuits positioned at the bottom of the cookie cutter, place a scoop of ice cream into the mould. Press down the ice cream in the mould with a spoon a little just so it gets to the edges at the bottom.
Grab the other Anzac biscuit round and place that into the top of the mould and press down gently until the ice cream is nicely sandwiched between the two. You should feel some resistance when you get to this stage.
Unmoulding the Anzac biscuit ice cream sandwich may be a little tricky. However, I found the simplest way was to get a cookie cutter ring that is slightly smaller than the one that was used for the mould. Place the moulded ice cream sandwich over the smaller ring and press down, sliding the mould ring away from the ice cream sandwich while it sits on top of the smaller cookie cutter ring. From there, use a spatula or just grab the base of the sandwich and then either put back into the freezer if you’re making a number of these or plate for immediate service.
Is it un-Australian? If it is, how more Australian can you get whilst stepping across the un-Australian line?
Does it work? The pairing of biscuit with ice cream, a classic combination. The harmony of Anzac biscuit flavours with Anzac biscuit inspired flavours. How could this possibly fail?
However, fail it did.
One thing you need to realise about anything involving gooey, sugary substances is that they often have the tendency of setting up like a rock when brought into contact with the cold. I’d unwisely popped the whole thing in my mouth and ended up eating ice cream sandwiched between two slabs of marble.
For the record, I did manage to finish it but I’d dislocated my jaw in the process. It would have been pretty nice if it wasn’t rock hard.
If you are serious about making this and if I had my time again, I would have broken up the biscuits and then repacked them in the cookie cutter moulds like a biscuit base for a cheesecake. So long as they’re not compacted too much, they should have enough give to save you from having to realign your jaw.
After the disappointing failure of the Anzac biscuit ice cream sandwich, I needed a pick-me-up. The cut-off scraps of Anzac biscuit were chopped up and sprinkled over scoops of Homer Hudson Digger ice cream.
After all that effort, this was by far the best pairing of these two ingredients. No cookie cutters. No fancy presentations. Some may even say it’s simple and honest.
If you feel inclined to bake your own Anzac cookies, you can find recipes at A Table for Two, fig & cherry as well as pikelet & pie. If you thought my Anzac Biscuit Ice Cream Sandwich was a travesty, check out this monstrosity. And here I thought my idea was unique…