Australia Day is a potent mixture of patriotism, nostalgia and icons. It is a day for reflecting on who we are, how we got here and where we are headed. If we dare to be honest it is not easy to navel-gaze and remember how our nation of Australia was founded in the land of the many nations of Aboriginal Australia. I have written about remembering the nation's Aboriginal origins before.
Violet Crumble, an Australian chocolate covered honeycomb bar, was created in 1913 by Hoadley's Chocolates in Melbourne. As a child my sister and I alternated giving my dad bags of Violet Crumbles and Polly Waffles each Christmas.
In 2009, the Polly Waffle was discontinued by Nestle who have now taken over Hoadley's Chocolates. I sometimes worry the Violet Crumble will go the same way. They no longer sell bags of small pieces, only bars. Yet it seems that the similar Crunchie, which was created in England by Fry's in 1929, is more popular. We rarely had Crunchie when I was growing up and I still find the melting honeycomb filling looks unnaturally yellow, tastes a little burnt and melts in the mouth rather fast compared to the harder mellower Violet Crumble that really does shatter in the most pleasing way.
We don't eat a lot of chocolate bars so in some ways it doesn't affect us much. Yet in other ways, it makes me sad that globalisation means that foreign chocolate bars are elbowing our home made icons out of the way. The same might be said for my favourite Chokito bar (which I assume is Australian but can't confirm). And Darrell Lea chocolates are just hanging in there. Last week it was announced that another Australian chocolate manufacturer, Ernest Hillier, had gone into voluntary administration.
Shaheen who asked what a corn jack was. It is the roll with the crispy skin and creamy corn filling.
By the time we got to the beach it was raining and we huddled under a tree in our cardigans. Then we walked along the beach, bought ice creams from a van, splashed about in the waves and got sunburnt. I had honey crunch ice cream, Sylvia had strawberry and E had plain. Later he told us the fish was bland and so was the ice cream. He had thought 'plain' meant Madagascan vanilla rather than what it said on the label!
- At a park where the ice cream van kept come around with its music on. We can resist the music when we hear it at home but it is harder in the park. A little kid dropped her ice cream in front of us and was given another.
- At a local shop where I have often promised to take Sylvia. There were chewy bits in the ice cream which I wasn't keen on.
- At Barwon Heads on our recent holiday. Sylvia and her cousin got rainbow ice creams while I dreamed of buying the nearby raw vegan pad thai
Burns Night. We like to have vegetarian haggis to remember Robert Burns birthday. Luckily I had some in the freezer leftover from New Year's Eve.
I had been determined to follow a recipe in my new McSween Haggis Bible. Let's just say that I started with a recipe but my resulting haggis stuffed courgettes baked with a tomato sauce was unrecognisable. I started just baking the stuffed courgettes but they took so long I covered them with tomato sauce to soften them with some steam. They were delicious eaten watching the Australian Open (tennis). The remaining stuffed courgettes will go on pizza tonight.
Malta Today but I later found it was almost a family recipe when my sister in law told me she made it that way. (It came from my brother's, wife's, sister's, husband's grandmother!)
Yet I am never very confident about whipping cream. I messed up the ice cream the first time by overbeating the cream. The texture wasn't quite right and it needed to soften up so I could scoop it out. (Can you see the texture is wrong in the above photo!)
It has been a very relaxed Australia Day here after some very busy days. We have had time for pancakes, games, nail polish, cups of tea, face paint, television, making a doll's jungle gym out of a stool, and reading the weekend newspaper. My favourite line was in an article in The Age by John Huxley (A Brummie from Balmoral) who writes that the past is "slippery, shifty, elusive, subject to change. Like old loves, homes, cars, jobs, favourite things, so much of what we miss no longer exists. If it ever did." I hope you are enjoying your day too.
More Violet Crumble Recipes:
Chocolate honeycomb slice - ninesm
Honeycomb, chocolate and almond pavlova: What Katie ate
Pumpkin ice cream with home made violet crumble - taste.com.au
Violet crumble brownies - Thoroughly nourished life
Violet crumble cheesecake - Best recipes
Violet crumble cookies - Belly rumbles
Violet crumble lamingtons - Here's something I prepared earlier
White choc honeycomb mud cake - taste.com.au
We Should Cocoa and Kavey of Kavey Eats for Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream. Choclette and Kavey have combined their blog challenge and asked for ice cream with chocolate this month. (The closing date for submissions was yesterday but Kavey has said it is fine to be a day late.)
If you would like more Australian recipes, I did a round up of Aussie recipes from my blog and elsewhere last year.
Violet Crumble Ice Cream
Serves 6 to 8
300ml double cream*
1/2 cup condensed milk
100g violet crumble*
Use hand held beaters to beat cream and condensed milk until thick enough to hold its shape (I think this might be called soft peak stage - I just beat it with beaters on low until it reached the ribbon stage and then beat another few seconds - this seemed to help make sure it didn't turn into butter). Roughly chop violet crumble and stir in. Tip mixture into a tub and freeze overnight or until solid. It is creamy enough that it doesn't need to sit out of the freezer to soften before serving.
*NOTES: It is a very rich ice cream so we preferred a 35% butterfat to a 51% butterfat cream. Violet crumble is a chocolate covered honeycomb. You could substitute other chocolate covered honeycomb or even make your own.
On the Stereo:
Born Sandy Devotional: the Triffids