Ice cream in a biscuit

Dark chocolate and roasted black sesame seed biscuits with vanilla ice cream
Dark chocolate and roasted black sesame seed biscuits with vanilla ice cream

I’m a first time ice cream maker. Eaten a lot of it. Never made it.  This vanilla ice cream recipe is from a dear friend’s mother. I was assured that not only was it delicious but it’s the old-school sort that does not require an ice cream maker. This was music to my ears as my kitchen is already too jam packed and the thought of adding another toy to it does not appeal. Our bench tops are already riddled with things that have no home.

Just ignore anyone who raises their eyebrows when you say you’re doing it without an ice cream maker. You too can feel the same smugness that I felt when I raced home from work, pulled out the freezer drawer and scraped my greedy finger across the pillowy softness of my very first homemade ice cream.

The ice cream (please note that this recipe is an over nighter)

Ingredients

1 litre of cream

1/2 cup of milk

350g castor sugar

8 egg yolks (beaten)

1 teaspoon vanilla essence OR three vanilla beans

Method 

Whip the cream well and set aside. Use a mix master (or someone with a very strong arm).

Place the milk and sugar in a saucepan. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. Bring to the boil very slowly. As soon as the mixture foams take it off the heat and gradually pour into the beaten egg yolks while whisking constantly.

Whisk until thick and creamy
Whisk until thick and creamy

Continue to whisk. At this point add your vanilla (either essence or scrape the pulp from vanilla beans) whisk again and then allow the mixture to cool. It should be thick and creamy.

Fold the cooled egg mixture into the whipped cream. Cover the bowl and put into the fridge for 24 hours.

Fold into the whipped cream(it was hard for me to not eat a lot of this)
Fold into the whipped cream(it was hard for me to not eat a lot of this)

Remove from fridge and beat well for two minutes (I used mix master). Pop into a container with a lid and then finally freeze (about 7 hours is about perfect).

I don't want to keep banging on about this but it really is very very soft.
I don’t want to keep banging on about this but it really is very very soft.

OK now for the biscuits.

Dark chocolate and black sesame seed biscuits 

Lick
Lick

Ingredients

125g butter (softened)

125g chopped dark chocolate

2 tablespoons roasted black sesame seeds (available from Japanese deli)

1 egg

1 3/4 cup self raising flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup raw sugar

Method

Beat the softened butter and sugars.

Slowly add egg while beating.

Add all other ingredients and beat til a moist dough forms.

Form heaped teaspoonfuls of the dough into balls and place on a tray (leave space for spreading). Lightly press each ball with a fork.

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Bake for 10-12 minutes in moderate oven. Leave to cool on a rack.

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A couple of notes on putting the ice cream sandwiches together: Firstly, make sure that the biscuits are very cold. Put them in the freezer for at least half an hour before serving. Same goes for any dishes you want to serve them on. This gives guests a way better chance of eating them before they melt. They’ll (literally) look a lot cooler for a lot longer.

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Think before you pink

Bubby, Little G and I were off getting an ice-cream after a morning’s play in the local park. Little G who was experienced in ice-cream selection quickly chose the flavour ‘Rainbow’ for himself and then announced that Bubby, who was not yet experienced in ice-cream selection would like the ‘Pink’ one. “Because she’s a girl”, he added. Ever looking up to her older cousin Bubby quickly parroted Little G’s choice of ice-cream for her as her own and they happily devoured their treats on the bench outside until they were covered in a lovely sticky mess.

Pink (aka strawberry) ice cream is a must.
Pink (aka strawberry) ice cream is a must.

Bubby had never expressed a preference for pink before this. She was quite happy with all colours equally, however from then on, pink was the go-to choice when given one. For her birthday I asked her what kind of cake she would like. “A pink one” she replied. She then told her Papa she was to have a pink birthday party. I needn’t tell her answer to what type of present she thought she might like… That’s right, a pink one.

And a pink cake it is!
And a pink cake it is! Photo credit Kat Barrington Photography

I’ve previously written about my position on pigeon holing girls into ‘girl’ colours and have ensured a range of boy, girl and unisex toys has been at her disposal since birth.  Bubby used to love to wear anything that been part of Little G’s wardrobe despite the ‘boy’ colours, but now she is irresistibly drawn to pink and anything that resembles a tutu (but that’s another tale to tell).  I realised that even through a simple ice-cream suggestion of ‘pink’ instead of ‘strawberry’ my daughter’s belief that girls should like pink had begun. Not just that they might like it, but that it was the colour for girls.

This desire for pink did not come from either of our houses – nor had Little G’s opinion about girls wanting pink ice-cream. So where had it come from? Maybe she does really genuinely like the colour now, or is she in autopilot thinking she’s supposed to like what all the other little girls at care were wearing? Was I concerned because I wanted my girls to explore outside the box? Or did it really only irk me because this monochrome loving mama would like her daughter to have more appreciation for the rarely-pink-but-still-ever-so-stylish clothing and play-things that I’ve carefully selected for her, rather than the garish and glittery mass-produced pink plastic stuff she is drawn to?

Pink. Pink. Pink.
Pink. Pink. Pink.

But no, it’s not just me trying to be a trendy, new-age mum (at which I fail repeatedly). There is some serious campaigning going on around this topic. One such campaign Let Toys be Toys, has recognised how the gender stereotyping for girls and boys has regressed over the years. Instead of liberating our children to be who they want to be, this relatively recent marketing for toys and clothing by colour-coding them into extreme ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ colours is hindering their choices by stereotyping the available selections.

Toys and play are essential to our kids learning development. By marketing toys with gender colours it limits the appeal to not just either sex, but the many parents and relatives whom are reluctant to by buy a gendered toy for the opporsite sex. Melissa Hine, a Professor of Psychology at Cambridge University, outlines in her article ‘There’s no good reason to push pink toys on girls’, that by limiting their choices, we’re impacting the development of social, verbal, writing and spacial skills  for both girls and boys. Hine firmly agrees that “Parents are right to be worried about the obsession with pink for girls”. So the next time I have my internal struggle about which colours to buy, I’ll know its not just about my own personal taste (ha) as I reach for the trendy, unconventional option and Bubby can just thank me later.

For the record, Little G’s favourite colour is Black.

If you're going to go plastic..
If you’re going to go plastic..

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