Recently, my wonderful friend from Australia came to visit. It has been almost 20 years since Deb & I first met during my year long college abroad experience. I have very fond memories of my year in Australia. Amazing people! Amazing country! Amazing food!
After a nostalgic round of Tim Tam Slams, we started talking about all the wonderful food I missed from Oz. Aside from my favorite Australian “biscuit,” TimTams, which she lovingly carried with her through her 20-day adventure across the U.S., I missed Homer Hudson ice cream, Magnum ice-cream bars (which are finally available here in the States), pavlova, & the chocolate mousse we'd make late at night (back when my metabolism allowed me to eat it without any major consequences).
I had tried through the years to find the recipe for these, but never found quite the right one. So, with Deb by my side, we set to work recreating some memories and reconnecting my taste buds with some of my favorite treats from Australia.
First let me translate a few things for my American friends. A biscuit is a cookie. In fact, try as we might, Deb and I could not think of an Australia equivalent to our American biscuits. But we do know that what Australians call a biscuit, we call a cookie.
Next let me explain the Tim Tam Slam. Tim Tams are the most wonderful chocolate “biscuit” ever. A Tim Tam Slam is a delicious & amazing technique for devouring a Tim Tam. You bite one corner of your Tim Tam, then turn it over and bite the opposite corner. Next you make your favorite hot drink, I prefer coffee or hot cocoa, but you can use very warm milk as well. Here's where it gets tricky — you have to use your cookie as a straw and suck up the warm liquid. AS SOON as you feel the liquid in your mouth QUICKLY shove the cookie in your mouth and — heaven! The cookie dissolves on your tongue. Amazing! So yummy!! There are almost no words for me to describe how much I love these cookies this way! Let's put it this way, when I was living Down Under I actually consumed an entire bag all by myself (should I be admitting to this?). Beware: Not only are these biscuits very addictive, but if you take too long to get them in your mouth after sucking up the coffee then it will disintegrate right back into your drink — a horrible waste of a Tim Tam!
Pavlova is a traditional is Christmas dessert in Australia. It is similar to a meringue, but so much better. It is light and fluffy and sweet. You top it with either unsweetened or slightly sweetened whipped cream and fruit. Now the best and most Australian version of the recipe tops the pavlova with strawberries, mangos, and passion fruit. Since it is winter here and we don't typically have mangos and passionfruit available to us, we used a variety of berries. Here is the recipe that we found. It is from Martha Stewart, but given to her by Geoffrey Rush, an Australian actor. Just don't use bananas as she suggested in this recipe. Both Deb and I agree that bananas just don't belong on pavlova — unless you really love them, then go for it.
This dessert may not be a traditional Australian dessert, but it sure should be. 🙂 You can make this mousse with any of your favorite chocolate bars, but Toblerone bars are incredible in this mousse since it leaves little nibbles of chocolate in the silky smooth mousse. Yum!Print
- 600 mL heavy cream (approximately 2 1/2 cups)
- 4 large Toblerone bars (7.5 oz. / 200g)
- 3 eggs at room temperature, separated
- Beat the heavy cream until thick and peaks form
- In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until white peaks form (about 2 minutes or so) using an electric beater.
- Chop chocolate bars up into smaller pieces so it melts more easily.
- Melt chocolate in the microwave — be careful not to burn. (I just do this in 30 second intervals for the start, then 10 seconds at a time until it is melted.)
- Mix egg yolks with fork and pour into chocolate. The chocolate will get thick & change consistency.
- Add chocolate mixture to cream and stir to combine. This will take a little bit to get the chocolate totally mixed in.
- Lastly, fold in the egg whites to add some extra fluff.
- Enjoy! (You can either stick it in the refrigerator or serve it right away)
Yes, I realize that this recipe calls for raw eggs. The egg yolks do get cooked a bit in the hot melted chocolate. I always use organic eggs. It's up to you about whether you chose to make this. 🙂 I feel very comfortable with it. Think homemade hollandiase sauce and mayonnaise. Just be sure to keep it in the refrigerator!
To keep with the Christmas theme, you can add finely crushed candy canes to this wonderful chocolaty dessert. It's fine plain, or with fruit.
Feel free to use your favorite chocolate bar for this recipe, but Swiss chocolate really is the best! (Lindt is great, too!)
Hope you enjoy these recipes as much as our family does!
Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!