Iced Vovo Biscuits


RECIPE: It’s Australia Day tomorrow, so I decided to make an Australian biscuit. The Iced Vovo was invented by Arnott’s (who used to be Australian owned – foreign ownership is now common). While the vanilla biscuit base in Hotly Spiced’s recipe is probably fine, I chose to use one I was familiar with from my Dorie’s Cookies cookbook so it would behave just as I expected it to.

COMPONENTS: Dorie has you prepare the biscuit mix then roll it out between parchment and freeze it for an hour before cutting and baking. This way you get a nice, consistent biscuit. You could probably follow this method for Hotly Spiced’s recipe too. The marshmallow in this recipe followed a different method to the marshmallow for the Chocolate Marshmallow Teacakes I made a while back. That one had you beat the sugar mix in a bowl over hot water. This recipe lets you cook the sugar mix, then allow it to cool a little before beating in a stand mixer. This method was easier and just as effective. Both methods seemed to turn out similar sorts of marshmallow (although this one added gelatine for greater stability). The recipe didn’t say to warm the jam, but the one I bought was firm, so I warmed it for 20 seconds in the microwave, and this was just enough to allow me to pipe it, without it being warm enough to melt the marshmallow.

ASSEMBLY: As the recipe warns, you need to work fairly quickly. Have the biscuits all laid out ready to pipe the marshmallow, because by the last few the marshmallow gets more tacky and difficult to separate from the piping tip. I chose to pipe little blobs rather than one long stripe as I thought it was prettier. The jam turned out to be easy to add down the middle. I almost forgot to add the coconut – this definitely finishes the biscuit, so don’t miss it.

IMPRESSION: My husband and I both loved these biscuits – they were worth the effort you have to put in compared to a plainer biscuit. And they were much better than the bought ones! A good crowd-pleaser to make for your Australia Day picnic.

Recipe by Hotly Spiced
Recipe for Vanilla Biscuit base from Dorie’s Cookies by Dorie Greenspan (but vanilla biscuit in Hotly Spiced is fine with the method I used).


Chocolate Marshmallow Teacakes


RECIPE: I wanted to try these teacakes after seeing them in a technical challenge on the Great British Bake Off Series 3, set by Paul Hollywood. The recipe is for 7.5cm domes, which I thought was too big so I made a smaller 4cm version. They were fiddly to make, but used ingredients most bakers have in stock all the time. There was way too much marshmallow for my teacakes, so I piped the leftover on top of some gingerbread biscuits and the combination was to die for.

COMPONENTS: The biscuit had a good flavour and great snap without being too tough to bite through. The recipe doesn’t recommend this but if you want a nice shiny finish you should temper your chocolate – I obviously didn’t do this and therefore have cloudy chocolate domes. I liked the thickness of my chocolate dome. It was sturdy enough to hold together when I removed the teacakes from the moulds, but not so thick that you needed a hatchet to break through to the marshmallow. My marshmallow was delicious and held it’s shape, although it was softer than I expected.

ASSEMBLY: Assembly went quite well except for the biscuits being a few millimetres too big to fit inside the mould, but that just meant I got more marshmallow into each one! I think to get a nice neat finish, fitting it inside is important.

IMPRESSION: The flavour didn’t excite me enough to try baking them again, but I’m curious about what they’d be like with a little salted caramel added just before you put the chocolate coated biscuit into the mould…

I used this recipe: Paul Hollywood’s Chocolate Marshmallow Teacakes