DIY Rainbow Gaytime

Last year I was lucky enough to visit Australia and experience the joy that is the Golden Gaytime. For the less fortunate, it’s a toffee and vanilla flavoured ice cream coated in chocolate and biscuit pieces. In the UK we have Feast which is similar but tastes of chocolate and sadness — the Feast can’t hold a candle to the wonderous Gaytime.

Anyway, the Gaytime has something of a cult following. Jesse McElroy, a Gaytime superfan has previously successfully campaigned to bring Gaytime tubs and a Gaytime Cornetto to market. For Sydney Mardi Gras he released a photo of a Rainbow Gaytime prototype which got everyone excited but it doesn’t seem to have materialised.

So I thought I’d have a bash at it myself. You might know that Australia is currently in the process of arranging a plebiscite on equal marriage. It’s something I feel strongly about even though I can’t vote so this is one way in which I can express love for my Aussie friends who are currently working incredibly hard to make sure the right thing gets done.

The process

McElroy didn’t release any details of his prototype so I had to experiment. My first thought was to try and use food colouring to dye crushed up biscuits, but that just made a soggy mess.

Then it hit me — rather than trying to dye pre-baked biscuits, what if I baked the biscuits with the colour and then crushed them? So I whipped up a prototype batch and was happy to find that it worked perfectly.

So here’s how it works — make up a simple shortbread recipe, split the dough into six and add the colourings. It’s important you use highly-concentrated bake-stable colourings to get the bright colours. I used Sugarflair. You also don’t need to buy all six colours — you can just use red, blue and yellow, mixing them as needed to get the orange, green and purple. I also added some concentrated toffee flavouring for the authentic Gaytime flavour.

Rainbow shortbread dough ready to shape and bake

Then you just need to bake some biscuits ready to be crushed. It sounds harsh, but these biscuits were born for a greater purpose. You can bake extra shortbreads and eat them as-is. They look great on their own. One tip is to err on the side of underbaking them to avoid them burning and compromising the colour. This is particularly important for the yellow and blue batches.

Rainbow shortbreads fresh out of the oven

When crushing the biscuits you’ll want to be thorough and get the crumbs as small as possible for best coverage. Large crumbs look good but it’s hard to get them to stick. Put the crumbs in bags and freeze them, spreading them out to avoid clumping. When it’s done you should have something like this:

Rainbow crumbs ready to go

Then it’s just a case of applying the crumbs to the Gaytime. I did that by melting some chocolate on a bain-marie and then painting it onto the ice cream before applying the crumbs. You have to work quickly as the cold ice cream will solidify the chocolate so I found it easiest to do it in small sections rather than trying to do a whole band at once. Another reason to go quickly is the that the ice cream doesn’t melt and leak out of the chocolate, but this is a messy job any way so be prepared to get covered in chocolate, ice cream and colourful crumbs. I found some in my ear just now, not even joking.

So the final result will look something like this — maybe not as photogenic as the prototype but still fabulous. You’ll probably want to pop them back in the freezer in plastic bags so they don’t just melt everywhere, but whatever floats your boat.

Finished Rainbow Gaytimes

The Recipe

Essentially this is just a shortbread recipe with extra steps, but anyway. The quantities here will give you heaps of biscuits so you should have extra that you can use as-is. If you aren’t bothered you can probably halve the quantities.

DIY Rainbow Gaytime

DIY Rainbow Gaytime

Ingredients 

  • 125g unsalted butter 
  • 55g caster sugar 
  • 180g plain flour 
  • 100g chocolate — I used dark but milk should work too if you prefer 
  • Concentrated bake-stable food colouring like Sugarflair 
  • Golden Gaytimes, of course! 
  • Concentrated toffee flavouring (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine the sugar and butter 
  2. Sift in the flour 
  3. Combine to a smooth paste 
  4. Add toffee flavouring if using 
  5. Split the dough into six and add the colouring 
  6. Roll the dough into a 2cm-wide log and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes 
  7. Preheat the oven to 190c 
  8. Cut the dough log into 1cm rounds 
  9. Bake for 10 minutes — be careful not to let them brown, err on the side of underbaking 
  10. Crush the biscuits into crumbs and freeze, separating the colours 
  11. Melt the chocolate over a bain-marie 
  12. Using a pastry brush paint the chocolate onto the Gaytime in bands, then stick the crumbs to the chocolate. Work on a small section at a time to avoid the chocolate cooling too quickly. 
  13. Work your way through the colours until done, then put the finished Rainbow Gaytimes in the freezer. 
  14. Enjoy, and don’t forget to vote in support of equal marriage 😉 
http://monkeybakes.co.uk/diy-rainbow-gaytime/

You should have a heap of leftover rainbow crumbs which you could use as a topping for cakes, ice creams, chuck them in any leftover chocolate to make a bark or just eat them with a spoon like I did.

Leftover rainbow crumbs

Shortbread recipe adapted from BBC Food.

S’mores Cookie Bar Bites

It’s officially summer, which means barbecues, festivals and camping — whatever the weather!

For Americans, that means s’mores. These little pieces of magic combine three simple ingredients — biscuit, marshmallow and chocolate — and turn them into gooey, sticky, delectable treats that’ll have you coming back time and again for “some more” — hence the name!

These cookie bar bites are like an extra-gooey blondie and are adapted from a recipe on Sally’s Baking Addiction, one of my absolute favourite baking sites. They’re simple to make and guaranteed to get a reaction — take them to the next outdoor event you go to and see your friends’ faces light up as they discover the joy of s’mores!

S’mores Cookie Bar Bites

S’mores Cookie Bar Bites

Ingredients 

  • 115g salted butter, room temperature 
  • 150g light brown sugar 
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 large egg 
  • 125g plain flour 
  • 100g digestive biscuit crumbs 
  • 12 tsp baking powder 
  • 200g dark chocolate chips 
  • 1223 jar marshmallow fluff (enough to make a layer in your tin) 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 175c (150 fan). 
  2. Line or grease a 20cm (8″) baking tin (preferably one with a loose base). 
  3. Cream the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl. 
  4. Combine the flour, biscuit crumbs and baking powder. 
  5. Add the vanilla extract and egg, then mix until smooth. 
  6. Add the dry mix to the wet a little at a time, mixing until combined before adding more. 
  7. Spread approximately half to two thirds of the dough over the base of the tin. 
  8. Spread the marshmallow fluff on top — this is a very messy job, can be made easier by greasing a spatula or knife with unsalted butter. 
  9. Spread the chocolate as evenly as possible over the marshmallow. 
  10. Spread the remaining dough over the top — it’s OK if you can’t make a whole layer as the chocolate and marshmallow will peek out temptingly. 
  11. Bake for 25 minutes or until the top is golden. This gives a very gooey bar, add a couple of minutes if you want them firmer. 
  12. Leave to cool and then cut into small squares. 
http://monkeybakes.co.uk/smores-cookie-bar-bites/

Quick & Easy S’mores Pie

S’mores are better-known in the US than the UK, but I’m on a mission to educate my friends one cookie, brownie or slice of pie at a time.

Biscuit, chocolate and marshmallow — what’s not to like?

This pie came about because I had a couple of jars worth of Fluff in the cupboard that I wanted to use up, so I paired it with a butter chocolate ganache and a buttery biscuit base for a simple but effective treat.

I’ve used a base recipe from the awesome Sally’s Baking Addiction here but if you have a preferred biscuit base recipe any will do — it’s the flavour that’s important.

Quick and Easy S’mores Pie

Quick and Easy S’mores Pie

Ingredients 

  • 2 jars vanilla marshmallow Fluff 
    For base: 
  • 10 Digestive biscuits 
  • 6 tbsp (90g) unsalted butter, melted 
  • 13 cup (65g) brown sugar 
    For Ganache: 
  • 300g dark chocolate chips/chunks
  • 300g unsalted butter 

Instructions

  1. Crush the biscuits and mix with the melted butter and brown sugar. 
  2. Press the biscuit mixture into your pie dish and leave to cool OR bake for 8–10 minutes at 150c (130 fan) 
  3. Melt the butter for the ganache over a medium heat. 
  4. Put the chocolate in a mixing bowl and pour the butter over. 
  5. Leave for a few minutes, then stir until smooth. 
  6. Pour the ganache into the crust, smooth the top and leave to cool until set. 
  7. Spread the Fluff over the ganache — this is quite a messy job! A coating of unsalted butter on your spreading implement will help a bit. 
  8. Put the pie under a preheated hot grill until the top is browned. 
http://monkeybakes.co.uk/quick-easy-smores-pie/