You may sing of the Shamrock, the Thistle, and Rose,
Or the three in a bunch if you will;
But I know of a country that gathered all those,
And I love the great land where the Waratah grows,
And the Wattle-bough blooms on the hill.
From Waratah and Wattle by Henry Lawson
Today is Australia Day, when Australians have a day dedicated to celebrating everything that is wonderful about Australia and being Australian. It is our equivalent of the 4th of July.
I have enjoyed a very relaxing day, in which I found the time to make Wagon Wheel Slice. You can find the recipe here. A Wagon Wheel is an Aussie snack biscuit, a little like a Moon Pie but much nicer. It is a round biscuit, sandwiched together with raspberry jam and marshmallow, and covered with chocolate. I haven't bought on in years because the last time I tried one, it disappointed me. While not bad, it was not as good as I remembered as it being as a child. Sometimes, I think things should be left in their place in time and not disturbed.
However, this Wagon Wheel Slice is something different - it is really delicious, as homemade versions tend to be when compared with their commercial counterparts. I made the recipe as stated, but instead of raspberry jam, I used rosella and Davidson plum jam - I mean, how Aussie is that? (Rosella flowers and Davidson plums are bush tucker.)
To coincide with Australia Day, the patissiers around town have been going all out to make their own versions of well known and loved Aussie treats. I decided that it was my national duty to try some of them, so here goes:
Adriano Zumbo had various flavours of lamington rolls, a fancy pav and a fairy bread cream bun, but I went for his Lamington Bombe ($9) - a crispy pastry shell filled with custard and freeze dried raspberries, then coated in chocolate icing, chocolate bits and coconut:
I also tried Doughnut Time's "It's Always a Gaytime" Doughnut ($6), in honour of the Golden Gaytime icecream. It is a doughnut filled with honeycomb flavoured custard, with chocolate icing and biscuit crumbs on top:
The custard tasted slightly artificial, but it wasn't bad. They also had Iced Vo Vo, Milky Bar ("Meet Me At the Bar") and Lamington ("The Straya") flavoured doughnuts for Australia Day.
Last but not least, I went for a non-traditional offering from Burch & Purchese - a patriotic green and gold number comprising salted oat and ginger crumble, passionfruit curd, coconut tapioca, mint and passionfruit jellies, coconut mousse sprayed with white chocolate velvet, passionfruit marshmallow disc and a white mint chocolate wafer in the shape of a kangaroo:
Burch & Purchese also had their own version of a lamington dessert and many, many more:
Happy Australia Day!!