Every April 25 we celebrate Australia’s most imperative national event to mark the anniversary of the first major military action fought by the Australian and New Zealand forces during the First World War. The soldiers of the ANZAC forces in this war are today known as the ANZACs, the ultimate symbol of patriotism and military gallantry that endures from then to this day.
Though not born in Australia but Singapore, I’m filled with both admiration and respect for the ANZACs with their many legends and indelible legacy for this blessed Great South Land. For me it’s always a privileged job being a parent, to be able to educate my kids on history–specifically my Australian-born children on their dual national culture, of which we’re blessed to have. For theirs and our own benefit, I’m pleased to include in this ANZAC day post some of the ANZAC DAY trivia associated with this commemorative day to mark and honour the sacrifices made by the legends of ANZAC. It’s a meaningful set of interesting trivia I’ve curated for this post to help those who are keen to better understand the significance of ANZAC Day.
It is remarkable to note that while the battle fought in Gallipoli was one that had failed its military objectives, the relentless courage and spirit of the ANZAC men and women shall forever serve as every Australian’s powerful legacy. The identity of both Australia and New Zealand continue to shape the way new generations shall remember their past and relive hope for their future.
This brings to mind a quotation my other half and I used to repeat in jest when we’re tested by less than stellar personalities who cross our paths..any ex-bosses reading this?Ha. Perhaps best articulated by Mel Gibson in the huge blockbuster Braveheart in his most memorable role ever as 13th century Scottish rebel leader William Wallace—I imagine at the core of every heart lives this truth of the courageous: “They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our Freedom”.
As for the significance of ANZAC biscuits, trust that it was the idea of a bunch of brilliant women. It solved the two problems of caring for their men during the war days – a food product that contained all the nutritional value possible (that didn’t need refrigeration) and would store for long periods in excess of a couple of months. Voila, the ANZAC biscuit was created. The basis was a Scottish recipe using rolled oats which were used extensively in Scotland, especially for a heavy porridge that helped counteract the extremely cold climate. The lack of eggs in those days to be used as a binding agent had been substituted by golden syrup in the recipe. At first the biscuits were called ‘Soldiers’ Biscuits’, but after the landing on Gallipoli, they were renamed ANZAC Biscuits.
I bring you my recipe for ANZAC biscuits with a twist—-with chocolate ice-cream sandwiched between the biscuits, something I completely think is so agreeable with this crunchy ‘oaty’ biscuit. It’s the small way we mark our remembrance for those who have given their lives so bravely. Lest We Forget. Happy ANZAC Day.
ANZAC Biscuit Chocolate Ice-cream Sandwich Crunch
2 cups (180g) rolled oats
1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour
⅔ cup (150g) caster (superfine) sugar
¾ cup (60g) desiccated coconut
⅓ cup (115g) golden syrup
125g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of (baking) soda
2 tablespoons hot water
Preheat oven to 160°C (325°F). Place the oats, flour, sugar and coconut in a bowl and mix to combine. Place the golden syrup and butter in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until melted. Combine the bicarbonate of soda with the water and add to the butter mixture. Pour into the oat mixture and mix well to combine. Place tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto baking trays lined with non-stick baking paper and flatten to 7cm rounds, allowing room to spread. Bake for 8–10 minutes or until deep golden. Allow to cool on baking trays for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Makes 35.
Here’s my luxurious homemade Chocolate Ice-cream recipe made with cacao powder. I added chocolate chips into my own version which you may too–by shredding some from your favourite bar.
Chocolate Ice-cream recipe
Makes 1 litre
550ml pure or heavy cream
4 TB unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 TB cacao powder
1 C sugar
Pinch of salt
200g unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 C whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk the sugar, salt, two kinds of powders and the pure or heavy cream in a saucepan.
Turn on the heat on low then medium, and keep whisking until it comes to a boil (foam will rise).
Turn off the heat. Microwave the chopped chocolate slightly till it melts a little and is not longer hard. Add to the saucepan mixture and whisk in the chocolate now until it completely melts. Add the vanilla extract and milk now. Ensure that the mixture is very smooth. Sieve if you must to get it to the silkiest texture.
Chill the chocolate mixture overnight, then freeze it according to your ice-cream maker’s instructions.