"These came about from another kitchen family. On my 27th birthday, I was working a double – as you do when you're a sous-chef – and the pastry chef wanted to make sure I had a special day," says Monique Fiso. "She researched popular flavours of ice-cream in New Zealand and created these. It was one of the best things I'd eaten that year. It tastes like New Zealand but also slightly American." Start this recipe a day ahead to make the semifreddo.
- 250 gm (1⅔ cups) plain flour
- 200 gm soft brown sugar
- 40 gm Dutch-process cocoa
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 120 gm softened butter
- 1 egg
- Oil spray, for greasing
- 150 gm (1⅔ cup) caster sugar
- 30 gm (1 tbsp) golden syrup
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 550 ml thickened cream
- 250 ml (1 cup) sweetened condensed milk
- 1For hokey pokey, line a baking tray with baking paper. Very lightly spray with oil and set aside. Place the sugar and golden syrup in a heavy-based saucepan and cook over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally to melt evenly, until mixture is a deep golden caramel colour (5-7 minutes). Remove from heat and, working quickly, whisk in bicarbonate of soda (be careful, hot mixture will bubble and begin to froth). Pour mixture onto prepared tray and set aside to cool (30 minutes). Break up hokey pokey into roughly 5mm pieces using a knife or your hands. Store in an airtight container until required.
- 2For semifreddo, whisk cream to stiff peaks. Add sweetened condensed milk and 1/4 tsp sea salt flakes and whisk for
a further 20 seconds or until just forming firm peaks (be careful not to over-whisk, as it will change the texture). Fold in hokey pokey (reserve a few pieces for serving) including crumb dust. Spoon mixture into a piping bag and pipe into 10 silicone disc moulds (about 8cm diameter and 3cm high), then freeze overnight. Alternatively, freeze 2 lined 20cm x 30cm trays, then add mixture and set overnight. Use an 8cm ring cutter to cut discs and return to freezer
- 3Preheat oven to 170°C. Line 3 large baking trays (or bake in batches) with baking paper. Lightly and evenly spray with oil. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda and 1⁄2 tsp sea salt into a bowl of an electric mixer. Beat in butter until very well combined. Add egg and beat until combined. Add half the milk and beat until smooth, then beat in remaining milk.
- 4Using an ice-cream scoop (about 30ml capacity), scoop out batter evenly onto trays in 20 portions, leaving 5cm between each to allow for mixture to spread during baking. Bake, in batches, until risen and firmly set (14-16 minutes). Set aside to cool completely before sandwiching each disc of semifreddo with biscuits.
- 5Serve whoopie pies immediately with reserved hokey pokey.