For those born far back enough to remember, have you noticed how some of our old school biscuit favourites have changed? I wasn’t a big fan of Arnott’s Iced Vo Vo as a kid but on seeing some at the Qantas Club recently, I couldn’t help but notice how less voluptuous they seemed. I swear they used to be much fluffier looking with a more obvious, glossy strip of red jam down the centre. These modern Vo Vo’s looked horribly insipid; perhaps another casualty of general cost-cutting today.
I fear Honey Jumbles (which I do like) have suffered the same fate. While in Queensland over Easter this year, we bought a packet to munch on (I don’t even think you can get Arnott’s Honey Jumble in Western Australia, by the way) and we found them rather flat and unexciting. If memory serves correctly, Honey Jumbles were meant to be more puffy with glossy icing. Total biscuit fail!
I know a lot of people have made their own Wagon Wheels (another biscuit that’s seen better days IMHO), so I decided to make my own Honey Jumbles. On a recent visit to the Growers’ Green Farmers Market in South Fremantle, I stocked up on some fresh, local Red Gum honey so I was well and truly prepared :)
I found a nice recipe at Taste.com.au which I adapted for the Thermomix. I also changed a few things according to my personal taste (less spice as I want the honey to feature most), and preference such as the oven temperature. I prefer a little chewiness in my jumbles so I set my oven to 170C and reduced the baking time a little. If you like a snappy jumble, then please follow the original recipe. Either way, I think you’ll find homemade Honey Jumbles so much more satisfying!
(makes 20 pieces)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons milk
1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons lemon juice
red food colouring (I used one drop if gel colouring)
To Make: Place butter, honey and sugar in TMX bowl and cook on Varoma, Speed 1 for 8 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add flour, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, cloves and milk to butter mixture. Combine on Speed 4 for 5 to 10 seconds. Set aside in TMX bowl for 1 hour or until mixture has cooled and thickened. While you may find it hard to believe at this stage, this dough will be easy to manage once cooled :)
Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan-forced. Line 2 large baking trays with baking paper. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead lightly. Divide dough into quarters. Roll 1 portion into a 25cm-long log shape. Cut into 5cm-long pieces. Place on prepared trays, leaving room for spreading. Using a wooden spoon, flatten each piece of dough slightly (5mm is suggested but I think 1cm is better as I like pillowy biscuits). Repeat with remaining dough portions. Bake for 10 minutes or until light golden. Stand on tray for 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For icing, place egg white in TMX bowl and whisk with Butterfly on Speed 2 for a minute or until foamy. Remove Butterfly and gradually beat in icing sugar and lemon juice on Speed 3 until combined. Spoon half the mixture into another bowl. Tint pink with food colouring. Spread half of the biscuits with pink icing. Spread remaining biscuits with white icing. Set aside for 30 minutes or until set.