Australia: A study in numbers and biscuits

Australia. Lets crunch some numbers!

Home to:
22,620,600 people
8 of the 10 most venomous snakes
4th richest woman in the world
3 of the world’s most livable cities
3 of the world’s top 50 beaches
160 kinds of shark (these last two are clearly related)
4 of the best restaurants

Then of course, there are the things that instantly scream ‘Aussie’.
Our sporting prowess. Current losing streak.
Stubbies. In both short and beer form.

From there, we can break it down further. Our stories, told by Bryce Courtney, Tim Winton, May Gibbs, Kate Grenville and Caroline Overington. Growing up, my favourite was John Marsden. Tomorrow When The War Began was the first series to completely consume me; I loved it. I badgered my dad into taking me to the book store the day it was published, and didn’t leave my room until is was finished.

Of all the details to stick in my head, I remember very clearly how the characters specifically requested Iced Vovos to be dropped to them by possible rescuers. Of all things, WHY Iced Vovos? To be fair, I’d never had one, so what would I know?


Iced Vovos are a magical, magical biscuit. Your life will be changed, just like mine. Like Tim Tams, the are uniquely Australian. And awesome. 


Arnott’s Iced Vovo Tart

From Good Taste Magazine

100g Iced Vovo biscuits
150g plain sweet biscuits (I used Marie ones)
130g unsalted butter

Marshmallow layer
150g pink marshmallows
1 tbsp milk
200ml thick cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Raspberry Jam
2 gelatine leaves
125g frozen raspberries
80ml water
1 tbsp caster sugar

400ml thick cream
2 drops pink food dye
1 tbsp coconut flakes

To make the base, process (or bash with a rolling pin the biscuits to a fine crumb. Melt the butter, and combine with the biscuit crumbs. Grease a tart tin with a removable base, then firmly press the biscuits into the base of the tin. Place it in the fridge for an hour to firm.


For the marshmallow layer, over medium heat in a small saucepan, stir the marshmallows and milk until they are smooth. Transfer into a bowl, and stir occasionally for 6 minutes, until cooled slightly. Beat together the cream and vanilla until stiff peaks form. Mix half the cream into the melted mallows, folding to combine. Add the rest of the cream and fold together. Spread the mixture over the tart pan, and refrigerate for 2 hours.


Jam time! Throw the raspberries, water and sugar into a saucepan and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes, until the raspberries are super soft, and the sugar is dissolved  Remove from heat and set aside. Place the gelatin leaves in a bowl of cold water for 4 minutes or so to soften (but not go mushy, like I did the first time), squeeze out any excess water, then into the raspberry mix, stirring until dissolved. Press the raspberry mix through a fine sieve, discarding the seeds, and reserving the jam. Leave the jam for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cool. Pour the jam evenly over the marshmallow, and then back into the fridge until set.


To make the topping, beat together the cream and colouring until it forms firm (but not stiff) peaks.  Spoon into a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle, and pipe two long rows along the edge of the tart, then sprinkle with coconut.


Keep in the fridge until ready to serve, to keep it firm and easy to cut. Trust me, It goes soft and gooey really quickly.



Oh, and happy Australia Day.


3 thoughts on “Australia: A study in numbers and biscuits

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