I have no idea if the humble, but oh so very delicious, vanilla slice is an Australian creation or not, but I am more than happy to enjoy one every now and then.
So last week when the topic came up in the Member's forum, and Coles had Lattice biscuits on sale, it didn't take too much encouraging to have me dragging out the slice tin, whipping up a custard and making a passionfruit icing.
Because if it doesn't have passionfruit icing it isn't a real vanilla slice (a bit like neenish tarts that have white icing instead of pink - it's just wrong!). I'd love a passionfruit vine but we don't have the room so I had to resort to using a tin of passionfruit pulp. Of course that was way too much so the excess is frozen in ice cube trays.
Anyway, back to the vanilla slice. I remembered my mother making the lattice biscuit vanilla slice when she was too busy to make the pastry from scratch so I wasn't at all worried about giving it a try. I did have to buy two packets of the biscuits though.
You'll need a slice tray about 16cm x 26cm (or a Tupperware slice container works just as well).
Line the tray with baking paper, making sure it comes up the sides so you have a "handle" to lift the prepared slice out.
Place a layer of biscuits in the tray, shiny side up.
Make a nice thick vanilla custard. Let it cool to warm then spread it over the biscuits.
Place a layer of biscuits over the custard, shiny side down.
Make a passionfruit icing. We prefer the icing to be reasonably thick so it sets quite hard (stops sticky fingers). Spread the icing over the top layer of biscuits. Place the slice in the fridge to set and chill, about two hours.
Cut the slice into squares, using the edge of the biscuits as a guide.
Make a cup of tea, use your best china and enjoy a fresh, yummy vanilla slice with your tea.
MOO Vanilla Slice
200g packet Arnott's Lattice biscuits
1/3 cup custard powder
2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 cup icing sugar mixture
1 passionfruit, halved
Grease a 3cm-deep, 16.5cm x 26cm (base) slab pan. Line base and sides with baking paper, allowing a 2cm overhang at both long ends.
Place 12 biscuits, in a single layer, in pan to cover base.
Combine custard powder and 1/4 cup milk in a saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Pour in remaining milk. Add sugar and place pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes or until custard comes to the boil. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap. Set aside for 30 minutes to cool slightly.
Pour warm custard over biscuits. Top with another layer of 12 biscuits.
Refrigerate for 1 hour or until set.
Sift icing sugar into a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon passionfruit pulp. Stir to make a thick icing, adding more pulp if required. Spoon icing over slice. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until icing sets.
Cut slice into squares, using shape of biscuits as a guide. Serve.
This post has been shared from Debt Free, Cashed Up and Laughing
Step 1. Place a dishwasher-safe cup filled with plain white vinegar on the top rack of your empty dishwasher. The vinegar will help to wash away the loose, greasy grime, sanitizes, and helps remove the musty odour.
Step 2. Sprinkle a cup of bicarbonate soda around the bottom of the dishwasher. The bicarbonate soda will help freshen the smell of the dishwasher as well as brighten up the look of the inside of your appliance by removing stains.
Step 3. Using the hottest water available, run the dishwasher through a cycle – except for the cup of vinegar, the dishwasher needs to be empty.
Now that the dishwasher is clean and running right here are a few tips to keep it that way until the next cleaning.
Run a bit of hot water in your sink before running the dishwasher. You will get cleaner dishes if the water starts hot. You can collect the water you run and use it to fill the kettle or for watering plants or other purposes. Run the water until what comes out of the tap feels hot.
Make sure your water starts hot enough. Set the thermostat on your hot water service to 50 degrees Celsius. Water that is cooler than this won’t be hot enough to clean properly and water that is any hotter could scald.
A routine dishwasher cleaning is a good habit to get into. Mark it on the calendar to do regularly each month, the same day you do the drains and the washing machine.
To most people an egg shell would be rubbish, tossed in the bin and sent to landfill. Some keen gardeners may compost them or use them as snail repellent. Folk with chooks may grind them and add them to their chook's food as shell grit. But most people just toss them.
I have a little dish that sits on the sink and whenever we use an egg, the shell gets rinsed in cold water and then put into the dish. When I need egg shell for something, it's right there, ready and waiting to be used.
Egg shells are surprisingly useful. Here's a list of 10 ways I use egg shells around our home.
1. Use egg shells to whiten and soften linen. Soak greying linens in boiling water with the juice of a lemon and two or three ground egg shells added. Let them soak overnight, then rinse and hang in the sun to dry. The linens will be white and soft, no nasty chemical whiteners or softeners needed.
2. In the garden to keep snails and slugs off seedlings. Just crush the egg shell and sprinkle it around the tiny plants. Snails and slugs won't travel over the sharp edges so your plants will be safe - from those predators at least.
3. Add them to chook food. Egg shells are a great source of calcium and grit, two things hens need to produce nice health eggs. Wash the egg shells and when you have a few grind them, either in a blender, with a stick blender or with a mortar and pestle and add it to the chook food.
4. Boil the shells in your coffee. At home we have a coffee maker but when we're camping we use an old fashioned stove top percolator. Adding egg shells to the percolator with the coffee grounds takes away the bitterness than can happen when coffee is boiled accidentally.
5. Use them to feed tomato plants. Calcium rich, crushed egg shell is a good source of this mineral for tomato plants. Tomatoes need calcium to prevent blossom end rot, a common tomato problem. Put a couple of egg shells in the hole before you plant your tomato to give it a boost. Then through the growing season grind egg shells, sprinkle them around the base of the tomato and water in.
6. As tiny seedling starters. Rinse out the egg shells, poke a couple of tiny drainage holes in the bottoms and fill with potting mix. Plant your seeds and when they are ready to be transplanted, gently squeeze the egg shell to crack it and then plant it intact in the ground.
7. Compost them. Nothing more needs to be said.
8. You don't compost? No problem, crush them, sprinkle over the soil and then lightly rake them in.
9. Turn them into ornaments. Rinse them well and let them dry. Then let your creative streak go to town. Paint them, add glitter and sequins, fill them with cotton wool, add little tiny ornaments, cover them with braid, glue on a ribbon hanger - use your imagination!
10. Add them to the bird feeder. Crush them up and mix in with the bird seed to give the wild birds that visit your garden a treat.
So how do you use egg shells? Share your idea in the comments below