ten years gone

Last post for 2009! Might as well end the year with something horrendously bad for you. There is not one single particle of nutrients in the recipe I’ve got for you today. But isn’t that what half-hearted New Year’s resolutions are exist for? Hope everyone had a smashing Christmas. Even though it can be a time where looming tensions rub up against each other, I was spared most of that – the closest we got was a bit of stress over getting lunch out all at the same temperature on Christmas Day. As our life is not an episode of Mad Men, there was no social failure involved with having to wait for the gravy to heat. It was wonderful to spend a whole week with my family doing not much in particular, especially since I’ve barely been home at all this past year. We did quizzes, drank tea, ate leftovers, went through cupboards and looked at old trinkets and schoolbooks, and my parents even indulged me by letting me watch Chess on the big TV with surround sound. Woke up the next morning to hear Don’t Rain On My Parade – Dad was looking up Idina Menzel on Youtube. Felt as though it was some kind of small achievement.

New Year’s will be a low-key one for me – lots of food, some drink, and Tim, myself and our friend and ex-flatmate Ange eating and drinking the lot over the course of the evening. The weather is looking typically dubious, so my fantasies of swanning about on the rooftop deck in a flowing dress while eating prawns (I don’t know, I’ve clearly read one too many Australian Women’s Weeklys or something) are fading but with good company, good food and no agenda I think we’re quite safe from the evening descending into some kind of awkward Rupert-and-Hubert Mr Bean situation. I’m perfectly happy (she says defensively) being low-key this time of year.

Part of the evening’s feastings is that artery-solidifying stalwart of the birthday party, Calf Club and school gala days, Lolly Cake. Also known in some circles as lolly log, quickly googling it would suggest that it is a concept more or less exclusive to New Zealand. Once you’ve tried it I’m sure you’ll agree that whoever the bright spark that invented it was should surely have their face on the back of a coin or at the very least, have a commemorative stamp made in their honour.

Lolly Cake

Recipe from the back of the fruit puffs packet.

100g butter
200g (1/2 a tin) sweetened condensed milk
250g (1 packet) malt biscuits, crushed
150g (1 packed) fruit puffs, roughly chopped
Dessicated coconut

Melt butter, stir in condensed milk, biscuits and lollies. Shape mixture into a log, roll in coconut, and refrigerate till solid, whereupon you cut it into slices.

For those of you not in New Zealand, fruit puffs are like a solid, ovoid fruit flavoured marshmallow. Marshmallows themselves would be too soft, but what with America being the leaders of the free world or something surely you must have something similar to this in the sweets aisle of your supermarket? When Tim and I were in the UK we made this for a charity bake sale at the school we were working at (they’d never had lolly cake before) and used Dolly mixture quite successfully (picking out and eating the jellies first, though).

As you can imagine, Lolly Cake is the most delicious thing upon this earth.

It tastes a little like the base of a cheesecake, and is surprisingly sophisticated texturally – dense, cool biscuit crumbs nestled around almost sherbetty fruit puffs with the occasional damp, fibrous burst of coconut. Even though I completely avoids shop-bought biscuits (hey, ‘hydrogenated palm oil’ freaks me out a little) here the ingredients just make sense. Oh, how they make sense.

Title via: Ten Years Gone by Led Zep.Β 

On Shuffle while I type:

I would be completely lying if I didn’t own up to the fact that I’ve been singing along very loudly to the revival cast recording of Hair. Prosaic choice, and nothing new, but it’s just so fantastic.

2009 has been as packed with events as any other year – there was Otaua Village’s David triumphing over the Goliath that was the Pukekohe WPC oil company wanting to more or less cripple my hometown (okay, Otaua isn’t exactly Fern Gully but it was a no less worthy cause and a long and difficult battle from the people of the village. I couldn’t have been happier that we more or less ‘won’.) There was also graduation, a new existence on Cuba Street, the wonderful Patti LuPone and Mandy Patinkin at the Aotea Centre… In November I had completed a year’s full time work and had my contract extended for another year. A few weeks ago this very blog got me on the front cover of a magazine – the Sunday Star-Time’s Sunday magazine (I still haven’t worked out a non-time-consuming way of saying that). I’m ready I think, I hope, for whatever 2010 has got in store for me. Happy New Year, everyone! Stay safe and happy and try the lolly cake – it’s ridiculously good. Any New Year’s resolutions?

19 thoughts on “ten years gone

  1. Kay says:

    Erm…. my New Year's resolution is to avoid lolly cake – it's devastatingly calorific.

    Congratulations on a successful year. Love the plate under the lolly cake – ha ha.


  2. Kaz says:

    Oooh, I always feel so unpatriotic when I say this, but I've never liked lolly cake. I'd go for anything else over it, and if it's the only option, I'd pick the lollies out of it and eat the rest.

    Happy New Year to you! πŸ™‚


  3. Hannah says:

    That lolly cake is o-mazing. I kinda wish it was one of those sweets that leapt the NZ/Oz divide to become shamelessly co-opted by both countries as uniquely their own, rather than something I've never come across…

    Also, I think Ewan McGregor is one on the most beautiful people in all existence when he smiles (like Jennifer Garner. Both light up when they smile).

    Oh, and I'm so on board with Hair. I became obsessed with it after seeing it live as a youngun', and even made up an entire dance rountine to “Air” that I made my family sit down and watch.

    Oh, to be young and un-self-conscious again!

    Happy New Year!


  4. arista says:

    Wow Lolly Cake looks waaay over the top. I've never heard of it before and I'm not sure what sweet would be suitable in Aus – but I think I'd like to try making it one day.

    Hamlet 2 – I've never heard of that movie but it looks v funny. A bit like Summer Heights High and the drama teacher Mr G maybe. (she's a good girl with a bad habit)

    Hope 2010 is a great year for you, keep up the great blog!


  5. Kathleen says:

    Lolly log is my favourite πŸ™‚ Where on earth did you manage to find fruit puffs though? Maybe there's a law against them in Gisborne…had to resort to Eskimo lollies last time & it just wasn't quite right…


  6. Laura @ Hungry and Frozen says:

    Mum: πŸ˜€

    Sadako: Thank you! Love reading your blog too – look forward to the next installment of pop culture excellence πŸ™‚

    Foodycat: Likewise!

    Kaz: Ooh, really! To be honest, I wouldn't choose fruit puffs on their own and I definitely wouldn't eat malt biscuits…together they're so lovely though!

    Hannah: It seems that lolly cake really is pretty unique to NZ. Ewan McGregor and Jennifer Garner are definitely both lookers with lovely smiles, I agree. That cracks me up that you made up a dance routine to Air, I love that song but it's not necessarily family-friendly fodder (although more so than many of the other songs on Hair!)

    Arista: I think if you like Summer Heights High then you could definitely cope with Hamlet 2 – there's similarities for sure. Hope 2010 is great for you!

    Kathleen: No way! Who knew fruit puffs were so elusive. Hopefully you can track some down – let me know if not and I'll send a packet your way πŸ˜€ lolly cake is too good to be missed out on, and eskimos really aren't quiiiiite the same.


  7. Lori says:

    Whaaat? You are not up on the roof, in a flowing dress,e ating prawns!

    Yup, I am here in my pajama bottoms and sweathsirt, which I pretty much been in all day. How's that for classy, magazine shooting fashion.

    What a cake! Looks positively ooey gooey and delicious. We do have something like that here in the States- it's in a cereal called Lucky Charms, They are tiny so we wouldnt have to cut them. They are intermittenly mingled with grains posing as something good for you.

    Happy New Year!


  8. Gemma says:

    Happy New Year! May 2010 bring you a bunch of happy times in the kitchen so you can continue to bring us little bundles of internet-driven-calorie-laden joy.


  9. diva says:

    are the pastel coloured sweets the fruit puffs? where do i get those? Gosh this lolly log is beautiful!! And looks like a lot of fun to make. πŸ™‚ Happy New Year Laura, hope u had a fab one. x


  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi there, am a reasonably new reader to your blog after spotting you in the Sunday Star Times that one weekend. Love your writing and tid bits about Wellington (I also live here, and it makes a refreshing change to other food blogs). Anyway, I am not really a comment-y person, but having read your lollycake post and about your love of white chocolate I had to tell you about what I made for an office bake sale. Regular lollycake, PLUS bashed up pieces of Whittakers white chocolate in the mix. I was sceptical it would be too sweet, but it actually just provided a different kind of sweetness. You should try it, maybe in 6 months or so because that is probably the kind of time period in which one should eat lollycake.
    From Ally


  11. Anonymous says:

    Wow..this looks remarkably like something that I was asked whether I'd like to try when I was visting friends in Canada. I asked what was it since it look strange…yellow coloured. It was told that it contained mainly coloured marshmellows, peanut butter and butterscotch chips. From my perspective it was questionable really because I loathe butterscotch chips (Chippits brand) and with peanut butter well…it was worse. I like the marshmellows but I do think that I'm tempted to try Lolly cake (but I'm English so I knew what you're talking about when you say eat the jellies of the dolly mix and keep the rest.)


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