There is nothing I love more than revisiting those old classic Australian desserts and sweets I used to enjoy as a child. Whether you consider it lucky (or rather, unlucky) I wasn’t diagnosed as gluten intolerant until well into my 20’s. This means I have many strong memories of my favourite foods before I went GF. Some might consider it a curse, a constant reminder of what “good food” used to taste like. Me though? I consider it a challenge! Those memories now inspire me on a daily basis. So that I might try and recreate those delicious morsels with an epic gluten free twist. A twist so good, most can’t even tell they’re GF. Don’t believe me? Well, you best be giving my Gluten Free Monte Carlo biscuits a try then!!
Ahhh the good ole Arnott’s bikkie selection. Whether you’re a short and sweet shortbread lover, or a solo kingston devout, all Aussies are well versed in their delicious array of biscuits. So it’s a sad day when you can’t even walk down the biscuit aisle for fear of bursting into random sobbing tears, whilst clutching a sleeve of Iced Vovo’s. Not that I ever did that of course. But they are very much ingrained in who we are are as a Nation. No meeting is the same without them, nor no afternoon tea break! That’s why we glutards can feel rather un-Australian at times! Not being able to partake in this most iconic tradition is rather sad!
Enough Is Enough!
But why should we have to miss out all the time? Especially in something so iconic. Well, that was what my thinking was when I decided to start on one epic Gluten Free Challenge. It all started when I thought about just how simple it would be to make monte carlos gluten free. Once I did that, I decided I couldn’t just leave it there. How can I master one of Arnott’s classic cream bikkies without tackling the others. In fact, why not go the whole hog and challenge myself to recreate the entire Arnott’s Assorted Creams Family Pack! My goodness! I know! I can hear your collective gasp from here!
The road to get here was definitely interesting though, searching for a base recipe for the classic monte carlo. Almost all the recipes I found did NOT contain honey or golden syrup! Now, how could that be? Isn’t that exactly what a monte carlo is? A subtly flavoured biscuit of honey, golden syrup and coconut? Sandwiched with raspberry and cream? Well yeah it is. So in my time of need I turned to Arnott’s themselves and delved into their ingredients list (hehe). This is how I came about my perfect gluten free monte carlo recipe.
The Monte Carlo Twist
Now we couldn’t talk all things monte carlo without getting into the hottest of all debates, could we? In fact you can’t sit around eating these fabled classics without getting onto the subject. So how DO you eat a Monte Carlo? Are you a dunker? A twist and licker? Or a all-in-one kinda folk. One cannot simply eat a monte carlo biscuit!! I’d love to hear how you eat your monte carlos in the comments below… I’m definitely a dunker!
But enough debating. Let’s get into it and take a little stroll down memory lane with my gluten free monte carlo biscuits!
Classic Gluten Free Monte Carlo Biscuits
- 180 grams Unsalted Butter softened
- 1/2 cup Brown Sugar loosely packed
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 1 Tbsp Golden Syrup
- 1 Egg
- 1 1/4 cup Gluten Free Self Raising Flour any brand
- 3/4 cup Gluten Free Plain Flour any brand
- 1/2 cup Desiccated Coconut
- 60 grams Unsalted Butter softened
- 3/4 cup Icing Sugar CSR brand is GF
- 1 tsp Full Cream Milk
- Raspberry Jam
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two trays with baking paper.
- In a large bowl place the softened butter and brown sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Add in the honey, golden syrup and egg and beat again, ensuring all the honey and golden syrup are incorporated well.
- Pop in the flours and coconut and fold together. The mixture will take a little bit to come together and look dry to start with, but just keep mixing and it will get there.
- Now take a slightly heaped teaspoon of dough and roll it between your palms to create a smooth oval ball. (You'll want to end up with an even amount of balls.) While it's still in the palm of one hand begin to roughly flatten it out and shape it more into an oval. Once flat transfer gently to your prepared trays.
- Once all of your biscuits are flattened and oval-looking take a fork and run the tines over the tops of the biscuits randomly. Once the tops are all churned up, turn the fork over and pat the rough lines gently to slightly smooth the edges out.
- Pop straight into a hot oven for 10-15 minutes or until the edges of the biscuits turn a deep golden and the rest a slightly golden colour. Allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool fully.
- In a medium bowl combine the softened butter and icing sugar. Beat well until thoroughly mixed and it turns a very pale fluffy colour. Add in the milk and beat roughly again. Set aside.
- Once the biscuits are cooled fully take the time to match similar sizes up so that you have pairs. Now place a small teaspoon or so of icing onto one biscuit and a similar size dob of raspberry jam onto it's partner. Sandwich the two sides together and continue with the remainder of the biscuits.
- These delicious morels will keep for up to a week in an air tight container kept at room temperature. Now stop and savour those simple flavours of a biscuit long forgotten!
- Any basic gluten free flour blend works in this recipe, however as usual I like to use the White Wings Gluten Free Range.
- This dough will make between 10-20 complete biscuits depending on how big you make them. Keep in mind when rolling the dough, that the biscuits will increase in size.
A good rule of thumb:
- a sightly heaped teaspoon will get you a traditionally large biscuit and closer to 20 finished ones.
- a very heaped teaspoon of dough (more like two teaspoons) will get you an enormous biscuit and only 10 of them, once finished.
You can of course make them as small or big as you like! Just remember to aim for an even amount of biscuits so that you can sandwich glorious globs of jam and icing between them!