Thursday, May 13, 2021

Macadamia & strawberry gum yo-yos

May 1, 2021


One of the spices I bought at Mabu Mabu is strawberry gum. It was folded into the whipped cream on my waffle plate, and in the Warndu Mai (Good Food) Cookbook, it pops up in icecream, pavlova, and chocolate truffles. Clearly it suits creamy desserts, and I figured that buttercream might also serve as a sweet, plain base and allow it to shine.

Single serve biscuits suit us a bit better than cakes at the moment, so I hatched a plan to serve my strawberry gum buttercream within yo-yos. I'm thinking of yo-yos loosely and drawing from this macadamia-studded recipe - not a strict shortbread, leaving room for them to stay a little soft in the middle and lightly brown on top. (I think that's when macadamias are at their best!)

I omitted the lemon myrtle, so I could focus on the strawberry gum flavour, but got to thinking that a bit of orange might complement it. That didn't really work out in this batch: my orange rind was too bitter and I didn't want to use it, and the orange juice I added to the biscuit dough didn't carry through to the baked biscuits. I also reduced the sugar, since there's so much sweetness in the buttercream, and it was a good move. I tried flattening some biscuits with a fork to make striped or gridded patterns, but the dough's pretty soft and they just looked ragged and bobbly - I ended up preferring the ones I gently flattened in my hand.

In the jar, strawberry gum smells to me more like strawberry lollies than the fresh fruit. Its flavour in the buttercream is a touch more herbal, working nicely with the toasty macadamias. It really settled into the biscuits over the following day or two... it was just as easy to discern and enjoy, picking a yo-yo straight from the fridge a week later, as it was the day of baking.

Macadamia & strawberry gum yo-yos
(inspired by strawberry gum bought at Mabu Mabu,
the dessert ideas in Warndu Mai (Good Food) Cookbook, and

300g margarine 
1/2 cup caster sugar 
1 tablespoon orange rind 
pinch of salt
3 cups plain flour  
3/4 cup macadamias, roughly chopped 

100g margarine 
1 1/4 cups icing sugar 
generous pinch of salt 
2-3 teaspoons ground strawberry gum 
2 tablespoons soy milk

Preheat an oven to 200°C. Line 1-2 trays with baking paper.

In a large bowl, beat together the margarine and sugar until fluffy; beat in the orange rind and salt. Sift in the flour and mix until well combined. Fold in the macadamias. Spoon out a tablespoon of the dough at a time, gently rolling it into a ball, then squishing it into a thick round disc as you place it on the tray. Repeat until you've filled the trays and bake the biscuits for 10-15 minutes, until lightly golden. Give the biscuits 5 minutes to rest on the tray before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. Match up the biscuits into pairs of the closest possible shape and size.

In a medium bowl, beat the margarine until fluffy. Sift over half the icing sugar and beat it thoroughly into the margarine. Sift in the remaining icing sugar, plus the salt and strawberry gum. I retrieved some of the larger unsifted gum leaves, ground them with a mortar and pestle, and sifted them through a second time to deliver as much flavour but as little texture as possible. Finally, beat in the soy milk to loosen up the buttercream a bit.

Choose one half of each biscuit pair and place a very heaped teaspoon of buttercream in its centre, then gently sandwich the second biscuit on top. Repeat with the remaining biscuit pairs. Store the yo-yos in the fridge.


  1. What a great idea! I love the sound of strawberry and macadamia together - I haven't come across strawberry gum but must try it - which reminds me of other old Indigenous spices I have neglected to use in my pantry.