The concept of the Kreem-B-Tween was a triumph for Peters Ice Cream, the company that went, for generations, by the swinging slogan, “The Health Food of a Nation”.
The health freaks of today might dispute that ice cream is or was a health food, stuffed, as it should be, with eggs, sugar, milk and cream, but it is truly one of life’s eternal food joys. That is if we’re talking about the real thing, not the commercial aerated, gum-filled fluff, but the ice cream that starts with custard, and finishes up churning away and freezing gently until it’s unctuous and delicious.
The Kreem-B-Tween, no longer in production, worked because it combined the simplicity of the best vanilla ice cream, with the crunch of delicate biscuits. As a commercial product it was superbly conceived. You could eat it on the run, and it tasted better than most mass-produced ice creams. I found a lovely reference to this clever hand-held dessert in Perth’s Sunday Times (October 8, 1939, via the online newspaper archive trove.nla.gov.au) in a fluffy story about Perth’s Royal Show: “Naturally good weather helped towards the enjoyment of good eating—and how most youngsters can eat when someone suggests ice-cream! Peters not only boosted the popular Two-In-One, but also found there was a keen line-up for Kreem-B-Tween (ice cream between wafers).”
During my restaurant days, I thought that if the Kreem-B-Tween worked so well while saddled with the inadequacies of commercially made ice cream and biscuits made to last, what if it were made with perfect ice cream and crunchy, flavoursome, yet delicate biscuits? The theory, in execution, worked beautifully and still does; it tastes great, looks great; on its own, or lying in a fruity sauce, with lots of fruit splashed around. You could make it with any ice cream flavour—as Lesley Russell shows with her raspberry semifreddo version—but to me, ice cream made with vanilla beans or honey is the best. The tuile biscuits can be tricky, and require patience, but such is often the case with the best cooking. If they are beyond you, commercial, not-too-sweet, not-too-thick crackers can be used.