I made my first Peppermint Crisp Tart when I was around 8 or 9 years old, after being inspired by a school friend during a week of English orals where we could choose any topic and discuss it in front of our class.
Cooking demonstrations were allowed, so the no-bake option of a Peppermint Crisp Tart was a good one – so were my Devilled Eggs; proof that I’d spent far too much time poring over my mom’s 80’s dinner party recipe books and planning my future entertaining endeavours.
Peppermint Crisp Tart is one of those quintessentially South African desserts, which makes sense considering that Peppermint Crisp is a bar of chocolate that was invented in South Africa by Wilson-Rowntree, and is made using whipping cream, caramel, tennis biscuits and, you guessed it, peppermint crisp. The cream is whipped, caramel is gently folded into the cream along with shards of smashed peppermint crisp, and then the layering begins using tennis biscuits. It’s finished off with more peppermint crisp and placed in the fridge to chill for at least 7 hours. Versions of this may vary, but that’s the gist of it.
After seeing a recipe for Ice Cream Pie in one of the recent Taste Magazines, I decided to make an ice cream parfait version of Peppermint Crisp Tart and was pleasantly surprised by the results. I also opted to use store-bought ice cream because I really didn’t feel like making my own, and then the pièce de résistance is the Choc Mint Ice Cap, which is super pedestrian but an absolute must!
Peppermint Crisp Ice Cream Parfait
- 2 litres Vanilla Ice Cream
- 1 Packet Tennis Biscuits, crushed (set aside half for the biscuit base)
- 1 Large Peppermint Crisp, half crushed and half roughly chopped (set aside the roughly chopped portion for decorating)
- Salted Caramel (Set aside half to make sure you have enough to add a few teaspoons to the biscuit base mix and decorate)
- Melted butter
- Choc Mint Ice Cap
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup cream
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Maldon sea salt flakes
- Start by making the salted caramel. Put the sugar and water in a medium-sized pot over a medium to low heat and don’t stir! You need to allow it to melt completely and begin bubbling until it begins transforming from a clear to amber liquid.
- When it starts changing, feel free to gently swirl the pan – this will help evenly caramelise the sugar.
- Take it off the heat, add the butter and whisk. Once the butter is melted, add the cream and whisk to emulsify everything. Be careful not to burn yourself because when you add the butter and cream the mixture can spit and bubble up. Just keep whisking!
- Place the pot back on the heat, continuing to whisk for about a minute.
- Remove from the heat again and add a pinch of Maldon Sea Salt Flakes.
- Pour into a heat-proof bowl, cover and leave to cool completely. You can place it in the fridge to speed things up, but it will become very thick, so you’ll need to give it a good mix to loosen it up again before assembling.
- To begin assembling make sure you’ve lined the long side of the loaf tin with baking paper, allowing a few centimetres of overhang so you can loosen it from the tin before tipping it out on to your serving plate or board. You don’t have to do this but I feel like it’s an extra step that might make your life easier when it comes to unmoulding the parfait.
- Take the ice cream out fo the freezer to soften while you begin with the first layer, which is a dusting of crushed tennis biscuits and peppermint crisp.
- Add a layer of ice cream, which doesn’t have to be an exact amount, just make sure it’s enough to cover the base of the tin once you’ve smoothed it out with the back of a spoon.
- Add another layer of tennis biscuits and peppermint crisp, as well as a generous drizzle of salted caramel. Again not an exact amount, you do you.
- At this point, depending on what ice cream you’re using and how hot it is, you might need to pop the loaf tin back in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to firm up again.
- Continue with another layer of ice cream and repeat until you’ve either finished the ice cream or almost reached the rim of the loaf tin.
- To make the biscuit base you’ll need to combine enough melted butter with the reserved tennis biscuits to moisten them. Add a few teaspoons of salted caramel to the mixture, mix well to combine and then layer on top of the cream. Make sure to pack it firmly so you create a sturdy base for the parfait.
- Place the loaf tin in the freezer for at least a few hours to firm up completely, or better yet, overnight.
- To unmould the parfait place the tin in a shallow bath of room temperature water for a few seconds so it comes away from the tin more easily. You can check if it’s ready by using the wings of the baking paper to gently lift it up without removing it completely. Carefully flip it out on to your serving plate or board, remove the tin and carefully peel away the strip of baking paper. You might want to place the parfait back in the freezer at this point to firm up again until you’re ready to decorate.
- Decorate the parfait with a dusting of any leftover crushed tennis biscuits and peppermint crisp if you wish, drizzle with reserved salted caramel and scatter the roughly chopped peppermint crisp. Finish it off with a generous drizzle of Ice Cap and place back in the freezer until ready to slice and serve.