I heard someone once describe our beloved peppermint crisp tart as ‘a lazy version of Italian tiramisu’, which, once you get over the initial offence, is a pretty accurate description really. Four ingredients: Tennis biscuits (don’t even bother asking me if there is an alternative flavour of biscuit you can use because any South African will tell you there just isn’t), tinned caramel (if you’re feeling fancy, boiling a tin of condensed milk will make it ‘gourmet’), whipped cream (well, if you want to be AUTHENTIC it should be that non-dairy Orley whip cream…) and of course the darling of South African chocolates, Peppermint Crisp (those shards of sticky peppermint covered in chocolate are pure bliss!).
I must be honest, I never grew up with peppermint crisp tart. It doesn’t conjure up memories of my grandmother serving it to me as a child, or my mom whipping up a pyrex dish of it for a church bazaar. The decadent dessert was completely left out of my childhood (my mom and I will have words about this!) but that hasn’t stopped me from cramming all the tart I missed out on as a child into my adult life. I’ve given the dessert it’s fair share of makeovers – from ice cream sandwiches to milkshakes, but this cake is a serious showstopper! It’s not as sweet as it’s traditional counterpart due to the coconutty sponge cake layers in between and it will make a jaw-dropping end to a lekker braai!
Caramel Peppermint Crisp Cake
Adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days
120g butter, softened
400g castor sugar
360g cake flour
1½ tbsp baking powder
40g desiccated coconut, toasted
pinch of salt
3 large eggs
1 tin (400ml) coconut milk
1 tin caramel
2 cups cream, whipped to stiff peaks
400g peppermint crisp chocolate, crushed
Mini Tennis biscuits , to garnish
Preheat the oven to 170C and line 3 x 20cm sandwich tins with baking paper. Beat the butter, castor sugar, flour, baking powder, coconut and salt together on a low speed until a sandy texture forms. Whisk the eggs and coconut milk together in a jug then slowly add to the dry ingredients while the mixer is running, to form a batter. Divide the cake batter evenly between the prepared tins and bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean, and the cakes are golden. Allow to cool a little in the tin before turning out onto a cake rack. Trim the cooled cakes by levelling the tops then place one cake layer on a plate. Spread with caramel, whipped cream, peppermint crisp and crushed biscuits. Continue layering finishing with the caramel, cream, peppermint crisp and the mini biscuits. Refrigerate for 1 hour to set then slice and serve.