Is there anything more South African than the classic peppermint crisp tart? Well, I hope this Caramel Peppermint Crisp Cake comes close! I’ve basically made a hobby out of coming up with new riffs on the combination of tinned caramel, whipped cream, coconut biscuits and peppermint crisp – cakes, ice cream sandwiches, fridge cakes – and I’ll probably come up with a few more creations to add to that, but in the meantime, this Caramel Peppermint Crisp Cake is my favourite! Layers of coconut sponge cake, light and creamy mousse made from tinned caramel, flecks of crushed up peppermint crisp and it’s all covered in more of all of that!
While I realise I might upset quite a few purists, not for the fact that I turned a tart into a cake, but that I use whipped cream in mine. Guys, we need to sit down and talk about that Orley Whip nonsense. It needs to stop. True friends don’t let friends eat Orley Whip. (Loophole: unless you’re a vegan friend, then, by all means, go ahead and get your fix).
I made this Caramel Peppermint Crisp Cake for the September issue of Essentials Magazine – they’ve given me a page in every issue called #KateBakes and they’ve been mad enough to basically let me loose and make whatever my heart desires! So this month, my heart desired a big fat decadent cake with a hint of local heritage and something that you can take to a braai. Because if you go to a bring ‘n braai and there’s no peppermint crisp tart, was it really a braai after all?
Caramel Peppermint Crisp Cake
120g butter, softened
400g Natura Golden Caster Sugar
360g cake flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
40g desiccated coconut, toasted
pinch of salt
3 large eggs
360ml coconut milk
Caramel Mousse Filling
2 tsp gelatine powdered (3 gelatine sheets)
3 tbsp water
2 x 400g tins condensed milk, boiled (or take a shortcut and use tinned caramel)
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
500ml cream, whipped to stiff peaks
400g peppermint crisp chocolate, crushed
200g coconut tea biscuits, crumbled
Preheat the oven to 170C and line 3 x 20cm springform tins with baking paper. Beat the butter, caster 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. Place one cake layer back inside one of the cleaned springform cake tin.
Next, make the mousse; sprinkle the gelatine over the water and allow to bloom. Microwave in short bursts until just melted the stir in half the tin of cooked condensed milk (reserve the rest), vanilla and salt. Fold in the cream until no streaks remain. Spread the remaining caramel on top of the sponge then pour half of the mousse on top. Crumble over 1/3 of the peppermint crisp and biscuits and top with another cake layer. Repeat with the remaining caramel, mousse, peppermint crisp and biscuits, ending with a cake layer. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until set. To unmould, run a warm palette knife around the edges. Decorate with peppermint crisp shards, tennis biscuits and caramel.