With such good quality ice cream available these days, it’s easy to make this stunning dessert without too much stress.
1½ litres (6 cups) good quality ice cream, (I used maple and walnut)
4 pieces rose flavoured Turkish delight, finely chopped
4 fresh dates, pitted and finely chopped
¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
¼ cup dark chocolate, finely chopped
½ cup brown sugar
1 cup golden syrup
½ cup water
75 grams butter, chopped
2 cups plain flour
2 tablespoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground mixed spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
Swiss roll tin, approximately 39 x 26 cm
biscuit cutter (I use a Christmas tree shape)
7 stamped out gingerbread Christmas trees
warm honey for brushing
cherries for topping, optional
Fully line a 4 cup capacity glass bowl with plastic wrap, leaving a 10 cm overhang down the sides of the bowl.
Preheat the oven to 180˚C.
Lightly grease and fully line a Swiss roll tin with baking paper.
Gingerbread: Put the brown sugar, golden syrup, water and butter in a saucepan and heat, stirring occasionally until the butter has just melted. Set aside to cool.
Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl. Whisk in the golden syrup mixture until smooth with no lumps.
Pour into the tin and bake for 15 minutes until golden and firm to the touch. Cool.
Place a fresh piece of baking paper over the gingerbread and invert onto a large flat baking tray. Peel off the paper that is lining the gingerbread. Using the sharp side of the cutter, press out 7 trees, gently easing them out of the cutter with the handle of a teaspoon.
To assemble: Put the ice cream in a large bowl and leave to soften for a few minutes then stir in the remaining ingredients. Don’t let the ice cream melt completely.
Brush one side of each tree with honey and with the tip of the tree pointing into the base of the bowl, press onto the side of the lined bowl. The gingerbread is quite robust so you can press them on very firmly. Spoon the ice cream into the bowl, taking care you don’t dislodge the trees. Fold the plastic wrap over the top of the ice cream. Freeze for at least 8 hours or up to 3 days.
To serve: Quickly dip the bowl in warm water then peel back the top layer of plastic wrap.
Place the serving plate on top and invert the pudding and the plate together. Remove the bowl and carefully peel off the plastic wrap. Using a round bladed knife, gently scrape off any ice cream that is covering the gingerbread trees. Top with fresh or frosted cherries and serve immediately.
Cook’s tip: To prevent ending up with a sticky mess, chop the Turkish delight with some of the icing sugar it’s packaged in.
My Christmas tree cutter was 8 cm long and 5 cm wide at its bottom branch.