Now, where were we? Oh, that’s right! I was making deliciousness using After Eight mints. The nice people over at 'A8HQ' asked me if I’d like to knock up a couple of recipes using those oh so familiar after dinner mints.
Last time, was my Very Merry Minty Shortbread Squares, which were like a minty caramel shortbread. Check it out, if you haven't done so already.
This recipe however is for ‘afters’ fittingly. I was going to my friend Claire’s for dinner and I was taking along the dessert. I wanted to make something that Claire’s whole family would love, which comprises a husband, a 16 year old teenage boy and a 11 year old boy. Surely this would be perfect for everyone!
The dessert was inspired by Nigella’s recipe for her meringue gelato cake. Also by my love of Viennetta, the layered frozen creamy dessert I used to have when growing up.
Instead of the ice-cream which the Viennetta had in it, this has whipped cream, chopped chocolate and crushed meringues, layered with After Eight mints in a loaf tin. It was then frozen and sliced when ready to eat. Nigella's recipe is a bit booze laden, so I omitted this for the kids.
This is quite festive I think, but to add another seasonal sparkle, I made a very quick, spiced cranberry sauce to go with it. This was some cranberry sauce out of the jar, heated with a touch of water to make it a bit thinner. I then added cinnamon and allspice to give it that familiar winter spice hit. This complemented the layers of meringue, cream and mint perfectly.
Yield: One loaf tins worth of Cake
300 ml of double cream
50 grams dark chocolate, chopped finely into thin shards
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp caster sugar
6 crushed meringue nests
Approx: 24 After Eight mints
Adapted from Nigella on BBC Food
Spiced Sauce Ingredients:
3 large dessert spoons of cranberry sauce
1 tbsp hot water
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
Line a loaf tin with clingfilm, with enough overhang to wrap over the top of the cake.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream until thick and you can see it hold it’s shape. During the beating process add the sugar, and vanilla.
When thick, fold in the chopped chocolate and crushed meringue. Transfer this to a disposable icing bag, or you can dollop with a spoon and smooth things with a knife.
Begin with a layer of cream on the bottom of the loaf tin (which will end up being the top). Add a layer of After Eights on top of this and then add another layer of cream.
Repeat until you have used up all of the cream. Always finish with the cream mix and smooth this off with a knife or off-set spatula. Fold the clingfilm over the top and gently push down to make sure everything is tightly packed. Place into the freezer for eight (fittingly) hours or overnight.
To make the sauce, place the cranberry sauce in a saucepan and gently heat until it becomes looser and add the tablespoon of hot water, stirring things together. Add the spices and mix well.
To serve, allow the cake to rest out of the freezer for about 10 minutes before serving and then use a knife dipped in boiling water to slice through the cake. Drizzle some sauce on the side and you are ready to enjoy.
Who wouldn’t love this combo of cream, meringues, chocolate and mint? Well, Claire and her family (and I) certainly did. I enjoyed my dinner and left just After Eight. Enjoy!