Peppermint crisp pudding is an iconic South African dessert, which incorporates the indigenous Tennis biscuit and a peppermint crisp chocolate bar. It got me wondering if this chocolate was sold anywhere else in the world and why we seem to be the only nationality to have adopted the tart and pudding. I guess others might find the concept of including a brittle mint flavoured sugar concoction extruded in fine hollow tubes and then coated with chocolate a little odd to include in a dessert, but damn we love it over here. The bar itself was invented by Wilson-Rowntree and is now made by Nestle. It’s also sold in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. Probably as a result of so many ex-pat South Africans living in all of those countries it warrants enough of a market share. Anyway, I have made a peppermint crisp pudding on my site (I like to add a splash of booze and coffee to combat the clawing sweetness), so I thought Why not make an ice cream.
If you have been following me along you will know that I’m obsessed with making ice cream. Its one of the simplest desserts you can create and the easiest way you can bowl people over. I bought my semi-industrial Italian ice cream machine about 15 years ago out of desperation to eat super premium ice cream. Back in those days, there was no such thing on the market. This was before Häagen-Dazs was launched and before anyone had even thought of opening an artisan ice cream business. I also coincidentally was part of the team to do all the pre-launch work on the Häagen-Dazs brand as I worked for General Mills at the time. Having been exposed to and lived on multiple premium ice cream brands in the years that I travelled and lived overseas, I was well aware of what we were missing. Ben & Jerry’s Heath Bar crunch and Häagen-Dazs Pralines and cream are frequently used as a barometer for things or activities in life, and very often knowing I would rather eat one of those vs doing other things has helped me adjust my behaviour.
I digress, this recipe is based on my favourite ice cream base recipe and it’s from the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream & dessert book. Please don’t contact me and complain about raw eggs being used in the recipe. Both Haagen Daz and Ben & Jerry’s recipes use raw eggs so if you ate any other those over the years you would have consumed raw egg. I eat raw eggs in tiramisu and a multitude of other desserts so I have no problem with consuming them in ice cream. I eat my egg yolk as soft as is humanly possible to make while keeping the white cooked. So skip along to another recipe with cooked eggs if you prefer and then adapt that by adding a swirl of caramel and crushing on the chocolate.
I substituted most of the sugar for the caramel, which is incorporated into the ice cream so this is essentially a caramel ice cream with crushed peppermint crisp chocolate. I contemplated including a handful of broken Tennis biscuits to give it more of a peppermint crisp pudding vibe – and this would totally work, but in the end, I decide to keep it more of an ice cream.
Recipe – makes about 1 litre of ice cream
- 2 large free-range eggs
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 cup tinned caramel – divided (I used Nestle Caramel treat) – basically 1 tin
- 2 cups whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 80-100gms peppermint crisp chocolate bar, roughly chopped (you can use more to sprinkle on the top if you prefer)
- Beat the eggs until fluffy for about 2 minutes.
- Add the sugar, ¾ of the caramel (reserving the reminder to swirl over the top) and vanilla and carry on whisking for a further 3 minutes or so until the sugar is incorporated and the colour is pale.
- Add the cream and whisk until it thickens – about 3 minutes.
- Add the milk and mix to combine
- Run the mix through an ice cream maker until ready according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
- Once the ice cream has reached its final stage, add half the chocolate pieces and allow it to swirl very briefly through the mix. Decant it into a freezer proof container and dot the remaining caramel over the top. Using a skewer, swirl this through the top ¼ of the ice cream, or just on the surface. It doesn’t matter. Sprinkle over the remaining chopped up peppermint crisp chocolate and freeze until ready to serve.
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