"This treat is as light as a feather. With a delicate flavour of caramel and white chocolate finished off with the oomph of gingerbread, it is delicious, decadent and definitely a possibility for a Christmas dessert," said Mercy Fenton, whose column runs in The Echo every Wednesday. "A light gingerbread with a reduced amount of treacle, this can be made a day in advance."
115gr plain flour
1/2 tsp bread soda
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
30gr butter at room temperature
70gr Demerara sugar
82gr golden syrup
75ml boiling water
30gr free-range egg
- Lightly grease and line a 9-inch spring form tin with parchment paper.
- Pre-heat oven to 175C.
- Put the Demerara, treacle, golden syrup, butter and boiling water in a jug and stir to melt butter and sugar, allow to cool a bit before adding the egg (as you don’t want to cook it)
- Sieve the remaining dry ingredients together into a medium sized bowl.
- Make a well in the centre of the bowl as you would for pancakes and pour on the liquid, whisking all the time, bringing in the dry ingredients slowly until you have a smooth, lump-free batter.
- Pour into the prepared tin and bake until golden and firm to the touch, about 25 to 35 minutes.
- Allow to cooling fully, then turn out onto wire rack.
- Once cooled, cut a thin slice horizontally to use for the base of the slice. This is far more than you need so eat or freeze the rest for other Christmassy recipes.
- The next layer is the white chocolate mousse, but prepare the caramel first.
80ml cream - warmed
5gr maldon sea salt (optional)
- Meanwhile, cook 125gr of sugar and the water to caramel.
- Cooking the sugar to caramel: Be very careful, as caramel burns are very serious.
- Get ready a small bowl of ice water and a clean pastry brush.
- Put the sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pan (choose a pan slightly larger than you think you need and ideally with high sides) and cook over a gentle heat until the sugar is dissolved.
- Turn up heat, the syrup will begin to boil rapidly.
- Sugar crystals may form at the side of the pan; brush these down carefully with the ice-cold water and a pastry brush, be very careful doing this to ensure the sugar does not splatter.
- When the sugar begins to caramelize, swirl the pan gently to disperse the heat.
- When you tilt the pan, the liquid should be a rich caramel colour, be brave enough to cook it to quite a deep colour (if you smell burn, you need to start again). Once your caramel is cooked remove from the heat.
- Carefully add the warmed cream and cook for a minute or two more stirring well to remove lumps.
- Weigh 60gr into a small bowl for the caramel cream and keep the rest separate.
88gr white chocolate drops
66ml pouring cream
177ml cream for whipping to soft peaks
1 leaf of gelatin
- Soak the gelatin in cold water.
- Boil the pouring cream.
- Lift the gelatin out of the water and squeeze away the excess water, add soaked gelatin to the boiled cream and stir until dissolved.
- Pour the cream mixture onto white chocolate, stir until smooth and melted.
- Allow to cool until it is nearly set in the fridge.
- Remember to stir occasionally, using spatula.
- Meanwhile, whip cream to soft peaks.
- When chocolate mixture is nearly set, fold in whipped cream.
- Fill into the spring-form tin until it comes up halfway, level on top and refrigerate.
112gr cream cheese
60gr prepared caramel
1¼ leaves gelatine
50gr white chocolate
- Melt the white chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiled water – ensure bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water.
- Once melted, set aside.
- Soak the gelatine in cold water to soften.
- Using spade attachment of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar, - scrape down sides.
- Once it’s smooth, mix in the melted white chocolate and beat again to mix in.
- Lift the gelatine from cold water and squeeze to remove excess water.
- Dissolve the gelatine in the boiled water and add to the caramel.
- Add the dissolved gelatine to the cream cheese, mix well.
- Place the cheese mix in the fridge and whip the cream to soft peaks.
- Allow the cream cheese mix to nearly set in the fridge, when it is slightly wobbly fold in the whipped cream.
- Scrape the mix into the tin, then swirl one or two tablespoons of the extra caramel over the top and scrape gently to spread.
- Refrigerate until set, then serve with a little ice cream or whipped cream.
- To serve, you can decorate with some white chocolate curls if you wish.
For more dessert ideas for Christmas from Mercy, see The Echo on Wednesday December 1 for our special Christmas Food supplement.