Find the best quality gingernuts you can for this recipe. When paired with the caramel and creamy ice-cream, you need biscuits with a strong hit of ginger so the flavour still sings and shines despite all the competition. I went rogue from the supermarket frozen aisle to my local ice-cream shop and this cake was all the better for it – the caramel was brilliantly salty and while I have suggested white chocolate below, a condensed milk flavour is also particularly excellent.
1 litre salted caramel ice-cream
395g can Top 'n' Fill caramel (or dulce de leche, if feeling flush)
300g gingernut biscuits
1 litre white chocolate ice-cream, or similar
125g vanilla wafers
1 cup caster sugar
1½ tsp mixed spice
1. For the toffee, line a baking tray with baking paper and set to the side near where you are cooking. Add the caster sugar and ¼ cup of water to a medium saucepan. Place over low heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved, give it a quick stir to ensure.
2. Increase the heat to high and bring to the boil – don't stir at this point. Cook until the mixture is a rich golden colour, just turning to amber. Remove from heat, briskly mix in the mixed spice and pour onto the tray. Working quickly, as it will begin to harden as it cools, use a fork to pull and shape interesting strands of sugar across the tray. Allow it to cool and harden on the tray before breaking into shards. (Toffee will keep between sheets of baking paper in a tightly sealed container.)
3. Line a large loaf tin with cling film with plenty overhanging the sides. Allow the salted caramel ice-cream to soften to a just-malleable consistency. Add to the lined loaf tin and use the back of your spoon or ice-cream scoop to spread out across the base.
4. Using another spoon, dollop over the caramel – it makes for a more visually interesting dessert when you cut it if the caramel is in uneven dollops. Place the tin in the freezer while you get the next layer ready.
5. Briefly pulse the gingernut biscuits in a food processor or crush them with a rolling pin until they are small bite-sized pieces. Add the biscuit chunks to a bowl. Add the white chocolate ice-cream and allow it to soften to a malleable consistency, then gently mix the biscuits through the ice-cream.
6. Remove the tin from the freezer and scoop the white chocolate and gingernut layer over the caramel layer. Level off with the back of a spoon then cover with a neat layer of vanilla wafers, trimmed to fit the tin. Cover with cling film and return to the freezer to set overnight.
7. To serve, invert onto a platter so that the vanilla wafers form the base, and gently press in the spiced toffee shards across the top. Slice using a hot, wet knife.