It may be called the-night-before, but this Christmas ice-cream cake can be prepared up to three days prior. It packs berries and brandy in rich vanilla ice-cream, making for the perfect dessert after a hearty Christmas feast.
- 800 g square dark fruit cake
- 550 g frozen mixed berries
- 1 litre good-quality vanilla bean ice-cream
- 2 tbsps brandy or rum
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1½ tsp finely grated mandarin or orange rind
- ¼ cup (40 g) dry-roasted almonds, chopped coarsely
- 10 vanilla flavour mini meringue drops
Grease a 20 cm springform pan; line base and side with baking paper, extending paper 3 cm beyond rim.
Cut fruit cake into three slices horizontally. Place a square slice in the centre of the base of the pan. Using remaining slices, trim them to fit the gaps; reserve trimmings. Using your hands, flatten fruit cake to form a level base without gaps. Cut trimmings into small pieces.
Remove ½ cup frozen red berries, cut any strawberries in half. Press strawberries to the side of the pan using some ice-cream as ‘glue’. Place the pan in the freezer for 10 mins.
Spoon remaining ice-cream into a large bowl; stir in brandy, nutmeg, rind and almonds; stir to combine. Spoon one-third of the ice-cream mixture into the pan; scatter with one-third reserved fruit cake, smooth level with a spoon. Repeat with remaining ice-cream mixture and fruit cake. Freeze for 4 hrs or overnight until firm.
To serve, transfer cake to a serving plate. Layer remaining berries and meringues over the top, crushing some of the meringues in the process.
TIP The cake can be made up to three days ahead.