The first time my British husband visited my hometown of Dubbo was also his first Aussie Christmas.
We stepped off the plane and the 42-degree heat smacked us right in the face.
‘I don’t think we’ll be having roast potatoes and plum pudding this year, will we?’ he smiled.
So many recipes for traditional Christmas desserts involve some baking, but when it’s this hot outside, who wants to turn the oven on?
And while we’re at it, who wants to get all tricky “deconstructing” a pavlova or making a fancy pudding that requires 30 steps? Ain’t nobody got time for that.
These three recipes tick all the boxes. They’re no-bake, made with just a handful of cheap and cheerful ingredients, and they’re totally delicious. Not to mention bound to impress even the fussiest family members.
1. Chocolate Ripple Cake.
With just two main ingredients, this recipe literally could not be easier.
My five-year-old daughter loves helping me put this cake together.
Prepare it the day before you want to eat it, as you need to let it set overnight to allow the cream to soak into the biscuits. The result is a cakey texture with lovely layers from the biscuits.
- 250g Arnott’s Chocolate Ripple biscuits (or use choc chip biscuits).
- 600ml thickened cream.
- 2 tbsp icing sugar.
- Line a small cake tin with a large sheet of baking paper, with plenty of paper hanging over each side. Pour 500ml of the cream and the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and whisk with electric beaters until thick (store the leftover cream in the fridge to use before serving).
- Grab a biscuit and slather a tablespoon of cream onto one side, then sandwich the next biscuit into it. Place the biscuits on their side in the tin. Continue adding cream and sandwiching the biscuits together, to form a ring around the outside edge of the cake tin. Cover the top of the ring with the rest of the cream so that the biscuits are all covered.
- Cover the tin with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight (or up to 24 hours) to set. When ready to serve, remove the plastic wrap and carefully lift the cake out of the tin (using all four corners of the baking paper – this cake is delicate!) and place it onto a serving platter or cake stand. Snip the visible baking paper away, but don’t try to remove the paper sitting underneath.
- Grab your leftover 100ml of cream and beat until very thick. Use this as ‘icing’ to carefully cover the sides and centre so that you can’t see the biscuits (don’t worry about the top as it will be covered in fruit). Be gentle as the cake is very soft now.
- Decorate with fresh berries, chocolate shards, mint leaves or anything else that takes your fancy. Or just leave it plain! Slice and serve immediately.
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus overnight to set.
Mix it up: You could add food colouring to the cream if you wanted to. Use different biscuits such as Ginger Nut biscuits. Or use a plain biscuit and add some lemon curd before the cream. Add some sprinkle or flaked chocolate. Double the recipe to make a mega cake. Cover the finished cake with berries or cherries, anything goes.