Peppermint Crisp Tart

South African peppermint crisp tart, based on the peppermint crisp candy bar is an emblematic part of South African cooking. One that is the epitome of simple. You whip up the cream and caramel and assemble the night before. This allows the cookies to soften up and be cake like and delicious. The hard part is (was! Recently I have seen them at World Market, Whole Foods, and a local international grocer)  the peppermint crisp candy bar. They are difficult to find in the states and without having tasted one I wasn't sure what to replace it with. I also REALLY wanted to see the inside first hand, the green rods encased in chocolate had me intrigued. So when I finally found a place to order them for a reasonable price, or at least reasonable for a special occasion, I ordered two and got to work.

Can we talk about that texture for minute? I had no idea what to expect. The chocolate was, well, chocolaty, but the inside, that was the what was throwing me. It has a really strong pepperminty taste, much like in mint hard candies. Which is really what the rods are, but with a nice brittle and flaky texture. My family seriously loved it.

Don't sprinkle the candy bar over the top until just before serving, it dissolves into little puddles and it not attractive. Some recipes crust one of the candy bars in to the cream, I did not for that reason and instead put them both on top.

I use the white chocolate pudding mix to thicken the whipped cream to counteract the caramel and make sure it slices well.The xanthan gum is to stabalize.

The cookies get soft, but not soggy, in the cream overnight. To make sure they are soft all the way through I spread a little in the bottom of the pan. I didn't wipe it out after cutting  slice, it gets absorbed for the most part.

Since the candy bars are hard to get a hold of, and not that I have tasted them once, in the future I will probably top the recipe with aero candy bars that are fairly easy to find in the states. Crushed york or andes would also be delicious.

1 (11.5 oz.) jar of caramel
2 c. heavy whipping cream
3 Tbsp. white chocolate pudding mix
pinch xanthan gum, optional
1 (6.75 oz.) Bordeaux cookies or tennis biscuits 
2 peppermint crisp candy bars

Whip the cream until it is just starting to get thick. Add in the pudding mix, and xanthan gum if using, and keep whipping until really stiff. 

Fold the caramel in to the whipped cream until fully incorporated. 

In a small casserole dish, mine was 10.5x8.25, spoon about 2 spoon fulls of the caramel cream mixture and spread, it will be really thin. 

Layer half of the cookies in to the bottom of the pan and spread with half of the remaining caramel mixture. Layer the second half of the cookies and then remaining cream.

Cover the top securely with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 8 hours. 

Crush the candy bars and sprinkle over the top just before serving.

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  1. I have never heard of this candy but the cake sounds amazing. I love peppermint.


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