The night-before Christmas ice-cream cake
SERVES 8 PREP TIME 20 MINUTES (+ FREEZING TIME) 800g purchased square dark fruit cake 1 litre (4 cups) good-quality vanilla bean ice-cream
2 tablespoons brandy or rum
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 ½ teaspoons finely grated mandarin or orange rind
¼ cup (40g) dry-roasted almonds, chopped coarsely
150g frozen mixed berries
10 vanilla mini meringue drops fresh or frozen berries, extra, to serve 1
Grease a 20cm springform pan; line base and side with baking paper, extending paper 3cm above the edge.
2 Cut fruit cake into three layers horizontally. Place a slice in centre of pan. Trim remining slices to fit gaps; reserve trimmings. Using your hands, flatten fruit cake to form a level base without any spaces. Cut trimmings into small pieces.
3 Spoon ice-cream into a large bowl; add brandy, nutmeg, rind and almonds; stir to combine. Spoon half of ice-cream mixture into pan; scatter with reserved fruit cake and berries; smooth surface to level with a spoon. Top with remaining ice-cream mixture; smooth to level with spoon. Freeze for 4 hours or overnight until firm.
4 To serve, transfer cake to a stand or plate. Crush meringue slightly. Top cake with extra berries and meringue pieces. Suitable to feeze. Not suitable to microwave.