Christmas ice-cream cake with festive crumb

This grown-up ice-cream cake marries traditional Christmas flavours with a salted crumb and an indulgent chocolate and whisky sauce.


600 ml milk
600 ml double cream
8 egg yolks
120 gm brown sugar
¼ tsp xanthan gum (see note)
465 gm store-bought Christmas cake, crumbled
50 gm candied citrus peel, finely chopped
100 gm each red and green glacé cherries, halved

Festive crumb
500 gm rolled oats
150 gm (1 cup) plain flour
150 gm (2/3 cup) caster sugar
175 gm (2 cups) shredded coconut
175 gm (½ cup) golden syrup
150 gm unsalted butter, finely chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cloves
1½ tbsp ground lemon myrtle (see note)
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp sea salt flakes

Chocolate and whisky sauce
220 gm (1 cup) caster sugar
200 gm (2 cups) Dutch cocoa, sieved
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
50 ml single-malt whisky


  1. For ice-cream, bring milk and cream to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale (4 minutes). While whisking continuously, gradually add milk mixture. Return to pan and cook, stirring continuously, over medium heat until mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and whisk in xanthan gum, then Christmas cake and citrus peel until combined. Place bowl over an ice-water bath and stir to cool completely. Churn one-third of the mixture in an ice-cream machine until firm.
  2. Meanwhile, grease a 22cm bundt tin (2-litre capacity). Spoon ice-cream into the tin, scatter over half of the green and red cherries and place in the freezer. Repeat churning with another third of the mixture, then spoon into tin and scatter over remaining cherries. Return tin to freezer. Meanwhile, churn the final third of the mixture; add to tin and freeze for 6 hours or overnight until firm.
  3. For festive crumb, preheat oven to 150°C fan-forced. Grease and line a large oven tray with baking paper. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and, using your hands, knead until incorporated. Scatter mixture over prepared tray and bake, frequently breaking it up and stirring with a metal spoon until golden and crisp (20 minutes). Transfer tray to a wire rack and leave to cool. Place three-quarters of the oat mixture in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped; return to remaining oat mixture and toss to combine.
  4. For chocolate and whisky sauce, combine 500ml water, sugar, cocoa, vanilla and a pinch of salt in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking continuously, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (8 minutes); remove from heat and stir in whisky. Place pan in an ice bath and stir until cold. Transfer to an airtight container until required.
  5. To remove ice-cream cake from tin, dip tin in hot water for 5 seconds. Invert onto a tray lined with baking paper (you will need to be quite firm to dislodge it). The outside should be slightly melted; this will help the crumb to stick. Scoop up handfuls of the crumb and pat around the ice-cream cake to cover evenly, then place in freezer to firm (1 hour).
  6. To serve, transfer ice-cream cake to a cake stand and drizzle over chocolate and whisky sauce.

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