This rich and decadent Caramel Peppermint dessert is my adaptation of the classic quick and easy South African dessert, the Peppermint Crisp Tart.
It is made with layers of tennis biscuits (coconut flavored shortbread cookies) or romany creams (chocolate flavored coconut cookies), caramel condensed milk, double thick whipped cream, sliced banana and peppermint chocolate.
I don’t remember when I first tasted a version of this dulce de leche pudding sometimes also referred to as Peppermint Crisp fridge tart, except that I found it too sickly sweet. The combination of the caramel condensed milk and the peppermint chocolate candy bars was too much sweetness in one mouthful.
The peppermint crisp chocolate bars are actually thin cylinders of mint flavoured candy enclosed in sweet milk chocolate. It is not widely available outside of South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. I never loved the flavor of the Nestle peppermint crisp chocolate, and have often used Cadbury Mint flavoured milk chocolate or Lindt Mint Intense Dark Chocolate for a more adult indulgence.
How to make the best Caramel Peppermint dessert
- I have used Tennis biscuits (coconut shortbread style cookies) as well as Romany creams (chocolate coconut cookies) in this recipe and both options work well with the dulce de leche.
- The Nestle Caramel Treat or dulce de leche can usually be found with the other baking essentials or near the condensed milk at your supermarket. I always use the Nestle brand of Caramel Treat as it saves hours of boiling and has a consistently delicious flavour.
- In the days before ready made Caramel Treat or Dulce de leche was commercially available, we boiled cans of condensed milk for about 3 to 3.5 hours to get it to a rich and unctuous blend of caramelized full cream milk and sugar, that could be used in desserts or cakes as fillings or toppings.
- For my version of Caramel peppermint dessert, I have always added a few squeezes of lemon juice to the caramel to slightly reduce the sweetness cream and to the banana slices to prevent browning.
- Originally this dessert was made with Orly whip, a South African non-dairy alternative to whipping cream that tripled in volume once beaten. I never much cared for non-dairy alternatives and have always used double thick or whipping cream in my version of this Caramel Peppermint dessert.
- The Caramel Peppermint dessert is so versatile that it can be used as an easy pudding or fridge tart recipe or an ice cream cake. For pudding it should be refrigerated for a minimum of 2 hours before serving. For a peppermint ice cream cake prepare the recipe as indicated, but layer the dessert in a freezer proof container and freeze overnight, or for a minimum of 5 hours before serving.
If you don’t love dulce de leche desserts you may want to try another from the selection below.
Caramel Peppermint dessert
- 200 grams chocolate coconut cookies
- 375 grams Caramel Treat or Dulce de Leche (equivalent to 1 can of Nestle Caramel Treat)
- 250 ml double thick cream
- 5 ml lemon juice
- 2 ripe bananas, sliced (splashed with 2.5 ml of the lemon juice)
- 250 ml whipping cream
- 50 grams Cadbury mint chocolate grated (or one 35 gram Peppermint crisp bars broken into small pieces)
- 10 Pecan halves
- Crush the chocolate coconut cookies and add one third to the bottom of the dessert bowl.
- Slice the bananas and splash with 2.5 ml of the lemon juice to prevent browning.
- Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.
- In a separate bowl, beat the caramel and 2.5 ml of the lemon juice until smooth and then add to the double thick whipped cream.
- Whip again to combine and ensure that it is not runny.
- Pour half the caramel cream mixture over the cookie crumbs and add a layer of banana slices.
- Add another layer of cookie crumbs, caramel cream and banana slices.
- Top with the rest of the cookie crumbs and decorate with whipped cream, grated chocolate or chocolate pieces and pecan halves.
- For the no churn ice cream prepare the recipe as indicated but layer the dessert in a freezer proof container and freeze overnight or for a minimum of 5 hours.
- If you cannot find ready made caramel treat or dulce de leche you can also use 1 can of full cream condensed milk boiled for approximately 3 to 3.5 hours to caramelise the sugars.
Nutritional information for the recipe is approximate only and we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given.
This recipe was first published on March 25, 2015 and has since been updated. Eek below is the original photo!
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