22 May 2018 No Bake
This traditional American cake is made of cookies stacked with layers of creamy mascarpone. As it sits overnight, the cookies soften to a delicious cakey texture. Before you build the cake on a stand, make sure you have enough vertical space in your fridge, else use a serving plate instead. You can halve these quantities for a smaller cake, or assemble it in a dish for a cookie-mad take on tiramisu.
1. Place the mascarpone in a really large bowl, add the vanilla seeds and beat briefly to soften a little. Pour in the cream and whisk until soft peaks form. This is easiest with an electric mixer or whisk.
2. Reserve 75g of the dulce de leche caramel in a small bowl for later. Spread 1 tablespoon of the remainder onto a stand or serving plate in a 17cm circle. Then spread 12 cookies each with about a teaspoon of the caramel and arrange, caramel-side up, in a single layer on the stand: nine should fit in a circle with three in the middle. Spoon one-eighth (about 150g) of the mascarpone mixture on top and spread it in an even layer, almost to the edge of the cookies.
3. Spread 12 more cookies with caramel, arrange in the same manner of the cream, and spread with another eighth of the mascarpone on top. Repeat until you have 8 layers of cookies, finishing with a layer of the creamy mixture. Chill in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. This can be prepared up to 24 hours in advance.
4. When ready to serve, gently warm the reserved caramel in a small pan or the microwave, just enough to loosen it. Leave to cool a little, then drizzle it back and forth across the top. Dust with cocoa powder. Break up the praline and scatter it over. To serve, cut the cake into 12 wedges. As the wedges are very tall, each can be halved horizontally. This will last another day in the fridge.
For an added twist . . .
Use peanut butter in place of dulce de leche. For drizzling, loosen with a splash of milk or cream.
This recipe is taken from my first book, No Bake-Baking, available in all great bookstores and online here.
Photo (c) Donal Skehan.
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla pod
1 litre double cream
600g dulce de leche caramel
96 double chocolate chip cookies, about 5cm wide (approx. 8-12 packets)
1 tsp cocoa powder, to dust
100g pecan or hazelnut Praline (or Crunchie bars)
Electric mixer or whisk (if you have one)