Monday, April 25, 2011

Ginger Cream Roll

Breakfast: Home-made granola with soy milk

Lunch: Huge Ukrainian Easter lunch (Христос воскресе!) including lots of potatoes, Vinaigrette (my favourite of the Russian salads) and vegetables, followed by my mum’s Ginger Cream Roll.

Dinner: Not a lot; Ukrainian lunches last about 4 vodka-filled hours and very much resemble Roman feasts but without the practise of regular vomiting to gorge more. This is optional.

Dating someone from the former Eastern Bloc means that we have a lot of that culture in family gatherings, especially when it comes to the food. I am catered for very well (although at first the idea that I didn’t eat meat might have brought a small heart attack!) and have loved trying all the Ukrainian dishes, a few of which I’ll be posting here very soon.

Though Easter isn’t a big deal for me, it is for that side of the family, so for the big Easter lunch I thought I should try and bring some of my home culture in as well. As I didn’t grow up a vegetarian I didn’t want to make a veggie main dish that no one would appreciate, so I thought back to our traditional family gatherings and considered something we’ve always done well: dessert.

This recipe was always a staple of the holidays in my house, Christmas especially, and despite the fact that there were always about 4 puddings, this recipe always had us reaching for a second slice (and has me secretly raiding the fridge at home). As far as I know this is a Kay Parry original, but I’ve made a slight tweak, using rum instead of the usual brandy as we had some left over from our housewarming the night before. Both work really well and this is so easy to make that you will feel almost ashamed when everyone likes it so much.

Update: I've been informed that this is in fact an Eileen Leeson original, or as we prefer to call her, Gromma. She also used to let me lick the bowl when she made epic coffee cakes when I was younger, and made forts in the living room out of chairs and blankets, and for all these things, I say thank you!

You’ll need:
            1 packet (about 100g) of ginger biscuits
            100ml of whipping cream

Whip the cream until your arm is either shaking uncontrollably or refusing to move further, and the cream is forming peaks when you lift the whisk, and set aside
Brush a biscuit on both sides with the alcohol (liberally) and put a big dollop of cream on one side
Stand this biscuit on its edge
Brush another biscuit, put the dollop of cream on one side and stand it next to the other biscuit, so they are sandwiched together with one lot of cream in the middle
Continue to do this until you have a log of whatever size you want; I recommend using the whole packet of biscuits because this gets eaten fast!
Try to get an even spread with the biscuits; squish them together a little and let the cream spill out, as it will be covered with more cream tomorrow

The roll should look like this!
Put the log in the fridge overnight, uncovered
An hour or so before serving, take it out and cover the log on all sides with the rest of the cream
Place back in the fridge
When ready to serve, sprinkle with crushed up Flake or some ginger biscuit crumbs
Slice on an angle for unbridled joy

As I hoped, this went down a storm and was finished completely. For such a cream-heavy dessert it feels surprisingly light, until you’ve had 3 slices of it after wolfing down a plateful of roasted vegetables and stealthily polishing off a packet of After Eights all day long.

In fact, now I think of it, this dessert is actually nicer not eaten at Christmas.

As an interesting aside, this was accidentally placed in the freezer for a good couple of hours, and came out very much like an ice cream cake…which was also delicious!

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