This spectacular Christmas showstopper is covered in crunchy Maltesers and makes for an enticing alternative pudding to end your festive feast.
250g digestive biscuits
50g butter, melted
200g dulce de leche or Carnation caramel
200g chocolate ice cream (not soft-serve)
300g caramel or vanilla ice cream (not soft-serve)
4 x 121g bags Maltesers
150ml double cream
200g bar dark chocolate, finely chopped
holly, to decorate (optional)
icing sugar, to serve (optional)
Line a 1.2-litre pudding bowl with a double layer of cling film, leaving plenty overhanging, and make a space for the bowl in the freezer. Put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz until they resemble fine crumbs. Add the butter and 2 tbsp caramel, and blend until well mixed. Save about 3 tbsp for the top and tip the rest into the lined pudding bowl. Use the back of a spoon to press evenly over the base and up the sides of the bowl. Freeze for 30 mins.
Remove the chocolate ice cream from the freezer and allow it to soften at room temperature for 10 mins. Remove the pudding bowl from the freezer too (the biscuits should be firm by now.) Spoon the ice cream into the biscuit- lined bowl, packing it into the base. Spoon over the remaining caramel, spreading it to the biscuit walls. Return to the freezer for 30 mins.
Remove the caramel ice cream and allow it to soften for 10 mins. Meanwhile, tip 75g Maltesers into a bowl and lighty crush with the end of a rolling pin, leaving some chunky bits. Add the ice cream to the bowl and stir through the Malteser pieces – work quickly so the ice cream doesn’t melt too much. Remove the pudding bowl from the freezer and tip in the Malteser ice cream, spreading it to completely fill the bowl, then level the top. Scatter with the remaining biscuit crumbs. Return to the freezer for at least 4 hrs (or for up to 2 weeks).
Put the cream in a pan and heat until steaming hot but not boiling. Put the chocolate in a large bowl and pour over the cream. Leave to stand for 1-2 mins, then stir to make a smooth ganache. Set aside to cool until the sauce thickens to a spreadable consistency (you can speed this up by putting it in the fridge, but remember to stir it every 5-10 mins or it will set around the edges).
Remove the pudding bowl from the freezer. Turn it onto a plate and remove the bowl and cling film. Spread half the chocolate ganache all over the pudding and, as quickly as you can, stick the remaining Maltesers all over the surface – this is easiest if you start around the bottom and work your way up in layers. The chocolate ganache will start to set, so use a little more from the bowl to make the Maltesers stick. Once covered, return to the freezer for at least a further 4 hrs (or for up to 3 days), removing it 10 mins before serving. Top with a dusting of icing sugar and a sprig of holly, if you like.