Italy has its Tiramisu. Savoiardi biscuits. Dipped in coffee liqueur. Smothered in mascarpone cream. Assembled and left to work its magic in the refrigerator. Australia’s answer to Tiramisu? Chocolate Ripple Cake. Same concept. Similar ingredients. My favourite version? A packet of Arnotts chocolate ripple biscuits. Smeared with a scraping of raspberry jam. Smothered in vanilla cream. Easy and delicious. Child’s play.
Chocolate Ripple Cake is a classic Australian dessert. A stalwart on our bring a plate scene for decades. Part of our modern culinary history. A less well known fact? The forerunner to this timeless dessert was nothing less than the controversial and now politically incorrect Chocolate Golliwog Biscuit Cake.
Remember golliwogs? Fuzzy-haired black dolls with smiley red mouths. Popularised in children’s stories by Enid Blyton. Growing up I myself was the owner of a golliwog doll. Knitted by my Great Aunt. In blissful ignorance of any racist connotations to come. Looking back those dolls were perhaps The Wiggles and Teletubbies equivalent of the times. In the 1960’s Arnotts biscuits introduced Golliwog Chocolate Biscuits to our market. Fashioned after this dearly loved children’s toy. Before too long the Golliwog Biscuit Cake hit our dessert tables. A confection of chocolate biscuits, creme de menthe and whipped cream. Decorated with crumbled peppermint crisp.
In the mid-1990s controversy struck. By decree, Golliwogs were considered politically incorrect. Arnotts duly renamed its biscuits Scalliwags and eventually discontinued the line. Enter the Chocolate Ripple biscuit. And a modern politically acceptable reincarnation of a much loved dessert. The Chocolate Ripple Cake. It is a testimony to its deliciousness that this dessert has managed to withstand both controversy and the test of time.
Chocolate Ripple Cake
Serves 6 – 8
1 x 250g packet Arnotts Chocolate Ripple biscuits
500 ml thickened cream
2 tablespoons raspberry jam
1 teaspoon caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Chocolate or cocoa powder, to decorate
Raspberries or seasonal berries, to decorate
USING an electric mixer, whip together cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
SMEAR a scraping of raspberry jam on the smooth side of each biscuit.
SPREAD a little of the cream along a long serving plate to make a base. Take a biscuit and spread with a heaped teaspoon of cream and sandwich with another biscuit. Top that biscuit with another teaspoon of cream. Repeat until all biscuits have been used.
FORM a log. Place the filled biscuits on their side onto the cream base on the serving plate. Sandwich together until the log fills the serving plate.
COVER the entire log with the remaining cream. Wrap the log loosely with a double layer of baking paper and foil. Refrigerate the log for a minimum of 6 hours to set.
JUST before serving, dust the log with cocoa or shaved chocolate and decorate with seasonal berries.
CUT the cake diagonally to serve.