Several years ago we ran a competition that asked people about their Christmas cake traditions, the results were a total surprise. Literally hundreds of the respondents admitted to buying, receiving or baking Christmas cakes every year religiously when not a single member of the household actually like Christmas cake. This prompted me to develop a recipe to use up all that Christmas cake in a way that retained the spicy, festive qualities but had none of the cloying heaviness that people seemed to object to so strongly. The result can be made easily and quickly and is simply delicious.

300 g Christmas cake – bought or homemade
2 tbsp of spirits such as brandy or rum or alternatively use orange juice
1x 2 litre tub of store bought french vanilla ice cream
Strawberries and Hershey’s kisses to decorate

Line a metal loaf tin with sufficient plastic cling film to completely line the tin and fold over the top.

Remove ice cream from freezer and allow to soften but not liquefy.

In a large bowl crumble the cake and sprinkle with the spirits or juice, turn the ice cream into the bowl and gently fold the crumbled cake through the ice cream.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and tap on the bench to fill corners. Fold excess cling film over the top and return to the freezer to re freeze.

Before serving slice the strawberries in half but do not remove the stalks.

To serve, turn the ice-cream out of the tin onto a large serving platter, remove cling film and pile strawberry halves and Hershey’s kisses along the top and at the sides of the ice cream. Slice into thick slices; alternatively serve in slices with mixed fresh berries, berry coulis or crème anglaise.