Carnival is all around us – over in the Black Forest, they’ve already begun their Fasnet, while for many others, carnival will start next week with Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday. The week after, commencing at 4 a.m. on Monday 27 February, Basel will burst into a cacophony of pipes and drums (accompanied by burnt flour soup and onion tart) and proceed in a trancelike state right through to Wednesday night.
If you’re anywhere in Switzerland at the moment, you can’t have failed to meet those wondrous, fragile, deep-fried, sugar-dusted little pieces of wickedness known variously as Fasnachtskiechle or merveilles de carnaval. Here’s a cheeky little dessert idea to take you into (and beyond) carnival – maybe even into a trancelike state:
- Take a Fasnachtskiechle (or several miniature Herbstkiechles, about 4 cm-diameter, pictured above) and place on a serving plate or board
- Arrange balls of ice cream over the Fasnachtskiechle to completely cover (or sandwich a ball of ice cream between 2 mini Fasnachtskiechles)
- Top with a second Fasnachtskiechle, press down very gently (they’re super-fragile)and put in the freezer till serving time
- Make a chocolate sauce by dissolving 125g best quality dark chocolate in 250ml (1 cup) water with 50g sugar in a saucepan over gentle heat
- When chocolate and sugar have dissolved, raise heat and boil for about 10 minutes or until sauce is glossy and somewhat thickened
- To serve, cut the large Fasnachtskiechle-Torte in serving pieces with a very sharp, serrated knife (serve mini-Kiechles whole) and drizzle choccy sauce over