Basel Fasnacht has just drawn to a close for another year. The town is full of disconsolate Baslers wandering around with long faces, trying to think what they can do to cheer themselves up till next year’s carnival comes round again. What hasn’t come to an end are those wonderful, sugar-dusted, deep-fried Fasnachtschiechle (merveilles de carnaval in French), which will be in the shops for a little while yet.
Here’s a super-speedy, super-simple torte fit to lift the spirits of any downhearted Fasnächtler. All you have to do is lay one of these fragile, sugary wonders in the bottom of a springform tin, arrange scoops of coffee ice cream on top, slather with whipped cream into which you’ve crumbled some biscuits (Amaretti, Brunsli or more Chiechle crumbs) and top with a second Fasnachtschiechle…da da. A drizzle of dark choccy sauce doesn’t go amiss either. Brilliant for when you get guests at short notice, and it keeps beautifully in the freezer.
FASNACHTSCHIECHLE TORTE WITH ICE CREAM AND CHOCOLATE SAUCE
1 litre ice cream, various flavours
250ml whipping cream (Schlagrahm or crème fraîche liquide)
100g crushed Amaretti, macaroons or Brunsli
125g dark chocolate
Take a springform tin the same diameter as the Fasnachtschiechli, line it with non-stick baking parchment and lay one Chiechli in the bottom. Arrange scoops of ice cream close together to completely cover. I did a mix of coffee and vanilla here.
Put in the freezer for a bit to firm up again.
Whip the cream until it forms stiff peaks. Crush the Amaretti/macaroons/Brunsli in a food processor until they form fine crumbs and fold these into the whipped cream. Spread the cream over the ice cream and lay the second Fasnachtschiechle on top.
Return the torte to the freezer.
For the chocolate sauce, break up the chocolate, put it in a pan with the water and the sugar and let it melt/dissolve over gentle heat. Raise heat, bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes or until sauce is glossy and somewhat thickened. Cool.
Just before serving, release the torte from the springform and peel away the cling film, set the torte on your best plate.
To serve, pour a puddle of sauce onto serving plates, lay a slice of torte on top and drizzle a little more chocolate sauce over the torte.
You can also make mini-tortes using tiny Chiechli and sandwiching them with ice cream – though you may have to wait till autumn/fall for these little so-called Herbstchiechli.
[And if you can pronounce Fasnachtschiechle you get bonus Brownie points…]