A lady needs a few good recipes to impress her least favourite relatives. These are traditionally French, although Thai seems to have more snob value at the moment.
This is a great one for dinner parties, romantic evenings and any other time you want it to look particularly talented. Made with mostly fresh fruit and yogurt, it makes a rather special healthy breakfast. With chocolate cake and chili, it would probably pass as an aphrodisiac. It’s like trifle, but less awful. You can make it in any tall transparent container, large or small and it looks amazing.
This is not a recipe in the traditional sense, because I never follow them. This is a scaffold, not a strict formula. I trust you to come up with a palatable combination of flavours. All the layers can be made from scratch (after first inventing the universe), ordered from your GM-free organic cruelty free collective or bought from the local supermarket, that’s up to you, and to be honest, no one will notice anyway.
Berries: fresh, canned or frozen, they all give different results. Other fruits can work well, especially melons.
Sponge fingers: or sponge cake, or even chocolate cake. This ingredient has to soak up some alcohol, then taste good, use your own judgement.
Alcohol: I like Grand Marnier or port, but there are all manner of spirits and liquors that could work just as well with different fruits and cakes.
Sweet mascarpone: or a sweetened mixture of cream and cream cheese, or a sweet yogurt, or even whipped cream. Choose your preferences, balance your flavours.
Meringue: home made meringues are lovely, supermarket ones are fine, but if you’re cooking for a few people, I suggest smashing up a bought pavlova.
Put a few berries in the bottom of a wine glass, squash them a bit for colour.
Layer some sponge on top, try to make a floor that will not allow further ingredients to fall through.
Sprinkle with your chosen alcohol, be careful not to overdo this, it can overpower other flavours.
Make a layer of meringue, this is the hardest part, it has to be squashed into a fairly solid layer.
Gently layer on mascarpone or whatever other creamy goo you use, making sure the layers are thick and stable enough to remain distinct. You can colour this layer by blending in some berries.
Top with a pretty fruit or some chocolate.
A romantic dessert for a man’s man:
A healthy breakfast:
A chilled dessert for a big family: