- 1 bought sponge cake (see notes)
- 16 dates, seeded, sliced lengthways
- 3 oranges, peeled, segmented
- 300g red seedless grapes
- 40g flaked almonds, toasted
- 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
- 40g unsalted butter
- 1 cup (250ml) pouring cream
- 1/4 cup (55g) caster sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
- 40ml sweet marsala, sherry or orange juice
- 500g mascarpone
Follow basic sponge cake recipe, cooking cake in a deep, 19cm square cake tin for 35 minutes. Cut cooled cake horizontally into 3 layers, then cut each layer into 2.5cm cubes.
Meanwhile, for caramel, combine sugar and 1/2 cup boiling water in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, over low heat until sugar dissolves, then simmer without stirring until syrup forms a dark caramel. Remove from heat and immediately stir in butter and cream until combined. Cool to room temperature then refrigerate until chilled.
For cream layer, using a wire whisk, whisk sugar and egg yolks until thick and pale. Add marsala and mascarpone and whisk until smooth. Using an electric mixer, whisk eggwhites to stiff peaks, then gently fold into mascarpone mixture.
Spoon half the cream mixture among 8 x 300ml glasses. Top with 3-4 pieces of cake, a few date slices, orange segments and grapes, then pour over a little caramel sauce. Repeat layering with remaining ingredients (you will have some sponge left over — this can be frozen). Serve immediately, scattered with almonds, or refrigerate for up to 2 hours.