The Dean’s Cream

This is a Cambridge college recipe of the eighteenth century and is really a trifle.


  • 6 sponge cakes
  • raspberry jam
  • apricot jam
  • ¼ lb. (120 g.) ratafia biscuits or macaroons, broken up
  • ½ pint (3 dl.) sherry
  • 1 wineglass brandy
  • 1 pint (6 dl.) cream
  • 2 oz. (60 g.) caster sugar
  • angelica, cherries and crystallized pineapple to decorate


Cut the sponge cakes in half lengthways and spread 6 halves thickly with raspberry jam and 6 with apricot jam. Arrange them in a large glass or china bowl, jam sides upwards: they can be piled two or three deep. Among them put 18 or so ratafias or 3 or 4 macaroons broken up. Pour over the sherry and leave at least 20 minutes to soak.

Meanwhile whip the cream, sugar and brandy as for a solid syllabub. Pile over the wine-soaked cake, decorate, and chill for at least an hour before serving.