A Whim-Wham

A delicious name (probably referring to its very high alcohol content) for an absolutely delicious and very quickly made eighteenth-century trifle.


  • 18 sponge fingers, broken in halves
  • ¼ pint ( dl.) fairly sweet sherry
  • glass of brandy
  • juice of 2 oranges, sweetened with a tablespoon of sugar
  • ¾ pint (9 dl.) whipped cream
  • ¼ lb. (120 g.) blanched almonds
  • 1 oz. (30 g.) butter
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


Fry the almonds in the butter until just biscuit colour. Throw the sugar over them, shake, and turn on to a plate to cool. They will have a toffee coating.

Put the sponge fingers in a large bowl about half an hour before you start dinner, and pour the sherry and brandy and orange juice over. Leave to soak while you eat (do not prepare it too early, or the alcohol is partly lost, and the biscuits become too soggy). Whip the cream just before dinner. It should be light, and should just hold a peak; it must not be at all buttery. Leave the cream apart until you are ready to serve the whim-wham, then give it a quick stir and pour and pile it over the sponge, which should have absorbed all the liquid. Sprinkle the almonds all over, and serve at once.