Christmas Cake Crème with Raspberries and Almonds

I first made this at a demonstration I did in London on ‘a typical New Zealand Christmas meal’, when I tried to think of a way to make such a rich cake appealing in a hot New Zealand summer. I really fell for it and have made it many times since. It’s a good way to serve Christmas cake in disguise and is best served really chilled.

Ingredients

  • 300 g (10 ½ oz) fruity Christmas cake
  • 900 ml (1 ½ pints) cream
  • 120 g (4 oz) caster sugar
  • 9 egg yolks
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla essence
  • 1 punnet raspberries
  • flaked almonds, toasted
  • runny cream to serve

Method

Preheat oven to 170°C/340°F/Gas Mark 3–4. Divide cake between six ovenproof glasses (about 250 ml/8 fl oz in volume), pressing it firmly into the bottom. Bring cream and half the sugar to the boil. Whisk yolks with remaining sugar and vanilla and gradually pour on the hot cream, whisking as you go. Pour cream through a sieve into a clean jug, then pour onto the cake in the glasses.

Place a deep roasting dish in the centre of the oven, place the glasses in the dish and fill with enough hot water to come three-quarters of the way up the sides of the glasses. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 35–45 minutes until the custard has set on top and looks a little firm, but still has a slight wobble. Take the roasting dish out of the oven and leave to cool completely before removing the custards. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

To serve, pile raspberries and almonds on the custards and serve with a jug of runny cream.