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Today’s recipe is posted in honor of the Olympics, which is running pretty much 24/7 in our house. I love England, London, and cute, fit young guys—so it’s a win-win for me.

Anxious for the opening ceremony, I searched the internet in vain for live links, but had to, in the end, make do with still photos that made me even more excited. It was thrilling despite Matt Lauer and Meredith Vierra’s insipid commentary, (did she really sing along with a Stones song?) and the tedious commercials, which I now hear resulted in the cutting of an Israeli memorial segment. Boo NBC.

This dish hails from 16th century Britain, and consisted of cream flavored with a delightful mix of ginger and rose water, not unlike the colonial “foole”. Later versions saw the addition of liquor soaked bread, custard, and jellies. In Scotland a similar dish, the Tipsy Laird is made with whiskey. In the American South the Tipsy Cake bears a striking resemblance as well.

Like all of my favorite preparations, it can easily be made using leftovers. I like pound cake for this recipe, but many prefer sponge, and even sweet bread works well. (Try it with leftover croissants!) The cake element is not as important as a good Anglaise, and fresh, ripe fruit. Huzzah!


  • 1 recipe Pound Cake, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup sherry, brandy, or liqueur
  • 3 cups assorted fresh fruit, including strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, peeled and sliced kiwi, sliced peaches or plums, and orange segments
  • 1 recipe Creme Anglaise
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 TB. sugar
  • 1 TB vanilla extract


1. Layer the bottom of a large glass serving bowl with 1/3 of the diced cake, and drizzle with 2 tablespoons sherry. Arrange on top of the cake half of the fresh fruit. Take care to place attractive fruits against the glass. Add another 1/3 of the cake cubes, sherry, the remaining fruit. Finish with the remaining cake and sherry, then pour the cooled custard sauce over the cake, evenly distributing. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

2. Just before serving, whip cream and sugar together in a large bowl using a whisk or an electric mixer. At medium peak, add vanilla and mix in. Spread whipped cream evenly over the top of the trifle. To serve, dig deep with a large serving spoon to scoop out cake and fruit for everyone.

London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony