First, make a soft, rich custard: beat 4 egg yolks until light and pale yellow. Heat 2 cups light cream with ¼ cup sugar and 1 tablespoon orange flower water or vanilla. Add beaten egg yolks, while beating very hard. Then cook without boiling, stirring continuously until custard coats the spoon. Remove to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled. Cut a two-layer sponge cake (that you bake or buy) into finger-length pieces. Spread each one on one side with raspberry jam and quickly dip in ½ cup sherry. Place half these sponge fingers in the bottom of a deep cut-glass bowl.
Cover with half the custard. Whip 2 cups cream. Sweeten with ½ cup icing sugar and vanilla to taste. Cover custard with half the whipped cream. Make a second layer on top of all this. Top with a dozen or so toasted almonds, standing them upright in the cream, add a few slivers of angelica - or use small roses instead of almonds and angelica. Refrigerate at least 12 hours. This beautiful dessert never fails to create a sensation, yet is easy to prepare.
~from The Best of Mme Jehane Benoit From: Sandee Eveland
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