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Marquise Alice

ingredients

serves 4 to 6
oil for greasing
4 eggs or 1 whole egg and 2 yolks
1/3 cup (75 g) 3oz castor sugar
250 ml (8 fl oz) milk
few drops of vanilla essence
2 tsp (10 ml) gelatine
2 oz (50 g) Praline crushed
5 - 6 Sponge Fingers
4 tbsp (60 ml) kirsch
125 ml (4 fl oz) double cream (heavy cream)
125 ml (4 fl oz) single cream

for the decoration

200 ml (1/3 pint) double cream, (heavy cream)
redcurrant jelly

accompaniments (you may need these)

method

To make praline, heat 100 g (4 oz) sugar with 15 ml (1 tbsp) water until dissolved, then boil until golden. Stir in 100 g (4 oz) toasted/blanched almonds and turn the mixture on to an oiled baking sheet to cool.

1. 0il a 750 ml (1 1/4 pint) mould.

2. Beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy and pale.

3. Warm the milk in a saucepan; do not let it boil. Slowly stir it into the egg mixture, then strain the custard into a heatproof bowl placed over hot water.

4. Cook over very low heat until the custard thickens.

5. Strain the thickened custard into a bowl, stir in the vanilla essence and leave to cool.

6. Put 60 ml (4 tbsp) water into a small heatproof bowl and sprinkle the gelatine on to the liquid. Stand the bowl over a saucepan and stir the gelatine until it has dissolved completely.

7. Add the praline and continue to stir until the sugar in the praline has similarly dissolved.

8. Cool until tepid and add to the custard.

9. Leave in a cool place until the mixture thickens at the edges, stirring from time to time.

10. Break the sponge fingers into small pieces and put into a mixing bowl. Add the kirsch and leave to soak.

11. In a second bowl, combine the creams and whip until soft peaks form.

12. Fold into the setting praline custard.

13. Pour half the mixture into the mould and leave until thickened and beginning to set.

14. Arrange the soaked sponge fingers in an even layer all over the custard, leaving a 5 mm/1/4 inch clear border all around so that none of the sponge finger pieces will show when the pudding is turned out.

15. Pour the rest of the mixture over the sponge finger pieces and refrigerate until set.

16. Turn out on to a wetted plate and decorate with lightly whipped cream.

17. Warm the red currant jelly until it runs, then drizzle it over the cream.

Serve at once.

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