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Arrange cake slices to cover the bottom of the bowl. Spread thickly with jam, then sprinkle with slivered almonds. Sprinkle generously with the sherry and brandy. Set aside. In a double boiler, heat the half-and-half to the point of boiling. Remove from the heat. Mix the cornstarch and sugar together, then stir in the egg yolks (already well beaten). Add a few tablespoons of the hot half-and-half to the yolks to warm them, then a few more tablespoons to make the mixture liquid and pourable. Back on the heat (over barely simmering water), pour the warmed yolks into the cream, stirring all the while. Continue to cook until custard becomes thick and smooth. Don't let it boil, since this will cause it to curdle. Off the heat, stir in the vanilla. Allow the custard to cook, then pour a heavy layer over the cake in the bowl. Make another layer of cake, followed by the jam and so on as before, then cover with more custard. When you have used up all of the ingredients ( except the whip cream and the left over almonds). Top with whip cream and garnish with the remaining almonds and with sliced strawberries. Cover and allow to chill for at least 12 hours.
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