- 100g handful Brazil nuts, roughly chopped
- 150g caster sugar
- 180g Madeira cake
- 2x390g jars alcohol steeped fruit (we used Opies black cherries in kirsch and peaches in Courvoisier)
- For the custard
- 6 egg yolks
- 50g caster sugar
- 2tbsp cornflour
- 568ml double cream
- Drop vanilla extract
- for the syllabub
- 300ml double cream
- 4tbsp Marsala
- 4tbsp icing sugar
- Juice ½ orange
- Crystallised fruits, to decorate
First caramelise the Brazils. Oil a baking tray and keep it to hand. Toast the Brazils and keep them warm while you make the caramel. Place the caster sugar in a frying pan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally with a fork until it turns a rich caramel brown. Quickly tip the nuts into the caramel, then pour onto the baking sheet, spreading it around to make a thin layer and leave to cool completely. Break two thirds up into small bite sized chunks, and break the rest into long shards to decorate the top. Set aside in an airtight container.
Place the Madeira cake in the bottom of a glass bowl and top with one of the jars of fruit and all its juice (we used the cherries). Allow to soak in while you do the rest. Make the custard by mixing together the egg yolks with the caster sugar and cornflour. Scald the cream in a pan, stir into the egg mixture then return to a clean pan and cook, stirring, over a moderate heat until thickened. Add the vanilla extract then pour into a bowl and cover with cling film that is touching the surface to prevent it forming a skin. Allow to cool while you make the syllabub.
Whip the cream with the Marsala, sugar and orange until soft peaks form.
When ready to assemble, top the fruit and sponge with the custard, then arrange the other jar of fruit minus its juice, on top, and scatter over the caramelised nuts. Spoon the syllabub over, and decorate with crystallised fruits and the shards of brittle. This will keep assembled in the fridge for a few hours, but the separate components will keep for up to three days. Bring it to room temperature before serving.