Divine Deliciousness aka Mum’s Marsala “Cake”

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My mother makes this any time she has to provide something for an afternoon tea –  it guarantees her plenty of invitations!      LOL.

I could not find Marsala at my local bottle shops (no surprise!)  so a Virginian friend got some for me.   I ordered Arnott’s  “Nice”  biscuits online  (that’s really the name though they are nice too).   

So, once you have your Marsala and Nice biscuits gather some heavy whipping cream (& whip it!),  apricot jam,  grated chocolate and cooled super strong black coffee …..   then find a plate slightly bigger than the size you imagine your cake will be.

Dunk the biscuits one at a time in the Marsala and line them up on your plate

One layer  – then spread some apricot jam over the biscuits

and then spread with whipped cream. Sprinkle grated chocolate over the whipped cream.

Continue dunking biscuits, spreading jam, whipped cream and grated chocolate until you are about 5 layers high.

Dunk the 6th (or top)  layer of biscuits into the super strong black coffee and then spread with just whipped cream and chocolate (no jam).

Cover with cling-wrap  (prevents the alcohol escaping 🙂 ) and refrigerate for at least 12 hours.    I used broken off chopsticks to keep the plastic off the cream: 

When ready to serve surround with fresh fruit or fancy chocolate scrolls – I used fresh raspberries because they were on sale   (and yes,  I know I missed bits when I was spreading the cream  – perhaps I was sampling the Marsala): –

Cut into fairly small pieces to serve……. be prepared for people to come back for seconds!     

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49 responses

  1. Ohhhhhhh That looks soooooooo Yummy, and yet another cake I must make! You’re making me want to lick that screen! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing this one.

  2. Do you dunk the biscuits into the marsala and coffee until they’re somewhat soggy? Or should they still be crisp inside?

    I’ve seen so many cakes like this from out of the British isles: a friend from Ireland by way of Canada made a cake very similar to yours, except that she used sherry and chopped fruit sprinkled on the jam. Another person at the velly English Episcopalian church we used to attend would spread Nutella between the layers of biscuit. But I thought it was ingenious to make a pastry out of cookies and whipped cream. I’ll have to make one myself, out of Gallo marsala. (Cheap, easy to find around here—a lot of the homeless alcoholics here love it!)

    • LOL – yeah the Commonwealth likes to soak stuff in alcohol doesn’t it – funny to think that a lot of these sweets were for the church auxiliary meetings/afternoon teas! 🙂 . I was thinking that you could even use that Port you had (if you have any left)……. You don’t want the biscuits to be soggy or you can’t spread anything on the top of them – bits of biscuit come off and they lose the layered look. When I couldn’t get Nice biscuits I tried Tea Biscuits and Marie biscuits and found that both of them got soggy too quickly and didn’t work very well. I need to experiment to find a thicker American biscuit. My mother sometimes uses Ginger Nuts soaked in Brandy (Australian Ginger Nuts are really hard biscuits and quite different to the ginger biscuits here) and makes a round cake rather than the oblong Marsala one.

    • Absolutely no heating! My favourite way of cooking. We lived in an apartment for 7 years and I never once used the oven (I used it as storage). My favourite dinners are salads or veggies zapped in the microwave.

    • I really liked the look of your chocolate ripple cake and am going to make that sometime dunking the biscuits in alcohol – perhaps brandy, or maybe Godiva chocolate liqueur! I don’t think Marsala is nice on it’s own – reminds me of elderly spinster aunts having a sherry in the afternoon!

  3. Miam ! This looks so tasty and easy to prepare. Thanks for sharing. Reminds me of a dessert we call “Charlotte à la confiture”. We use ladyfingers cookies (savoiardi in Italian); dip them in rhum or grand-marnier liqueur, spread them with apricot marmelade; then instead of cream we pour some thick vanilla cream over them. And so on for 3-4 times, depending on the size of your dish. The top layer is vanilla cream and ladyfingers. Protect with cling-wrap, set a heavy plate on it as you leave the charlotte into the fridge for 5-6 hours.
    I will definitely try your receipe for a change 🙂

    • So many wonderful things you can do with alcohol 🙂 I think I will try the Charlotte a la confiture – though I’m not sure how easy it is to find vanilla cream (though I haven’t ever looked before). It would probably work quite well with thick vanilla custard too.

  4. Miam ! This looks so tasty and easy to prepare. Thanks for sharing. Reminds me of a dessert we call “Charlotte à la confiture”. We use ladyfingers cookies (savoiardi in Italian); dip them in rhum or grand-marnier liqueur, spread them with apricot marmelade; then instead of cream we pour some thick vanilla cream over them. And so on for 3-4 times, depending on the size of your dish. The top layer is vanilla cream and ladyfingers. Protect with cling-wrap, set a heavy plate on it as you leave the charlotte into the fridge for 5-6 hours.
    I will definitely try your recipe for a change 🙂

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