(makes 12-16 serves)

Begin this dessert recipe, given to me by Michael Lee Richards, the day before or at least in the morning. Serve with strawberries or segments of citrus fruit. It’s great to serve at a party.


60ml (4 tbsp) white wine
15ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
1 tsp grated lemon rind

1/2 cup castor sugar
190ml (3/4 cup) cream
700g sponge cake (we used a rectangular Ernest Adams sponge)


  • To make the Lemon Syllabub: Place wine, lemon juice, rind and sugar in a bowl and leave for at least 3 hours or overnight. Stir at intervals, making sure all the sugar is dissolved.
  • Add cream to mixture and slowly whip till mixture holds its shape.
  • Line a 30cm x 11cm loaf tin, or similar size, with plastic wrap, leaving a good 15cm hanging over the sides. Slice sponge into 1cm wide slices to fit the loaf tin. Do not worry if you have patchwork as this will not show. With the sponge we used we cut the sponge into nine pieces.
  • Lay a slice of sponge on the base of the tin to cover the base and spread 3 tbsp Lemon Syllabub mixture on top. Layer sponge and syllabub till they are used up. Tin should be full. Finish with a layer of sponge which needs to come above the edge of the tin. Cover surface with the overhanging plastic wrap.
  • Place torte in refrigerator and weight it overnight. Wine may separate from syllabub and when this happens simply turn torte upside down and the liquid will run back through the sponge.
  • Turn torte out, cut it with a hot dry knife and serve with lightly whipped cream.