A classic French dessert, He Flottante (eel floh-tahnt) is a rich mixture of kirsch and maraschino-soaked sponge cake ‘floating’ in a fresh fruit sauce. While Creme a la Vanille is often recommended rather than the raspberry or strawberry sauce suggested below, the latter is now a commonly accepted alternative, 6- 1 slightly stale 8-inch round sponge cake
3 fl. oz. kirsch
3 fl. oz. maraschino
6 oz. apricot jam
2 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds
2 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts 2 oz. raisins or currants, soaked in cold water for 2 hours and drained 10 .fl. oz. double cream ½ cups heavy cream, stiffly whipped
1 lb. fresh raspberries or strawberries, washed and hulled
2 oz. sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
With a sharp knife, slice the cake into four equal layers. Place the bottom layer in a wide serving dish and sprinkle it generously with about one-quarter of the kirsch, then one-quarter of the maras-chino. Spread the slice with about one- quarter of the apricot jam, then sprinkle on some almonds, pistachios and raisins or currants. Continue to make layers as above until the ingredients have been used up, reserving a few almonds, pistachios and raisins or currants for decoration.
Place the dish in the refrig-erator and chill for 15 minutes.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and, using a flat-bladed knife, thickly spread the top and sides with the cream.
Return the cake to the refrigerator while you make the sauce.
To make the sauce, rub the raspberries or strawberries through a fine strainer into a medium-sized mixing bowl, using the back of a wooden spoon to extract all the juices from the fruit. Discard the pulp remaining in the strainer.
Alternatively, puree the fruit in a blender.
Stir the sugar and lemon juice into the fruit, beating with a fork until the mixture is well blended.
Remove the cake from the refrigerator and spoon the sauce around it. Sprinkle the reserved almonds, pistachios and raisins or currants on top. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for a final 15 minutes, then serve cold.