Gradually add sugar and continue to beat until glossy and smooth
In a small bowl beat the egg yokes with a fork.
Gently fold the egg yoke into the whites
Sift the flour and very gently fold into the combined egg mixture – DO NOT over mix
Pipe into fingers – leave 20mm gap between
Sprinkle with ½ of the icing sugar – wait 5 minutes – sprinkle with the other ½ of the icing sugar
Bake for 10 minutes
Dissolve ½ cup sugar in ½ cup water over heat – cool
Add ½ cup grappa
In a bowl – egg yokes and remaining ½ cup sugar – beat until thick and pale
In separate bowl (clean beater) beat the mascarpone and 300ml cream until soft peaks
Fold in the yoke
In a clean bowl – beat the egg whites until stiff peaks – fold in the mascarpone/cream/yoke
Lay ½ the sponge fingers in a serving bowl – drizzle with ½ the grappa syrup. Scatter with ½ the berries. Spread ½ the cream mixture. Repeat with the remaining ½ sponge finger, drizzle with remaining ½ grappa syrup, scatter with remaining ½ the berries & spread remaining ½ cream mixture
Chill for 2 – 3 hours
Just before serving spread over whipped cream laced with grappa – sprinkle more berries over the top
3 perfectly ripe small pears, peeled, halved and cored
Line a 20cm diameter cake tin with baking paper. Preheat oven to 180°C (regular).
To make the topping, melt butter in a small saucepan over gentle heat, Add brown sugar and cook, stirring, until smooth. Pour into prepared tin. Arrange pears in tin cut side down.
To make the cake, stir lemon juice into milk and set aside. Melt butter and leave to cool for 5 minutes. Sift flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and the spices together into a large bowl. In a large bowl or jug lightly beat the egg with a fork, then mix in the lemon and milk mixture, melted butter, sugar and treacle. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour in the liquid and beat together for 1 minute, until smooth. Pour batter over the pears in the tin.
Bake for 40-50 minutes in the preheated oven, until a good deep golden brown and slightly springy to the touch; the centre should still be a fraction wobbly. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes.
Serve warmish with ice cream, whipped cream or crème fraiche.