This is a wonderfully simple dessert and great fun for the kids to decorate with friends during the summer school holidays (especially if they're in lockdown). Let them use their imaginations to create their own version - the entrance to Luna Park might inspire them.
It's best to start the preparation the day before to let the cream mixture seep into the biscuits overnight.
You will need a a large flat serving platter or tray (about 26cm x40cm).
- Prep Time : 30-40 minutes
- Yield : 12
- freshly squeezed orange juice, strained - 3/4 cup (185ml)
- savoiardi biscuits (Italian sponge fingers) - 250g
- sour cream or drained ricotta - 1 1/4 cups (300g)
- thickened cream - 2/3 cup (160ml)
- brown sugar - 2 tablespoons
- lemon - 1/2, zest and juice, plus a little extra
- ripe peaches - 3 medium or 1 x 400g tin, drained
- strawberries - 1 punnet, hulled and quartered
- kiwi fruit (green and gold) - 3, peeled and sliced, some cut into triangles
- banana - 1 medium, sliced in half lengthways and brushed with lemon juice; one half cut into matchsticks
- passionfruit - 2, halved, pulp spooned out
- seedless grapes - a few small
Pour the orange juice into a medium bowl and dip the sponge fingers in one at a time. After dunking each one, immediately set them side by side on a large flat serving platter or tray (about 26cm x40cm) until the tray is covered. Reserve any leftover orange juice.
In a mixing bowl, beat the sour cream or ricotta until smooth, then gradually beat in the thickened cream. Add the brown sugar, lemon zest and juice and keep beating until mixture holds its shape. If mixture is too thick, beat in a little of the reserved orange juice.
Spread the cream mixture evenly over the sponge finger base. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2 -3 hours - it is best to do this the night before so that the cream mixture seeps into the biscuits.
Prepare the fruit for the top: wash the peaches, if you are using fresh peaches, cut in half and remove the stones. Slice into quarters and then into eighths. If using tinned peaches, drain well and dry on paper towels.
Start by making the face: place the halved banana in position for the mouth, then place remaining fruit working from the middle lower end of the cake upwards and outwards.
Use a teaspoon to spoon on the passionfruit pulp. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 2-3 hours. Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before serving.
Tip: you can brush the fruit with a glaze to make it even more attractive. Combine 1/2 cup smooth apricot jam with the juice of 1/2 lemon in a small saucepan. Bring to the boil over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon. Strain through a sieve into a bowl. Brush the glaze lightly over the fruit.