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  • Writer's pictureClyve Rose

Recipe: Regency Whim-Wham

As much of my research for my Clifton Hall novel series is set in Lancashire, there's a fair few Scottish traditions that tumble into my characters' lives now and again. The doctor in Always a Princess is a dour Scot himself, and one of my favourite characters. He came about due to the duchy of Lancaster bordering the lowlands of Scotland. There is a fair bit of cross-over in terms of traditions and trade, and I thought, why not have a liberal-minded medical man head south to earn his way in the duchy?

Thus, this traditional Regency dessert recipe is Scottish, not English. Scottish raspberries are still a delicacy today and absolutely taste better than any others. A Whim-Wham is a type of trifle from north of the wall, and this one dates from the Regency period.

Try the recipe and let me know what you think. It's almost Winter where I live at the moment and while not a patch on the UK for frosts and chilly days, berries are in season.


  • 75g to 100g sponge cake (or trifle sponge fingers)

  • 4 tablespoons raspberry jam

  • 150ml sweet sherry (or sweet dessert wine)

  • 60ml Scotch whiskey

  • 1 orange, juice and zest

  • 225g fresh raspberries

  • 500ml double cream

  • 6 tablespoons of icing sugar

  • 50g blanched almonds (lightly toasted)


Step 1: Half an hour before you plan to serve the Whim Wham, spread the raspberry jam over the sponge cake or sponge fingers and then cut the sponge cake/fingers into small cubes. Arrange the cake cubes in the base of an attractive trifle bowl or large glass serving bowl.

Step 2:

Mix the sherry, whiskey and orange juice together and pour it over the sponge cake pieces. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes before scattering the raspberries over the top, leaving some for decoration.

Step 3: Pour the cream into a bowl and add the icing sugar. Whip the cream until it holds soft peaks and then spoon the cream over the raspberries, making sure they are all covered.

Step 4: Scatter the remaining raspberries over the cream, as well as the orange zest and then the toasted almonds. Serve immediately.

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Clyve Rose
Clyve Rose

Indeed! It's a sort of trifle really and I've always made my holiday trifles loaded with rum. Wham indeed!



Whim Wham!! What an interesting name. With all the alcohol soaked in I can see that a dessert made "on a whim" with stale cake and other ingredients kept on hand to stretch out the servings of raspberries could pack quite a wham, probably only noticeable when you stand up and try to walk after eating your portion.

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