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Berry Custard Cake with Fruit & Champagne Coulis

by Marcel Biró & Shannon Kring Biró

In this four-part series, we’re sharing our favorite recipes that take the unmistakable flavor of celebration from the flute to the plate.  Earlier we shared a recipe for a savory strudel, Mushroom & Spinach Strudel Salad with Light Champagne Vinaigrette.  In this final installment, an ideal warm-weather dessert.


Berry Custard Cake with Fruit & Champagne Coulis

These delightful cakes are a big hit at Biró.  Our staff likes them so much I’m certain we could sell out of them before they even reach the dining room. 

We make our own pound cake for the recipe, but purchased pound cake works just fine.  Look for a substantial pound cake, rather than a squishy, porous one, as you want a toothsome balance to the soft custard.

Makes six 4- to 6-ounce ramekins

2 tablespoons raspberry or blackberry preserves
1 cup assorted fresh berries
4 ounces pound cake, cubed into ½” pieces
½ cup sugar
2 cups half-and-half
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ recipe fruit & Champagne coulis (see below)
Berries for garnish
Fresh mint for garnish
Whipped cream for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 1 teaspoon preserves into the bottom of each ramekin.
  2. Divide the berries and pound cake among the ramekins and place atop the preserves.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half to a simmer.  Remove from heat.
  4. Whisk together the sugar, whole eggs, yolks, and vanilla until pale.
  5. Gradually whisk a bit of the half-and-half into the egg mixture to temper.  Whisk in the remaining half-and-half mixture.  Pour the custard atop berries and preserves in the ramekins.  The cake should float to the top.
  6. Bake in a bain-marie until set, 35 to 45 minutes.



Invert the cakes onto individual serving plates.  Drizzle with the fruit & Champagne coulis and garnish with fresh berries, mint, and whipped cream.  This dessert is great served warm or chilled.

Wine Pairings

1997 Niepoort
Vintage Ruby Port

NV Clocktower Tawny
Barossa Valley, Australia



Quick Tip: Making Fruit & Champagne Coulis

Like the raspberry coulis we featured previously, this one brightens up savory dishes, cuts the richness of chocolate desserts, and adds eye-dazzling color to any plate. Placed in a fine-nozzled squeeze bottle, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.


Makes about ¾ cup

½ cup sliced peaches
½ cup sliced apricots
½ cup sliced strawberries
1/3 cup superfine sugar
2 tablespoons Champagne

  1. Place the peaches, apricots, strawberries, and sugar in a food processor or blender and purée.  Add more sugar, if necessary.
  2. Pass the puréed fruit through a fine mesh sieve.  Gently stir in the Champagne, being careful not to overwork the mixture and thus deflate all the bubbles.


© Marcel Biró and Shannon Kring Biró. Adapted for Sally’s Place from  Biró: European-Inspired Cuisine cookbook (Gibbs Smith 2005). All rights reserved.

Photo credit Marty Snortum.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses in question before making your plans.

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