Christmas recipe: Croccante with mascarpone cream

Former River Cafe chef Theo Randall gives his recipe for a special Christmas dessert - in association with the Food network

  • Serves 6



  • 200g mascarpone
  • Seeds from half a vanilla pod
  • 50g icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp Marsala or to taste
  • 150ml double cream
  • 200g whole blanched (skinned) almonds
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 punnets fresh raspberries
    • 1. To make the cream, beat the mascarpone with the vanilla seeds and icing sugar and then beat in the Marsala. In a separate bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. 
    • 2. To make the almond croccante, preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Spread the almonds on a small baking tray and roast for 5 minutes until they are a light golden colour. Leave to one side.
    • 3. Put the sugar in a saucepan and add 1 tablespoon water. Cook, without stirring, on a medium heat until the sugar melts and turns a light golden colour. Add the almonds and carry on cooking for 1 minute. Pour on to an oiled baking sheet and leave to cool and set. Once set, roughly break up the croccante and put into a plastic bag. Bash with a rolling pin to break into crumbs.
    • 4. To serve, fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture then spoon this on to a serving dish. Scatter over the raspberries and sprinkle with the almond croccante crumbs.