Food & Drink / Recipe: Minty tale that's more than a trifle unusual

MINT recipes were displaced by the Edinburgh Festival last week, but we return with a good one, and a story whose happy ending has its Japanese heroine growing mint and making sherry trifle in Telford, Shropshire.

She is Misako Fedorowicz, who writes: 'Mint is one of the many things which pleased me when I came to this country after my marriage. In Japan, many types of European herbs are still little used . . . as a big fan of mint, I used to be very frustrated.'

Mrs Fedorowicz says she found the recipe in Between Two Meals by Mariko Ueno and others, published by Bunka-Shuppan Kyoku in 1989. It is a perfect solution to leftover madeira cake, a dilemma, I should think, every bit as rare as mint itself in Japan. It also partners mint with kiwi fruit - an excellent combination. Be warned, however, that too much mint can make this dish, in the words of a noble guinea-pig, 'taste like toothpaste'. Mrs Fedorowicz will receive a bottle of Cabernet Franc 1990 Family Reserve from Francis Ford Coppola's estate in Napa Valley, imported by Reid Wines of Hallatrow, near Bristol.

Minted Sherry Trifle

Serves 6

Ingredients: 4-5 kiwi fruit

1lb (450g) madeira cake

1/3 oz (10g) fresh mint, 3tbs chopped

2tbs castor sugar

5 fl oz (150ml) whipping cream

15oz (425g) yoghurt

2tbs honey

4-8tbs sherry (to taste)

2tbs chopped almonds

Preparation: Set aside some whole mint sprigs. Chop the remainder until you have about 3 tbs of finely chopped herb. Reserve. Cut the cake in 1cm cubes. Peel the kiwi fruit, slice and reserve. Chop nuts and reserve. In a separate bowl, add sugar to the cream and whip until thickened. Fold in yoghurt and honey. Place one-third of the cake cubes over the base of a dish. Sprinkle with sherry. Then make consecutive layers of kiwi fruit, a sprinkling of mint, nuts, more cream and so on, sprinkling each layer of sponge generously with sherry. Finish layers with a cream top, decorating with whole mint leaves. Stand in a cool but not too cold place for at least six hours before serving.

Next week, the last of the mint recipes. Recipes are welcome for the following category: cooking with peaches and plums. Send them, stating the source, to Emily Green, Recipe, Weekend Features, the Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. If we print your recipe we will send you a bottle of 1989 Vouvray Moelleux from Brisebarre, imported by Reid Wines.

SCUSATE] A determined baker, Sylvie Belleur, writes from south London to point out a mistake in the instructions for the pecorino cheesebread published on 31 July. I neglected to say that the grated cheese should ideally be rubbed in with the flour. After kneading the grated cheese in at the last minute, Ms Belleur achieved a delicious loaf. Many apologies to those of you who simply ended up with a sticky mess.

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