To me, trifle is the ultimate pudding. And this recipe is almost as fun to make as it is to eat! Get creative and maybe a bit messy in the kitchen with homemade rhubarb jam and fresh orange jelly.
- For the rhubarb jam
- 500g rhubarb, sliced
- 50g unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 50g ginger beer
- For the sponge
- 3 large eggs, plus
- 3 large egg whites
- 15g caster sugar
- 100g icing sugar
- 100g ground almonds
- 30g plain flour
- 30g butter, melted
- For the jelly
- 5 sheets of bronze leaf gelatine
- 400ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- 100ml water
- 300g caster sugar
- 400g rhubarb, chopped
- For the custard
- 400ml whole milk
- 200ml double cream
- 8 large egg yolks
- 80g caster sugar
- 1 heaped tbsp cornflour
- For the whipped cream
- 400ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped out
- 60g icing sugar, sifted
- To finish
- 80g flaked almonds, toasted
Add all of the jam ingredients to a pan. Cover and cook over a medium heat for about 10 min until the rhubarb is completely soft, then remove the lid. Cook until the liquor is reduced and syrupy. Allow to cool slightly, then blitz in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a container and leave to cool.
Preheat your oven to 220°C. For the sponge, lightly grease a 30 x 20cm Swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the 3 egg whites in a very clean bowl to stiff peaks. Whisk in the caster sugar, a teaspoonful at a time, until the meringue is glossy. Cover with cling film and put to one side.
Using a stand mixer, whisk the icing sugar, ground almonds and whole eggs together for 4 min, until doubled in volume. Remove the bowl from the stand. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold in the flour. Now gradually fold in the meringue, a quarter at a time. Pour in the melted butter and fold until incorporated.
Tip the mixture into the Swiss roll tin and gently level with a palette knife. Bake for 6 min, or until the sponge is pale golden brown and springy to the touch. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a wire rack and turn the sponge out onto it. Peel off the lining paper and leave to cool.
Once cooled, spread the sponge with the rhubarb jam. With a long side facing you, roll up the sponge to enclose the jam and make a Swiss roll. Slice into rounds, about 4cm thick. Place a sponge round in each trifle serving glass.
To make the jelly, soak the leaf gelatine in a shallow dish of ice-cold water to soften. Put the orange juice, water and sugar in a pan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Add the rhubarb, bring slowly to a simmer and cook gently for 4 min until it is tender but still holding its shape. Lift the rhubarb out of the pan with a slotted spoon, cover and leave to cool.
Pour the juice from the pan into a measuring jug. You need 500ml to make the jelly, so pour this amount back into the pan. Bring to just below simmering and remove from the heat. Immediately squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine, then add it to the hot juice and whisk until fully dissolved. Leave to cool. Once cooled, pour the fruit juice over the sponge and place in the fridge to set for at least an hour.
For the custard, pour the milk and cream into a pan and bring to the boil. In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl and then whisk in the cornflour. Once boiling, pour the cream mixture onto the eggs, whisking. Pour the custard back into the cleaned pan and cook, stirring continuously, until it thickens; do not allow to boil.
Pass the custard through a sieve into a bowl and cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool completely.
When the custard is cold, pour the custard on top of the jelly. Return the trifles to the fridge to set the custard.
When the custard is set, make the cream. Pour the cream into a medium-large bowl and add the vanilla seeds and icing sugar. Whisk until soft peaks form.
Take the trifles from the fridge and spoon or pipe the cream on top of the custard. Drain the rhubarb pieces, pat dry and arrange on top of the cream. Scatter over the toasted flaked almonds to serve.
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Bloomsbury Absolute, £45.