Ingredients

SPONGE
8 eggs
250g caster sugar
250g high-grade flour
100g unsalted butter, melted
WHITE CHOCOLATE CUSTARD
1 litre cream
100ml milk
200g sugar
1 vanilla bean, split
160g white chocolate, coarsely chopped
10 egg yolks
BLACK DORIS PLUM JELLY
2 x 850g cans Black Doris plums
200ml port
1⁄4 cup brown sugar
6 cloves
8 allspice
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
peel of 1⁄2 an orange, cut into strips
6 leaves gelatine
STEWED RHUBARB
800g rhubarb, coarsely chopped
1⁄2 cup orange juice
1⁄2 cup sugar
TO ASSEMBLE
4 tablespoons Black Doris plum or raspberry jam (I used Ruth Pretty’s gorgeous Black Doris jam)
3⁄4 cup port
reserved Black Doris plums, quartered and stones discarded
600ml cream, whipped to soft peaks
150g white chocolate
150g milk chocolate
Al now owns Depot, Federal Delicatessan and Best Ugly Bagels. The custard is actually white chocolate brûlée and I make a slightly spicy jelly with the plum juice and a generous addition of port. The plums and rhubarb balance out the richness perfectly.

Instructions

1.SPONGE
2.Preheat the oven to 180°C.
3.Prepare two medium springform cake tins with butter and a dusting of flour.
4.Break the eggs into the bowl of a cake mixer with the whisk attachment fitted.
5.Add the sugar and turn on to medium-high speed.
6.Beat for at least 10 minutes until the mixture is light and airy and forms a thick ribbon.
7.Scrape out into your largest bowl then sift in the flour and gently but quickly fold through to just combine.
8.Follow with the melted butter in the same manner.
9.Pour the batter into the two prepared tins.
10.Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes.
11.Test the sponge by pressing lightly in the centre; it should gently spring back.
12.Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack.
13.Keep in an airtight container until required.
14.WHITE CHOCOLATE CUSTARD
15.Preheat the oven to 130°C.
16.Put the cream, milk, sugar and vanilla bean in a saucepan on a medium heat.
17.Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
18.Stir occasionally until the sugar is dissolved.
19.Remove from the heat and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean halves into the hot cream and add the white chocolate.
20.Stir until combined and smooth.
21.Put the yolks in a large mixing bowl.
22.Beat continuously with a whisk, and slowly add the hot cream into the yolks until incorporated.
23.Pour the custard mix into a couple of ovenproof dishes that will fit inside a high-sided roasting pan.
24.Pour hot water into the roasting pan until it comes three-quarters of the way up the sides of the custard dishes.
25.Cover with tin foil and place in the centre of the oven.
26.Check after 20 minutes and then at 10-minute intervals.
27.The custard is ready when it is set but still a little “nervous” in the centre.
28.Remove from the water bath and cool at room temperature before refrigerating until required.
29.BLACK DORIS PLUM JELLY
30.Drain the juice of the plums into a bowl and set the plums aside.
31.Measure out 21⁄2 cups of the plum juice and pour into a saucepan.
32.Add the port, brown sugar, cloves, allspice, cinnamon stick and orange peel.
33.Bring to the boil then simmer for 15 minutes.
34.Strain off the solids and keep the hot liquid.
35.Soak the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for 5 minutes then, when soft, squeeze out the water and stir the leaves into the hot liquid.
36.Pour into a suitable dish and refrigerate to set.
37.STEWED RHUBARB
38.Place all the ingredients in a heavy based saucepan, place on medium-low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes until nicely stewed.
39.Remove from the heat and cool then refrigerate until required.
40.TO ASSEMBLE
41.Cut the sponge into 3cm-thick strips then line the base of two large trifle bowls with them.
42.In a bowl, mix the jam and port until combined then brush or pour over the sponge.
43.Spread the rhubarb over, then the plums, followed by the jelly cut into pieces.
44.Carefully spread the white chocolate custard over the fruit and jelly then follow with the whipped cream.
45.Place the trifle in the fridge.
46.To garnish, melt the white chocolate in a double boiler then pour on to a smooth clean oven tray and spread out thinly with a spatula.
47.Repeat with the milk chocolate.
48.Refrigerate both for 10 minutes to set.
49.Remove and, with a large knife, scrape towards you over the chocolate to create thin rolls of delicate chocolate and sprinkle over the trifle.
50.To serve, scoop out portions with a large spoon, making sure you dig down to the bottom of the dish so each portion has all the components of pudding.

Recipe Al Brown / Food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Fiona Lascelles

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