The flavours of this trifle are quintessentially Christmas. The jelly, cake and orange segments can all be prepared a day in advance, and the trifle can even be assembled then too, but it will be at its best if you whip up the sabayon and layer everything in the bowl two to four hours before you serve it.
- 6-8 oranges, segmented, to serve
- semi-sweet apera (see note), for brushing
- 750 ml good-quality tawny (see note)
- 295 gm caster sugar (1 1/3 cups)
- of ½ vanilla bean, Scraped seeds
- 7 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
- 4 eggs, separated
- 185 gm caster sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 110 gm plain flour, sieved (¾ cup)
- 80 gm butter, melted and cooled
- 125 ml Champagne
- 4 egg yolks
- 75 gm caster sugar
- 200 ml thickened cream, whisked to stiff peaks
- 1For tawny jelly, bring tawny, sugar, vanilla and 400ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Squeeze excess liquid from gelatine, add to pan, stir to dissolve, then transfer to a 20cm x 30cm deep tray. Refrigerate until set (4 hours-overnight).
- 2Meanwhile, for sponge cake, preheat oven to 180C. Whisk yolks and 150gm sugar in an electric mixer until pale and creamy (6-8 minutes), add vanilla extract and whisk to combine. Meanwhile, whisk eggwhites until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes), then gradually add remaining sugar, whisking until stiff peaks form (1 minute). Fold eggwhites into yolk mixture one-third at a time, alternating with sieved flour, then fold in melted butter and gently spoon into a 19cm-square buttered and floured cake tin, tilting tin to smooth surface. Bake until cake springs back when lightly pressed (25-35 minutes). Cool in tin for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- 3For Champagne sabayon, whisk Champagne, yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water until mixture holds a thick ribbon (3-5 minutes). Remove from heat, whisk continuously over ice until cold, then fold through whipped cream.
- 4Brush sponge cake with apera, cut into 4cm squares and transfer half to a 4-litre glass bowl. Scatter over half the orange segments and half of any juice that has seeped from segments. Stir jelly to create a textured effect and spoon half on top of trifle. Spoon sabayon over jelly, top with remaining sponge, orange segments and jelly, refrigerate until required, then serve.
Note Sherry-style fortified wine made in Australia is now known as apera. Similarly, Port-style fortified wine made in Australia is now known as tawny.