Chefs' Recipes

Lauren Eldridge's apricot, honey, coffee and macadamia trifle

The Stokehouse Group pastry chef is known for her original take on desserts, and this trifle is her latest Christmas-ready offering.

By Lauren Eldridge
  • 2 hrs preparation
  • 50 mins cooking (plus cooling, chilling)
  • Serves 12 - 16
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"Apricots are a beautiful pairing with coffee and honey, but feel free to replace with any other stonefruit," says Eldridge. Start this recipe at least one day ahead to assemble the trifle.

Ingredients

  • 250 gm caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 30 apricots, halved, stones removed
  • 50 gm roasted macadamia nuts, to serve
Honey custard
  • 750 ml (3 cups) thickened cream
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 150 gm honey
  • 20 gm molasses (optional)
  • 150 gm egg yolks (about 8)
  • 4 titanium-strength gelatine leaves (see note), softened in cold water for 5 minutes
Coffee jelly
  • 5½ titanium-strength gelatine leaves (see note), softened in cold water for 5 minutes
  • 1 tbsp Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
  • 150 ml strong coffee
  • 150 ml coffee liquer (see note)
  • 75 gm (⅓ cup) caster sugar
Macadamia sponge
  • 250 gm macadamia nuts
  • 250 gm icing sugar
  • 50 gm (¼ cup) rice flour
  • 7 eggs
  • 270 gm eggwhite (from about 8 eggs)
  • 50 gm caster sugar
Honeycomb
  • 210 gm caster sugar
  • 30 gm honey
  • 75 gm liquid glucose
  • 2 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted

Method

  • 1
    Combine sugar and 375ml water in a large saucepan, then add vanilla. Bring to the boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, then reduce to a simmer over low heat. Add apricots, and cook, turning occasionally, until just soft but holding their shape (5-10 minutes). Cool in the syrup, then chill in refrigerator.
  • 2
    For honey custard, combine cream, milk, honey and molasses in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Whisk yolks to aerate slightly, then gradually whisk hot cream into yolks. Return to saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until mixture thickens slightly and reaches 80°C (1-2 minutes). Squeeze water from gelatine and stir in. Pass through a fine sieve, cover directly and chill to set (4-5 hours). Once set, whisk custard until smooth.
  • 3
    For coffee jelly, squeeze water from gelatine and set aside. Whisk cocoa with 1 tbsp coffee in a saucepan, then whisk in remaining ingredients with 750ml water. Bring to boil over high heat and whisk continuously (30 seconds). Remove from heat, whisk in gelatine and set aside to cool. Pour 675ml into a 4.5-litre trifle bowl and chill until semi-set (1-11/2 hours). Set remaining aside (re-melt over a bowl of hot water as needed; jelly should be semi-set for each layer).
  • 4
    Meanwhile, for macadamia sponge, preheat oven to 190°C and line three 25cm x 35cm oven trays with baking paper. Process macadamias in a food processor with icing sugar and flour to a fine powder. Transfer to a large bowl and whisk in eggs. Whisk eggwhites and sugar in an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks. Fold one-third eggwhite mixture into icing sugar mixture, and gently fold in remaining whites. Divide evenly between prepared traysand spread flat, and bake in batches until cake springs back when touched (8-10 minutes). Cool, turn onto baking paper and cut out three circles to fit trifle bowl (reserve trimmings).
  • 5
    For honeycomb, grease and line a 20cm-diameter square cake tin with baking paper.Bring sugar, honey, glucose and 40ml water to the boil in a deep saucepan over medium-high heat until 160°C. Remove from heat and immediately whisk in bicarbonate until evenly dispersed. Pour into cake tin and leave for set (20-30 minutes), then cut into pieces.
  • 6
    To assemble, top jelly with a sponge round and brush with apricot poaching liquid to soak. Fill with a 1cm layer of honey custard and line apricot halves against the side of the bowl, using more apricots to hold in place and also cover the layer of custard. Add cake trimmings to make a layer over apricots, then cover with a layer of honey custard. Cover and chill remaining custard. Add another\ sponge round and brush with apricot poaching liquid. Add a 1cm layer of coffee jelly on top and chill to set (1½ -2 hours). Repeat with another layer of brushed sponge, apricots and jelly, and chill to set (1½ -2 hours). Place a layer of sponge trimmings in the centre of the bowl and brush with apricot poaching liquid. Whisk remaining custard to soften and top trifle with remaining honey custard. Cover and chill to set (30 minutes), leave at room temperature briefly to soften (15 minutes), then top with honeycomb and macadamia nuts, and serve.

Notes

Coffee liqueur can be replaced with regular coffee if desired. Titanium-strength gelatine leaves are available from The Essential Ingredient.
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Wine suggestion NV Bollinger Rosé or Ruinart Blanc de Blancs from Champagne, France. Wine suggestion by Gavin Cremming.