"A centrepiece dessert that you serve to your guests at the table is a wonderful gesture of hospitality and generosity," says Gilmore. "Trifle is a classic and served in a beautiful glass bowl it gives the lunch a sense of occasion." This recipe calls for eight individual metal pudding moulds for making the crème caramels, the custard element in this trifle. Start a day ahead to prepare the crèmes and the quince and jelly, and to soak the currants. The honey cream is named for the late Gretchen Wheen, a well-known beekeeper who used to own the farm.
- 50 gm couverture white chocolate (such as Callebaut or Valrhona), cut into 4 pieces
- 150 gm pecans (11/4 cups)
- 50 gm currants, soaked in 150ml Pedro Ximénez sherry or Port overnight
- 380 gm caster sugar (2/3 cup)
- 180 gm egg yolks (about 10 yolks)
- 2 eggs
- 1 litre milk (4 cups)
Poached quince and jelly
- 150 gm caster sugar
- 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
- 2 large quince
- 2 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 3 minutes
- 150 gm caster sugar (2/3 cup)
- 6 eggs
- 150 gm plain flour, sieved (1 cup)
Gretchen’s honey cream
- 375 ml pouring cream (1½ cups)
- 1½ tbsp honey, such as Australian bush honey or thyme-flower honey
- 1For crème caramel, preheat oven to 160C and
lightly oil eight 220ml metal pudding moulds. Stir
200gm sugar with 100ml water in a saucepan over
medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, then cook
without stirring until dark golden (6-8 minutes).
Pour enough caramel into each mould to just cover
the base and stand until set (10-15 minutes). Whisk
yolks, eggs, and remaining sugar in a bowl until just
pale (1-2 minutes). Meanwhile, bring milk close to
boiling in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then,
while whisking, pour milk onto eggs and sugar and
whisk to combine. Strain mixture through a fine
sieve into a jug. Place moulds in a deep roasting
pan lined with a tea towel (to prevent moulds
sliding), divide custard evenly among moulds,
then fill pan with hot water to come halfway up
the sides of moulds. Cover with foil and bake until
caramels are set and barely wobble in the centre
when gently shaken (40 minutes to 1 hour).
Remove from oven and leave in the water bath to
cool for 10 minutes. Refrigerate overnight to chill.
Dip moulds in hot water, then turn out and cut
each into quarters.
- 2For poached quince and jelly, whisk sugar,
vanilla bean and seeds, and 500ml water in
a flameproof casserole and bring to a simmer,
stirring until sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, peel
quince, cut in half, add to casserole, cover and
poach in oven until tender and pink (2-3 hours).
Remove quince from syrup, cover and refrigerate
until required. Bring 200ml syrup (discard
remainder) and 200ml water to the boil in a saucepan, squeeze excess water from gelatine
and, off the heat, stir into syrup until dissolved.
Strain syrup into a 500ml container and
refrigerate until set (2-3 hours).
- 3Meanwhile, for sponge cake, preheat oven to
160C and line a 10cm-deep, 23cm-square cake
tin with baking paper. Whisk sugar and eggs in
an electric mixer until thick and pale with a fine,
firm foam (8-9 minutes). Sift in flour and fold to
combine, then pour into prepared tin, spreading
evenly. Bake until a skewer inserted withdraws
with dry crumbs (20-25 minutes). Turn sponge
out onto a rack to cool (20-30 minutes). Cake is
best made on the day, but can be made a day
ahead and wrapped in plastic wrap to keep fresh
- 4Increase oven to 170C. Bake white chocolate
pieces on an oven tray lined with baking or a
silicone oven tray until chocolate is light caramel in
colour (6-8 minutes). Cool completely, place in an
airtight container, and refrigerate until required.
- 5Roast pecans on an oven tray until crisp
(7-8 minutes). Set aside to cool, then break
with your hands, leaving some whole to decorate
- 6For honey cream, whisk cream and honey in
a bowl until soft peaks form.
- 7Core and thickly slice the quince, and cut or
tear the sponge into 5cm pieces. To assemble
the trifle, layer a 5-litre trifle bowl with half of the
following: pieces of sponge, currants and soaking
liquid, quince jelly, crème caramel, sliced quince,
crumbled pecans and honey cream. Repeat with
remaining ingredients, then cover trifle and
refrigerate to chill and set (2-3 hours).
- 8To serve, coarsely grate caramelised white
chocolate over the top and garnish with pecans
Drink Suggestion: 2010 Crawford River “Nektar” Henty, Vic, or 2012 Lowe Botrytis Sémillon, Mudgee, NSW. Drink suggestion by Russ Mills & Amanda Yallop