Who doesn't love a trifle - especially this truly epic one that will get a 10 out of 10 from your harshest critic!
6 eggs, at room temperature
165g (¾ cup) caster sugar
150g (1 cup) plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
70g unsalted butter, melted
3 x 125g punnet raspberries
2 tablespoons (28g) powdered gelatine
1 litre blackcurrant and apple juice
300g (2 1/2 cups) frozen raspberries
500ml (2 cups) thickened cream
1 teaspoon vanilla bean extract
110g (½ cup) caster sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour
6 egg yolks, at room temperature
500ml (2 cups) thickened cream, extra
6 egg whites at room temperature
550g (2 1/2 cups) caster sugar
180ml (3/4 cup) water
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
To make the sponge, preheat oven to 180°C fan forced. Grease and line the base of two 22cm round cake tins.
Beat eggs and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer for 10 minutes or until thick and foamy.
Sift together flour and baking powder three times into a bowl. In three batches gently fold the flour into the egg mixture using a large metal spoon. Add the butter and fold gently to combine. Pour into prepared tins and bake for 15–20 minutes or until cakes are golden and spring back to the touch. Allow to cool for 3 minutes in the pan, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Cut each sponge into 4 cm pieces. Set aside.
To make the jelly, combine gelatine and 250ml (1 cup) blackcurrant and apple juice in a large bowl and stir to combine. Set aside.
Place remaining blackcurrant and apple juice in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Pour over the gelatine mixture and whisk to dissolve. Set aside to cool slightly.
Pour into the base of a 26cm trifle dish. Scatter over the frozen raspberries and refrigerate for 45 minutes.
To make the custard, place cream and vanilla in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until almost boiling.
Place egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Gradually whisk the hot cream into the egg mixture until combined.
Return the cream mixture to the saucepan, reduce heat to low, stirring until well combined and the custard is thick. Remove from the heat, pour into a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
Place extra cream in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk to stiff peaks. Add the custard and whisk to combine.
Spoon half the custard cream over the set jelly. Top with sponge and fresh raspberries and remaining custard cream. Refrigerate. Next make the meringue.
To make the meringue, place the water, cream of tartar and half the sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and cook for 6 minutes, or until it reaches 115° on a sugar thermometer.
Meanwhile, place the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. While the motor is running, add the remaining sugar 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking until glossy. Gradually add the hot syrup in a steady stream while the eggs are whisking and whisk for 8 minutes.
Spoon onto the trifle, making swirls with the back of the spoon and, using a kitchen blowtorch, carefully toast until the meringue is golden (see tip).
• If you don’t have a kitchen blowtorch, you can leave the meringue a glossy white, or dust it with crushed freeze-dried raspberries. Or you could scatter with fresh raspberries.
• You can make the sponge up to a day ahead Keep in an airtight container, or a freeze it between two sheets of baking paper for a couple of days before. You can make the custard up to 2 days ahead, keep in an airtight container in the fridge.
• For a cheat’s trifle, you can use bought sponge and bought vanilla bean custard.