Spring Dessert: Individual Lemon, Raspberry & Elderflower Trifles

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Spring Dessert: Individual Lemon, Raspberry & Elderflower Trifles

Nothing says love quite like serving an indulgent individual dessert for each guest. These light, floral treats are a sweet and delicate end to your three course feast, offering a summery lightness which will help cleanse your palette after a series of strong flavours.

Chef's tips:

- You can make these in the morning and store in the fridge until you need them. Take them out of the fridge 30 minutes before serving so they're not too cold.

- For a quicker version of this dish, you can use shop-bought Madeira sponge and fresh custard.

Leiths recommended wine pairings for this dish:

Sweet fizz: Moscato d’Asti, Araldica, Asti, Piemonte, Italy (Majestic £7.99)

Noble wine: Riesling Auslese, Willi Haag Brauneberger Juffer-Sonnenuhr, Mosel, Germany (Waitrose £19.99)

Spring starter: Warm artichoke and asparagus salad
Spring main course: Lamb rump, herbed gnocchi and salsa verde


Makes 6 trifles – set in 8cm diameter tumbler glasses

The genoise sponge (makes a 20cm round cake)
Oil, to grease
125g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
125g plain flour, plus extra to dust
55g butter
4 eggs
Grated zest of 1 lemon

The custard
4 egg yolks
65g caster sugar
3½ tbsp cornflour
400ml milk

Elderflower jelly
450ml diluted or ‘made’ elderflower cordial (diluted to your own taste but normal ratio is 20ml neat cordial to 100ml water)
2½ tsp powdered gelatine

Lemon syrup
60ml water
75g caster sugar
2 tbsp elderflower cordial (undiluted)
60ml lemon juice (plus extra to taste)

Elderflower cream
300ml double cream
5 tbsp. elderflower cordial (undiluted)
½ tsp lemon zest
½ tbsp icing sugar

To serve (optional)
3 x 125g punnets of raspberries
100g lightly toasted nibbed almonds


The genoise sponge

  1. Heat the oven to 170°C fan/ 180°C conventional/gas mark 4. Lightly oil a 20cm round cake tin and line the base with a disc of greaseproof paper. Lightly oil again. Dust with sugar then flour, tapping out the excess. Bring a pan of water to the boil.
  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a low heat, then set aside to cool.
  3. Place the eggs and sugar in a large heatproof bowl and, using a hand-held electric whisk, start whisking on a low speed without moving the whisk through the eggs and sugar. Place the bowl over the saucepan of just boiled water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water, and continue to whisk on a low speed for 3–4 minutes. Increase the speed and continue whisking until the mixture becomes very pale, fluffy and mousse-like, and when the mixture is drizzled over the surface it holds a ‘ribbon’ for 5–6 seconds before it sinks back into the mixture.
  4. Remove the bowl from the pan and continue whisking until the bowl has cooled slightly, a further 1–2 minutes.
  5. Sift the flour over the mixture and carefully fold it in, taking care not to beat any air out of the mixture.
  6. Pour the melted, cooled butter around the edge of the mixture and fold it in, using a large metal spoon.
  7. Gently pour the mixture into the prepared tin, holding the bowl as close to the tin as possible to ensure as little air loss as possible.
  8. Cook in the middle of the oven for about 30–35 minutes. After 25 minutes, you should be able to smell the sponge. At this point (not before, or the sponge may sink), open the oven door a little and have a look. It should be risen, golden, slightly shrinking away from the sides and crinkly at the edges. When lightly pressed with your fingertips it should bounce back.
  9. Stand the sponge, still in its tin, on a wire rack to cool a little for about 10 minutes.
  10. To release the sponge from the tin, run a cutlery knife around the side of the sponge, keeping the knife firmly against the tin. Once fully released, carefully turn the sponge onto a clean hand and carefully place back down on the wire rack. Peel off the lining paper.

The custard

  1. Place the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour in a bowl and beat together until well mixed.
  2. Place the milk in a saucepan and heat until it starts to steam. Pour it into the egg mixture, stirring all the time.
  3. Return the mixture to the (rinsed out) pan and cook over a medium heat until it thickens and all of the lumps have been worked out. Continue to cook for 2 minutes to ensure the cornflour is cooked out. Place into a clean bowl and cover with cling film ensuring the cling film is touching the surface of the custard to prevent a skin forming. Leave to cool.

Elderflower jelly

  1. Place half of the diluted elderflower cordial in a pan and sprinkle over the powdered gelatine and allow it to sponge (or absorb) for 5 minutes.
  2. Gently heat the mixture until all of the gelatine has been dissolved. Stir in the other half of the cordial, transfer to a jug and leave to cool and start to thicken.

Lemon syrup

  1. Place the water, sugar and cordial for the syrup in a small saucepan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Once dissolved, boil rapidly for 1-2 minutes until the syrup has a sticky consistency when rubbed between 2 fingers (take care as it is hot). Then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Add the lemon juice. Taste and adjust the acidity with a little extra lemon juice if required. Set aside.

Elderflower cream

  1. Place the cream in the bowl with the cordial and lemon zest. Whisk until you have soft peaks. Add icing sugar to taste. Chill until required.

To assemble

  1. Using a cutter the same size as your tumblers, cut 4 circles from the genoise sponge and slice each of these circles in half horizontally through the middle. Fit a circle into each serving glass. Press it down a little - it should fit snugly. You will have 2 discs left over.
  2. Drizzle the lemon syrup over the sponge and allow it to start to soak in.
  3. Cut the raspberries in half and place neatly over the top of the soaked sponge. While the jelly is still just liquid (but quite cool and starting to thicken) spoon over the jelly until the raspberries are almost covered and leave somewhere cool to set.
  4. Once set, spoon on a 2cm layer of the custard and top with the lemon and elderflower cream – you can spoon or pipe it with a large plain nozzle as you choose.
  5. Garnish with toasted nibbed almonds to serve.

Author: Louise Kissane

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