APRICOT DOUGHNUT TRIFLE WITH ROSEMARY PRALINE
SERVES 8-12 / PREPARATION 40 MINUTES / COOKING 30 MINUTES
Doughnuts instead of sponge – need I say more? As you will no doubt be purchasing your doughnuts a few days before serving this trifle, make sure they get nicely coated with the liquid to allow them to soften. The praline really needs to be made on the day as it gets sticky quite quickly in our summer weather.
1 cup chopped dried apricots 400ml whole milk 300ml cream 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise 6 egg yolks 3 tablespoons caster sugar 1 tablespoon cornflour 6-8 cinnamon-dusted doughnuts 800g bottled or canned apricot halves ⅓ cup brandy (optional) 300ml cream, whipped rosemary praline (recipe follows) and
crumbled freeze-dried cherries to serve
Put the dried apricots in a saucepan with ¾ cup water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and process to a puree. Set aside.
To make the custard, put the milk and cream in a heavybased saucepan with the vanilla bean and set over a gentle heat. Bring to just below a simmer; do not allow it to boil.
Beat the yolks, sugar and cornflour in a large bowl. Remove the vanilla bean from the hot milk, scraping the seeds back into the milk. Pour the milk onto the yolk and sugar mixture, stirring all the time. Turn the heat down to very low and pour the custard back into the saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Transfer the custard to a bowl, cover with a piece of greaseproof paper to prevent a skin forming and chill in the fridge.
To assemble, halve the doughnuts crosswise (save one whole to garnish) and spread with apricot puree then put back together. Break the doughnuts into pieces and put in the bottom of a trifle dish. Strain the bottled or canned apricots, reserving the liquid. If using brandy, add enough apricot juice to it to bring the total liquid to 150ml. If not using brandy, use 150ml apricot juice. Pour this evenly over the
doughnuts and top with the apricot halves. Spread the custard over, cover and refrigerate until needed. Before serving, whip the cream and slice the reserved doughnut. Top the trifle with the cream and garnish with the sliced doughnut, freeze-dried cherries and the smashed praline and rosemary sprigs.
FOR THE PRALINE
3 sprigs rosemary ½ cup sugar Line two baking trays with baking paper. Put the rosemary sprigs on one baking tray in one layer. Have a pair of tongs and a fork ready. Put the sugar in a saucepan with 2 tablespoons water and bring to the boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 7-8 minutes, without stirring, until the mixture turns golden in colour. Working very quickly, pour the toffee evenly over the rosemary then using the tongs, grab the rosemary out of the toffee and move it to the second tray, using the fork to unstick. Leave both trays for 5 minutes to harden and cool. Smash the toffee into pieces.