Cuisine - - FIONA SMITH -


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.


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.

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