Use Madeira cake as the base for this classic sherry trifle recipe which also uses fresh rhubarb, sweet sherry and almonds.
- 700g(1½ lb) rhubarb, trimmed
- 100g (4oz) plus 1tbsp (15ml) caster sugar
- 2tbsp (30ml) custard powder
- 400ml (¾ pt) full-cream milk
- 5tbsp rhubarb and ginger conserve
- 225g (8oz) Madeira cake, sliced into 6 slices
- 45ml (3tbsp) ginger wine or sweet sherry
- 450ml (¾ pt) double cream
- 25g (1oz) flaked almonds, toasted
Cut the rhubarb into 5cm / 1in lengths, place in a pan with the sugar and 2tbsp water. Cover and slowly bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 mins or until just tender. Leave to cool.
Make the custard: mix together the custard powder, caster sugar and 30ml (2tbsp) of the milk to a smooth paste. Heat the remaining milk in a non-stick pan, until almost boiling. Pour the hot milk onto the custard paste, then return to the rinsed out pan. Gently heat, stirring all the time until the custard boils and thickens. Cook over a gentle heat for 1 min. Remove from the heat, transfer to a jug and cover the surface tightly with clear film then leave to cool slightly.
Spread the jam generously on each slice of cake, then cut each in half. Arrange the sponge on the bottom of six glass dishes. Sprinkle over the ginger wine, then divide the rhubarb between the glasses. Pour over the custard and chill for 30 mins.
Use an electric whisk to whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, heap the cream over the custard, then scatter over the almonds before serving.
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As rhubarb is acidic, avoid cooking it in aluminum, copper, or iron pans that react - the rhubarb turns brownish and the pan discolors. Cook it in coated or glass baking pans.