Most people want to keep the trifle – of strawberry, champagne anglaise, port wine jelly 251 and yoghurt mascarpone – to themselves when they visit Bloodwood. This grown-up version of a childhood recipe, ‘was inspired by my nan’s Christmas trifle, which was my absolute favourite when I was young,’ says co-owner and chef Mitchell Grady. While honouring his nan’s trifle, this recipe replaces the traditional layers of tinned fruit and packet sponge in favour of champagne anglaise, almond dacquoise and fresh berries in a smart and modern take on the nostalgic dessert. ‘It’s always changing and developing with each fruit and what’s available. We keep it quite fresh that way.’ The vanilla and champagne mix well and make a stronger flavour. But his best tip for upgrading the trifle is getting the pound cake base nice and fluffy, by gently whipping the butter just long enough to get it creamy.
250g strawberries, hulled and quartered
Port wine jelly
4 gold-strength gelatine leaves
375ml red wine 120ml port
240g caster sugar
250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
230g plain flour
1⁄4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
250g Greek yoghurt
50g caster sugar
1⁄2 vanilla pod, split lengthways, seeds scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
Preheat the oven to 175°C fan-forced (195°C conventional). Grease a 24cm cake tin and line with baking paper. For the port wine jelly, soak the gelatine in cold water until soft, about 5 minutes.
Bring the red wine, port and 240ml of water to the boil in a medium saucepan. Whisk in the sugar until dissolved and turn off the heat. Lift the gelatine out of the water and squeeze out any excess water with your hands, then add the gelatine to the pan and stir until dissolved. Pour into a suitable container and refrigerate for at least 3 hours to set.
For the pound cake, cream the sugar and butter in a large bowl. Slowly mix in the buttermilk and vanilla seeds. Mix in the eggs one at a time until combined. Sift in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder and fold in gently until just combined – don’t overwork the mixture. Tip into the prepared tin and smooth over evenly. Bake on the middle shelf for 30–40 minutes until the top is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Tip out onto a wire rack to cool.
For the yoghurt mascarpone, combine the yoghurt, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla seeds in a medium bowl until smooth and combined. Refrigerate until needed.
For the champagne anglaise, whisk the sugar and egg yolks until pale.
Add the milk and vanilla pod to a medium saucepan and bring up to 80°C, or just under the boil. Whisk in the sugar and egg mixture and turn the heat to low. Continuously stir with a wooden spoon for 5–10 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly. Pour into a cold bowl and stir for a further 5 minutes. Add the champagne and refrigerate until chilled . Preheat the oven to 150°C fan-forced (170°C conventional).
For the almond dacquoise, whisk the egg whites until white and fluffy. Slowly add the sugar and whisk until combined and shiny. Carefully fold the flour and almond meal into the mixture, making sure not to lose too much aeration.
Layer the mixture evenly in a 32cm x 22cm non-stick tray and bake on the middle shelf for about 40 minutes until it resembles meringue. Set aside to cool. The dacquoise should be pliable, crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle.
To assemble, break the pound cake and dacquoise into bite-sized pieces and arrange in large stem-less wine glasses, pour over the anglaise and add a few spoonfuls of jelly. Finish with the strawberries and spoonfuls of yoghurt mascarpone.
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