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    Meringue, madeleine and winter berry trifle

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    Meringue, madeleine and winter berry trifle

    Perhaps the secret to this recipe’s success is its impressive appearance but comparatively easy method – ready-made cakes and meringues make it a cinch, in fact. Omit the Advocaat if you’re serving this to children (but definitely keep it in if your guests are fond of a Christmassy tipple)

    • Vegetarian
    • Christmas
    • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling and chilling
    • Cooking time: 15 minutes
    • Total time: 40 minutes, plus cooling and chilling

    Serves: 6-8

    Ingredients

    175g Bonne Maman madeleines 
    75g Bonne Maman berries and cherries conserve
    200ml double cream
    Pinch ground mixed spice
    4 meringue nests, roughly chopped, plus extra to decorate
    1 tbsp roasted chopped hazelnuts
    Cherries and blackberries, to serve (optional)

    WINTER BERRY COMPOTE
    450g frozen black forest fruits
    1 tbsp golden caster sugar
    ½ tsp ground cinnamon
    1 tbsp cornflour, dissolved in 2 tbsp cold water

    ADVOCAAT CUSTARD
    35g custard powder
    250ml whole milk
    397g can condensed milk
    150ml Advocaat*

    * selected stores

    Method

    1. To make the compote, gently heat the fruit, sugar, cinnamon and 50ml water in a pan, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes – until the fruits have defrosted, released their juices and softened but still hold their shape. Add the dissolved cornflour and continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. It will be quite thick and jammy. Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. 

    2. Meanwhile, make the custard. Put the custard powder in a large jug. Stir in a little milk to make a paste, then put the remaining milk and condensed milk into a non-stick saucepan. Bring almost to the boil, stirring. Remove from the heat and gradually pour into the custard paste, stirring until combined. Return to the pan and gently heat, stirring constantly, until quite thick. Remove from the heat, stir in 100ml Advocaat, then cover the top of the custard with baking parchment to prevent a skin from forming. Cool. 

    3. While everything is cooling, halve the madeleines lengthways and sandwich back together with a little of the conserve. Cut each sandwiched madeleine in half widthways. Arrange the halves in a small trifle bowl (about 1.2 litres) to cover the base, then drizzle with the remaining 50ml Advocaat. 

    4. When the custard is almost cold, spoon it over the madeleines and level with the back of a spoon. Top with the berry compote, level again, cover and chill for 3-4 hours or until ready to serve. 

    5. No more than 2 hours before serving, whisk the cream and mixed spice in a bowl to soft peaks, then fold in the chopped meringue. Spoon over the trifle, then top with the hazelnuts and the cherries, blackberries and extra meringue nests, if liked.

    Cook’s tip
    This will keep, covered, for 2 days in the fridge, without the cream layer. Add the cream and toppings up to 2 hours before serving.

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    This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food, December 2017 issue. Download the Waitrose Food app for the full issue

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