Rhubarb and amaretto trifle

Sabayon (or zabaglione in Italian) – a mix of egg yolks, sugar and sweet wine – is the most delicious custard. If you’re pressed for time, you can use shop-bought Madeira sponge (you’ll need 420g).


90g whole almonds, with skins

800g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 4cm pieces

70g caster sugar

140ml amaretto liqueur



170g unsalted butter, softened

170g caster sugar

3 eggs, beaten

170g self-raising flour



8 egg yolks

160g caster sugar

120ml marsala wine

350g mascarpone



250ml double cream

1 tbsp caster sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 170˚C, gas mark 3. Roast the nuts for 10 minutes; cool, then roughly chop. Mix the rhubarb with the sugar and 60ml water, then transfer to a baking tray. Cover tightly with foil and roast for 30-35 minutes until tender. Set aside to cool, then strain. Reserve the liquid in a bowl and mix with the amaretto. Keep the cooked rhubarb separate.
  2. For the sponge, line a 24cm x 33cm Swiss roll tin with greaseproof paper. Cream the butter and sugar in a food processor. Gradually add the eggs, with the machine still running. Add the flour, along with a pinch of salt, and work until just combined. Beat in 2-3 tbsp water; the mixture should be a dropping consistency. Tip into the tin and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
  3. For the sabayon, put the yolks and sugar in a large heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water; the base of the bowl should not touch the water. Using electric beaters, whisk continuously as you pour in the marsala, until the eggs cook: about 10 minutes. Next, whisk over iced water until cold. Then add the mascarpone and whisk vigorously until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream and sugar to soft peaks.
  4. Cut the cooled sponge into squares (roughly 8cm x 8cm) and dip them in the amaretto and rhubarb cooking juices. Put 1/2 of them in the base of a large glass bowl (about 3 litres). Spoon 1/2 of the rhubarb on top, followed by 1/2 of the sabayon and then 1/2 of the nuts. Follow this with another layer of sponge, then the remaining sabayon and fruit. Top with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the remaining nuts. Chill well before serving.

Serves: 10

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 3,307kj
Fat 54.1g
Saturated Fat 30.4g
Carbohydrate 65.9g
Sugars 52.3g
Protein 10.9g
Salt 0.3g
Fibre 2.3g

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