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).

Serves: 10


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.