Rhubarb poached in ginger and lime, mixed into a trifle with sponge and honeycomb spinkled cream.
Equipment: You will need four wine glasses for this dessert.
Preheat an oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3. Grease and line a 20cm/8in cake tin.
For the Victoria sponge, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Gradually add the eggs, fully incorporating the egg before adding more, to avoid splitting the mixture. Add the flour and mix to a smooth batter. Turn the mixture out into the prepared cake tin and spread the mixture evenly in the tin.
Bake the sponge for 15 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and cool.
Once cooled, cut out four rounds that fit into the wine glasses.
For the pastry cream, heat the milk and vanilla pod in a thick bottomed pan, and bring it up to the boil.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolk, sugar and custard powder together to form a thick paste.
Once hot, add a quarter of the hot cream mixture to the egg mixture and mix thoroughly. Once combined add the rest of the cream mixture.
Pour the mixture back into the pan and cook over a gentle heat, stirring often, until thick.
Drain the soaked gelatine, squeeze out any excess water, and beat into the custard until dissolved.
For the poaching syrup, add the ginger, lime zest and juice, dessert wine and sugar to a pan with 250ml/9fl oz water. Bring to the boil for five minutes, until all of the sugar has dissolved. Set aside until needed.
For the honeycomb, line a baking tray at least 1½cm/¾in deep with baking parchment.
In a large, thick-bottomed pan, bring the sugar, honey, glucose and 35ml/1¼fl oz water to the boil. Continue to heat the syrup until it turns a light golden brown.
Remove from the heat and quickly whisk the baking powder into the syrup. The mixture will expand very rapidly, as it does so, quickly pour onto the parchment lined tray and leave to cool.
For the poached rhubarb, gently simmer the rhubarb in the poaching syrup for 2 - 3 minutes until just tender. Drain the rhubarb, keeping the poaching syrup.
For the rhubarb jelly, warm the reserved poaching syrup to 40C/104F. Drain the soaked gelatine, squeeze out any excess water and stir it into the syrup until dissolved. Pour the jelly mixture into the four wine glasses, about a third full, and transfer to the fridge to set.
For the honeycomb crème diplomat, take the pastry cream out of fridge and set aside to come up to room temperature.
Whisk the cream to soft peaks. Stir the room temperature pastry cream to loosen the mixture. Fold the cream and honeycomb crumbs into the pastry cream. Transfer to a piping bag, and set aside until needed.
For the honeycomb Chantilly, whisk the cream to medium firm peaks.
Stir up 250g/9oz of the honeycomb crème diplomat to loosen it. Fold the honeycomb crème diplomat into the whipped cream, with the honey and honeycomb dice.
For the spun sugar, have a ladle to hand, to shape the spun sugar.
Heat the sugar and a tablespoon of water in a small pan, do not stir. Once it starts to turn a very light golden-brown colour remove from the heat.
Allow the light caramel to cool for two minutes until it starts to thicken. Dip a spoon into the caramel, and draw out a stream and, in a crisscross motion over the back of a ladle, make four small nets to use as garnishes.
Once the jelly has set remove the glasses from the fridge. Add the sponge rounds followed by a little sherry. Layer in the poached rhubarb, then crème diplomat, then more rhubarb. Top with honeycomb Chantilly, a few shards of honeycomb, and a spun sugar net.
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