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Raspberry Rhubarb Trifle

Trifles are a fun and dramatic dessert that are great for a crowd! Sifted Red Spring Wheat Flour or Sifted Spelt Flour could be substituted for Sifted Red Fife Wheat Flour in the sponge cake recipe.

Raspberry Rhubarb Trifle

Sponge Cake
1 3/4 cups (350 g) sugar
1 cup (140 g) Flourist Sifted Red Fife Wheat Flour
1/4 tsp salt
12 egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla

Rhubarb Compote
5 cups (550 g) rhubarb (approximately 5-6 stalks), chopped 1" pieces
1/3 cup (67 g) sugar
4-8 tbsp water
pinch salt

Pastry Cream
2 cups (500 ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (115 g) sugar
3 tbsp (30 g) cornstarch
1/4 tsp salt
4 egg yolks
2 tbsp (30 g) butter, cubed

Assembly

2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
1/4 cup (60 ml) elderflower syrup
2 pints fresh raspberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F and adjust oven rack to lowest position.

Sponge Cake - Place sugar in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and pulse about 6-10 times until sugar is fine and almost a powder. Remove 3/4 cup sugar and whisk together with Flourist Sifted Red Fife Wheat Flour and salt. Set aside.

In a clean bowl and with the whisk attachment of a standing mixer, whip egg whites and cream of tartar together on medium-low until foamy. Increase speed to medium high and slowly add 1 cup sugar. Continue whipping until soft peaks have formed (when beaters are pulled out the peaks slump over slightly), about 5-6 minutes. Add vanilla.

In three additions, gently sift the flour mixture onto the egg whites using a fine mesh strainer, gently folding with a rubber spatula. Sifting the flour in several additions and slowly folding the whites will help to keep the cake as aerated as possible.

Gently spoon batter into an ungreased 10" round angel food pan. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until the top springs back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and invert pan onto a funnel or neck of a heatproof bottle, to suspend the cake upside down while it cools.

Rhubarb Compote - Combine all ingredients in a medium pot and heat together on medium-low heat. Stir frequently to cook the rhubarb until tender but still firm and with some pieces still intact, about 6-8 minutes. Add water as needed if it becomes too dry. Set aside to cool.

Pastry Cream - Heat up milk in a sauce pot over medium heat until barely simmering. Remove from heat.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in egg yolks until mixture is pale yellow, smooth and fluffy. Set bowl on a damp cloth to help prevent the bowl from slipping. Slowly and continuously, whisk in warm milk into egg mixture in a thin and steady stream.

Pour mixture back into sauce pot and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until pastry cream begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Once thicken, continue to whisk until it begins to bubble. Once it starts to bubble, whisk for 1 more minute.

Remove sauce pot from heat and whisk in butter one cube at a time until thoroughly combined. Strain pastry cream through a fine mesh sieve. Immediately cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pastry cream to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold. When ready to assemble trifle, whisk pastry cream until smooth.

Whipped Cream - Place mixing bowl and beaters in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes ahead of time. Pour in the heavy cream and 2 tbsp (30 ml) elderflower syrup and whip on high speed until soft peaks are reached. Set aside.

Assembly - Remove sponge cake from round angel food pan and cut into roughly 1 1/2" cubes. Lay the cake pieces in one single layer on the bottom of a trifle bowl and brush abundantly with elderflower syrup. The syrup adds flavour and also will keep the cake moist. With an offset spatula, spread a layer of rhubarb compote over top, followed by a layer of pastry cream and then whipped cream. Scatter whole raspberries all over. Repeat with another layer of cake, elderflower syrup, rhubarb compote, pastry cream and whipped cream. Decorate the top with the remaining raspberries. Allow cake to rest for at least 4 hours or overnight for the cake to soak up all of the flavours. 

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