For the rhubarb jam
500g rhubarb, cut into 2–3cm slices
50g unsalted butter
150g caster sugar
50g ginger beer
For the sponge
3 large eggs, plus 3 large egg whites
15g caster sugar
100g icing sugar
100g ground almonds
30g plain flour
30g butter, melted
For the rhubarb and orange jelly
5 sheets of bronze leaf gelatine
400ml freshly squeezed orange juice
300g caster sugar
400g rhubarb, cut into 6cm pieces
For the custard
400ml whole milk
200ml double cream
8 large egg yolks
80g caster sugar
1 heaped tablespoon cornflour
For the whipped cream
400ml double cream
1 vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds scraped out
60g icing sugar, sifted
80g flaked almonds, toasted
Image by David Loftus
To make the rhubarb jam
Put the rhubarb into a pan with the butter, sugar and ginger beer. Cover and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until the rhubarb is completely soft, then remove the lid. Cook until the liquor is reduced and syrupy. Allow to cool slightly, then blitz in a food processor until smooth. Transfer the rhubarb jam to a container and leave to cool.
To make the sponge
Preheat your oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas Mark 7. Lightly grease a 30 x 20cm Swiss roll tin and line with baking parchment.
Using an electric hand whisk, whisk the 3 egg whites in a very clean bowl to stiff peaks. Whisk in the caster sugar, a teaspoonful at a time, until it is all incorporated and the meringue is glossy. Cover the bowl with cling film and put to one side.
Using a stand mixer, whisk the icing sugar, ground almonds and whole eggs together for 4 minutes, until doubled in volume. Remove the bowl from the stand. Using a large metal spoon, carefully fold in the flour. Now gently and gradually fold in the meringue, a quarter at a time. Pour in the melted butter and fold through the mixture until incorporated.
Tip the mixture into the Swiss roll tin and gently level with a palette knife. Bake for 6 minutes, or until the sponge is pale golden brown and springy to the touch. Lay a sheet of baking parchment on a wire rack and turn the sponge out onto it. Peel off the lining paper from the sponge and leave to cool.
To form the Swiss roll
Once cooled, spread the sponge with the rhubarb jam. With a long side facing you, roll up the sponge to enclose the jam and make a Swiss roll. Slice into rounds, about 4cm thick. Place a sponge round in each trifle serving glass.
To make the rhubarb and orange jelly
Soak the leaf gelatine in a shallow dish of ice-cold water to soften. Put the orange juice, water and sugar in a pan (big enough to take the rhubarb) and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Add the rhubarb, bring slowly to a simmer and cook gently for 4 minutes until it is tender but still holding its shape. Lift the rhubarb out of the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate; cover and leave to cool.
Pour the juice from the pan into a measuring jug. You need 500ml to make the jelly, so pour this amount back into the pan. Bring to just below simmering and remove from the heat. Immediately squeeze out the excess water from the gelatine, then add it to the hot juice and whisk until fully dissolved. Leave to cool. Once cooled, pour the fruit juice over the sponge in the glasses and place in the fridge to set for at least an hour.
To make the custard
Pour the milk and cream into a heavy-based pan and slowly bring to the boil. In the meantime, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl and then whisk in the cornflour.
As the creamy milk comes to the boil, pour it onto the egg mixture, whisking as you do so. Pour the custard back into the cleaned pan and cook, stirring continuously, over a medium heat until it thickens; do not allow to boil.
Pass the custard through a sieve into a bowl and cover the surface with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Leave the custard to cool completely. When the custard is cold, take the trifle glasses from the fridge and pour the custard on top of the jelly. Return the trifles to the fridge to set the custard.
For the whipped cream
When the custard is set, pour the cream into a medium-large bowl and add the vanilla seeds and icing sugar. Whisk until soft peaks form.
To finish and serve the trifles
Take the trifles from the fridge and spoon or pipe the cream on top of the custard. Drain the rhubarb pieces, pat dry and arrange on top of the cream. Scatter over the toasted flaked almonds to serve.
Extracted from Restaurant Nathan Outlaw by Nathan Outlaw (Bloomsbury Absolute, £40)