Hazelnut Sponge Trifles with Brandy-Roasted Miniature Pears and Vanilla Crème Anglaise

azelnut Sponge Trifles with Brandy-Roasted Miniature Pears

Freshly squeezed orange juice and a sprinkling of zest add intriguing citrus notes to Hazelnut Sponge Trifles with Brandy-Roasted Miniature Pears and Vanilla Crème Anglaise.

Hazelnut Sponge Trifles with Brandy-Roasted Miniature Pears and Vanilla Crème Anglaise
Makes 6 servings
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup ground toasted hazelnuts
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Vanilla Crème Anglaise (recipe follows)
  • Brandy-Roasted Miniature Pears (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: chopped hazelnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray a 15½x10½-inch jelly roll pan with baking spray with flour; line with parchment paper and spray again.
  2. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks, ¾ cup sugar, and orange zest with a mixer at high speed until mixture is pale yellow and forms ribbons. Beat in orange juice and vanilla extract.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together flour, hazelnuts, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add to egg yolk mixture, beating until mixture is combined.
  4. In a medium bowl, beat egg whites with a mixer at medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add remaining ¼ cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Gently fold beaten egg whites into egg yolk mixture. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading in an even layer. Bake until center is set, 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan completely.
  5. Cut cake into cubes, and divide among individual serving dishes. Pour desired amount of Vanilla Crème Anglaise over cake. Arrange desired amount of Brandy-Roasted Miniature Pear halves over top. Garnish with hazelnuts, if desired. Serve immediately.

Vanilla Crème Anglaise
Makes approximately 2½ cups
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine milk, cream, and reserved vanilla bean seeds. Cook over medium-low heat just until bubbles begin to form around edges of pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until mixture is pale yellow. Whisking constantly, add about ¼ cup milk mixture to egg mixture until combined. Repeat procedure with about ½ cup milk mixture, whisking until combined.
  3. Add all egg mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is slightly thickened and coats the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes.
  4. Pour mixture into a heatproof bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing wrap onto surface of custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.

Brandy-Roasted Miniature Pears
Makes 6
  • 6 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 miniature pears, halved lengthwise and cored
  • ⅓ cup brandy
  1. In a large skillet, combine brown sugar and butter. Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add pears, cut-sides down, and cook until pears are lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat; add brandy. Return skillet to heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until pears are tender. Serve warm.

For more delectable trifle recipes, see “Ode to the Victorian Trifle” on page 85 of the September 2017 issue of Victoria

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