Corn cake trifle with butterscotch, bananas and toasted meringue

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 - 12 people

This may seem a bit left-field for a trifle, but butterscotch, banana and corn cake are a great combination. A glug of rum balances the sweetness.

  • For drizzling: white or golden rum
  • To serve: sliced banana and toasted sesame seeds
  •  
  • Corn cake
  • 60 gm fine polenta
  • 300 gm unsalted butter, softened
  • 150 gm caster sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 200 gm (1 2/3 cups) self-raising flour
  • 50 gm blanched almonds, finely ground
  •  
  • Custard
  • 90 gm caster sugar
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 360 ml milk
  • 280 ml pouring cream
  •  
  • Butterscotch sauce
  • 170 gm caster sugar
  • 150 ml pouring cream
  • 30 gm butter, diced
  •  
  • Italian meringue
  • 200 gm caster sugar
  • 4 eggwhites (145gm)
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
01   For corn cake, preheat oven to 170C, and butter and line a 21cm-square cake tin. Combine polenta with 100ml boiling water in a bowl and stand to absorb. Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer until pale (3-4 minutes), then add eggs one at a time, beating well between additions and scraping down sides of bowl. Add flour, almonds and polenta and beat to combine. Pour into cake tin and bake until golden and a skewer inserted withdraws clean (45-55 minutes). Cool in tin 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Brush with rum to taste, then break into 4cm pieces.
02   For custard, whisk sugar and yolks with an electric whisk until pale and creamy, then add cornflour and whisk until smooth. Bring milk and cream to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat, then gradually add to yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Return to pan and stir continuously with a whisk over medium heat until thick (10-12 minutes). Transfer to a bowl over ice and stir occasionally until cooled (10 minutes), then refrigerate until chilled (1½-2 hours).
03   For butterscotch sauce, stir sugar and 90ml water in a saucepan over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, bring to the boil and cook without stirring until dark caramel (4-6 minutes). Remove from heat, carefully add 100ml water (be careful, hot caramel will spit), return to heat then stir in cream, butter and ½ tsp salt. Set aside to cool.
04   For Italian meringue, bring sugar and 200ml water to the boil in a small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to medium, brush down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to remove sugar crystals and cook until syrup reaches 115C on a sugar thermometer (about 10 minutes), then start whisking eggwhites with cream of tartar in an electric mixer until soft peaks form. When syrup reaches 121C, gradually pour syrup into eggwhite, and continue beating mixture at medium speed until meringue is thick and glossy, and cooled to room temperature, and (15-20 minutes).
05   To assemble, layer banana and cake in glasses, drizzle with butterscotch sauce and custard, then spoon meringue on top and toast with a blowtorch. Scatter with sesame seeds and serve.
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