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David Higgs Milk Tart Trifle

Preparation time 30 minutes
Cooking time 2 ½ hours


Vanilla pod custard
3 large egg yolks
65g granulated sugar
15g all-purpose flour
15g cornstarch
300 ml full cream milk
1 vanilla pod

Cinnamon meringue
4 egg whites, at room temperature
Pinch of salt
220g castor sugar
1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
1 tsp cinnamon

Coconut & white chocolate crumble
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
115g unsalted butter, softened
200g granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
85 g desiccated coconut
180 g white chocolate chips

Plum & Rooibos Compote
12 plums, stones removed
3 Tbsps granulated sugar
4 tablespoons water
1 rooibos tea bag


Vanilla pod custard 

1. Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a mixing bowl until pale yellow and creamy, then whisk in cornstarch and flour. Set aside. 

2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, split vanilla pod, and vanilla seeds on medium heat until just before boiling. 

3. Remove from heat and remove the split vanilla pod. 

4. Slowly pour the hot milk into the egg mixture while whisking constantly until smooth. 

5. Transfer the mixture back into the saucepan. 

6. Cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly so that the eggs don’t curdle, until the mixture thickens. 

7. Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl. 

8. Press a piece of cling wrap directly onto the surface of the custard to prevent it from creating a ‘skin’. 

9. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. 

Cinnamon meringue 

1. Preheat the oven to 120°C and line a baking tray with baking paper. 

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand beater, whisk egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. 

3. Gradually add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, whisking well between each addition, until sugar dissolves. 

4. Once all the sugar has been added, continue to whisk on high for 3 mins. 

5. Add the vanilla seeds and cinnamon and whisk until incorporated. 

6. Use two teaspoons to spoon the meringue onto the baking tray. 

7. Bake meringues for 1 hour 30 mins. 

8. Turn the oven off and leave the meringues in the oven to cool completely. 

9. Break into shards or pieces for serving. 

Coconut and white chocolate crumble 

1. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. 

2. In another large mixing bowl, mix together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. 

3. Add egg and vanilla and mix well. 

4. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and mix until well incorporated. 

5. Add coconut and white chocolate chips and mix the dough until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not overmix. 

6. Shape the dough into a ball and cover with cling wrap. 

7. Chill the dough in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 

8. Preheat the oven to 190°C. 

9. Line a baking tray with baking paper. 

10. Scoop cookie dough using a tablespoon and place on the baking tray, repeat with all the mixture. 

11. Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and remove from oven. 

12. Allow to cool completely, then crumble the cookies into a breadcrumb consistency and set aside. 

Plum & Rooibos compote 

1. Roughly chop your plums into bite sized pieces. 

2. Add sugar and water to a saucepan. 

3. Heat the water up until the sugar has dissolved. 

4. Add the plums and bring to a boil. 

5. Add the teabag and reduce the heat to a simmer. 

6. Simmer until the plums are just tender and the sauce starts getting syrupy. 

7. Remove the saucepan from the heat and remove the teabag (being careful not to tear it). 

8. Allow to cool, the sauce will thicken as it cools. 

9. Set aside until ready to serve.

To serve 

1. Spoon the custard into the bottom of 4 shallow round bowls, distributing evenly between the bowls. 

2. Sprinkle the coconut and white chocolate crumble halfway around the edge of the custard. 

3. Top with some of the plum compote and cinnamon meringue shards/pieces and serve.

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