Rosy Rhubarb Trifle shot with lemon verbena & hibiscus meringues

Rosy Rhubarb compote

  • 300g chopped rhubarb
  • 100g castor sugar
  • 2 tablespoons grenadine
  • 1 tablespoon rose water

Place in a pan and gently simmer until the rhubarb is just cooked.

Cool.

Lemon Balm Cream

  • 500ml double cream
  • 1 stick lemongrass, chopped
  • handful lemon balm leaves, chopped
  • 75g castor sugar
  • 100g white chocolate chopped

Take 100ml of the double cream and place in a pan with the lemongrass, verbena and sugar. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved and leave to infuse for an hour.

Strain well and bring to the boil again. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate.

Whisk the remaining cream to soft peaks and fold in the lemon infused cream.

Hibiscus Meringues

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 55g castor sugar
  • 60g sifted icing sugar
  • 2 hibiscus dried flowers ( Arcadia Deli on the Lisburn Road in Belfast stock these) ground in a coffee grinder

Set oven to 100oc and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Place the egg whites in a clean bowl and whisk to stiff peaks.

Fold in the sugars in a steady stream while still whisking.

Add it slowly.

Fold in the ground hibiscus.

Spoon into a piping bag and pipe small bite sized pieces onto the paper.

Bake for about 1 and half hours.

Cool on the trays. Store in an airtight tin or container.

Whin Bush and Hibiscus Champagne

  • 750g castor sugar
  • 4 dried hibiscus flowers
  • 2 pints of whin bush ( gorse) flowers
  • 2 lemons, zest and then sliced
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • pinch brewers yeast

Mix 4 litres of water with the sugar in a clean fermenting bucket and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Add the whin flowers to the bucket with the hibiscus.

Add the lemon zest, sliced lemons and vinegar.

Cover with a tea towel and leave for 2 days.

If the mixture isnt starting to foam, add a pinch yeast.

Cover and leave for 5 days.

Strain through muslin and place in plastic bottles or Grolsch style bottles and seal.

Open them up regularly so there isnt a gas build up.

Leave for a week, chill and serve.

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