Cucumber & rhubarb trifles

Cucumber & rhubarb trifles

The unique flavours of cucumber, rhubarb and elderflower triumph in this unusual, very refreshing take on the classic British trifle by Harriet Mansell. This is a pudding that takes a bit of effort, but it’s guaranteed to be a delicious talking point. 

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  • Serves6
  • CourseDessert
  • Prepare35 mins
  • Cook10 mins
  • Total time45 mins
  • Pluscooling + chilling

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  • 250g rhubarb
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 Essential Cucumber
  • ½ x 25g pack mint, leaves sliced
  • 2 lemons, juice
  • 90ml elderflower cordial
  • 150ml double cream
  • 100g Clotted cream
  • 1 Madeira loaf cake


  1. Cut the rhubarb into 1cm cubes and put in a heatproof bowl. Put the sugar in a pan with 150ml water. Set over a low heat until the sugar dissolves (5-7 minutes), then increase the heat until boiling. Immediately remove the syrup from the heat and cool for around 30 seconds, then pour 200ml over the rhubarb and cover with foil or an inverted plate. Set aside to cool (let the remaining sugar syrup cool too).

  2. Halve 1 cucumber lengthways, then scoop out and discard the seeds; cut into rough chunks. Once the remaining sugar syrup has cooled, put in a high-speed blender with the cucumber chunks. Whizz until smooth, then pass through a sieve into a bowl; chill until ready to use.

  3. Once the rhubarb is cool, use a slotted spoon to remove it from the syrup and transfer to a bowl. Cut the remaining cucumber into 1cm cubes and add to the bowl of rhubarb with the mint. In a jug, mix together the lemon juice and elderflower cordial, then use 3 tbsp to dress the cucumber and rhubarb salsa.

  4. Put the double cream, clotted cream and cucumber syrup in the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or use a bowl and an electric hand mixer). Whisk to soft peaks (5-10 minutes).

  5. Cut the Madeira cake into 1cm-thick slices, then into cubes. Arrange in the bases of 6 dessert glasses. Drizzle the remaining lemon and elderflower mixture over the cake. Layer over 1⁄2 of the cucumber cream, then 1⁄2 of the salsa. Repeat these layers; serve.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,303kJ/ 552kcals



Saturated Fat












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