Stage 14: Colmar - Besançon Gabriel Gaté introduces the food from the Jura region and talks to cheese guru, Will Studd, about the great local cheeses considered amongst the best in the world. Gabriel makes a luscious French-style Cherry Trifle, and sommelier, Christian Maier, discusses the local kirsch cherry liqueur.


Skill level

Average: 4 (15 votes)


2 cups milk
1/2 vanilla pod, split in half lengthwise
5 egg yolks
150 g caster sugar
2 gelatine leaves
a 25 cm square sponge, about 4 cm thick
300 ml thickened cream, whipped
600 g cherries, pitted at the last moment

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Place milk and vanilla pod in a pan and almost bring to the boil.

In a bowl beat the egg yolks with the sugar until light and pale - it takes at least
5 minutes. Mix the milk with the egg mixture, transfer the preparation to a saucepan and cook on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the custard lightly coats the spoon. Strain the custard and allow it to cool slightly.

Place the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water to soak for 10 minutes. Remove the gelatine leaves and squeeze out the excess water. Whisk the gelatine leaves into the custard and place the custard in the fridge to cool - 30 minutes should be ok, but the custard must not set.

Cut the sponge cake horizontally into 3 layers. Line a bread tin with baking paper.
Cut the sponge layers into pieces and line the base and sides of the tin with them.

Fold the whipped cream into the cold custard. Pour a little custard into the mould over the sponge pieces, to about one-third of the way up the sides of the tin. Top with the pitted cherries to almost fill the tin.
Add more custard, tap the tin lightly, then add more custard to fill the tin well. Cover with a layer of sponge pieces to form a lid. Carefully wrap the tin in plastic film and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to set.

Carefully remove the plastic film and un-mould the charlotte. Cut it with care into about 10 thick slices and serve on a raspberry coulis, if you wish.

Raspberry Coulis
Blend together to a purée 250 g raspberries, 3 tbsp caster sugar, the juice of half a lemon and the juice of 1 small orange. Strain and refrigerate until read to use.
Bon appétit!