There are many different recipes for a trifle but a sherry-soaked sponge first brings to mind the traditional English trifle. The delicious flavour of raspberries make this the fruit of choice with a silky, smooth custard topped with dollops of whipped cream and then decorated with more raspberries and toasted flaked almonds. Just a heavenly dessert.
480ml (16 fl oz) double cream/whipping or heavy cream (1¾ cups)
14g (½ oz) toasted flaked almonds
icing/powdered sugar for dusting
For the custard
3 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
3 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
85g (3 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup less 1 tbsp)
600ml (20 fl oz) milk (2½ cups)
You will also need a large, flat-based glass serving bowl for this dish. Alternatively, if you need fewer than 6 servings, you can make these trifles in individual dishes (as seen in the photograph), reducing the quantities of ingredients in proportion as needed.
First make the custard. Whisk together the egg yolks, cornflour/cornstarch, vanilla, sugar, and three tablespoons of the milk.
Heat the remaining milk in a small pan and, as it comes to a boil, remove from the heat and whisk into the egg mixture. Now pour this back into the pan and, over a gentle heat, stir until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Pour into a jug and cover the surface of the custard with cling film/wrap to prevent it forming a skin, then leave to cool.
Now to make the trifle. You will need enough of the cake to cover the base of the serving dish and be about 2.5cm (1 inch) deep. Slice the cake in half horizontally and then spread one half with the raspberry conserve. Now sandwich back together and lay in the base of the serving bowl, cutting it to fit as necessary.
Scatter ⅔ of the raspberries over the sponge, reserving the rest for decoration.
Now spoon the sherry over the sponge and raspberries, top with the custard, smoothing the surface, and then chill for at least one hour.
Whip the cream until it just holds its shape and dollop spoonfuls over the custard but this time don’t smooth the top.
Decorate with the reserved raspberries and toasted almonds then, just before serving, dust the top with icing/powdered sugar.
This is a really light trifle. Not what you normally think of as a trifle although it uses the same ingredients. It’s very refreshing for a summer dessert and looks good too.
This very light summer trifle has a selection of seasonal fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, black and red currants, tossed in a fruit purée and surrounded with little boozy sponge fingers coated in a vanilla custard.
Pour the milk in a small pan and add the vanilla pod or vanilla extract. Slowly heat on the lowest setting for 10 minutes, without boiling.
Meanwhile put the egg yolks in a small bowl and whisk in the sugar to make a paste.
Slowly stir the milk and vanilla into the egg and sugar until the mixture is smooth. Return the custard to the pan and stir, over a low heat, until it begins to thicken. Do not let it boil. You want it to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and cool.
Meanwhile, cut each sponge finger in half and lay in a shallow bowl. Drizzle over the wine or sherry.
Now wash and pat dry the fruits. Remove the currants from their stalks, hull and halve the strawberries. Set aside half the berries and currants, picking out the best. Put the remainder in a food processor or blender and add the wine and sugar. Purée until smooth and then, using the back of a spoon, push through a plastic sieve to remove the pulp. Once the purée is pressed through, wipe the underside of the sieve with the spoon to get all the remaining sauce.
Roughly chop the pistachio nuts or walnuts.
Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold in the cooled custard.
Now to arrange the plates. Carefully toss the reserved fruit with half the purée and spoon into the centre of each plate.
Divide the sponge fingers between the plates arranging them around the edge.
Pour the custard over half of each the sponge finger then sprinkle the nuts on top.
Pour the remaining purée over the fruit and serve.
Frozen raspberries are used in this light, creamy trifle. Raspberry filled sponges are soaked in sherry and then topped with raspberries and covered in a creamy custard before decorating with dollops of whipped cream and crushed biscuits.
4 eggs, large (U.K.)/extra large (N.A.), yolks only
115g (4 oz) caster/white sugar (½ cup)
2 tbsp cornflour/cornstarch
300ml (10 fl oz) milk (1¼ cups)
1 tsp vanilla extract
8 trifle sponges or 1 packet lady fingers
4 tbsp raspberry conserve or jam
50ml (2 fl oz) sherry or framboise (¼ cup)
340g (12 oz) frozen raspberries (1½ cups), thawed
360ml (12 fl oz) double/whipping or heavy cream (1½ cups)
3 ratafias or amaretti biscuits
You will also need a large flat bottomed glass dish or 8 individual glass dessert dishes.
Pour the milk into a pan.
Put the egg yolks, sugar, and cornflour in a bowl and take 2 tablespoons of milk from the pan. Whisk until blended and pale in colour, 2–3 minutes. Set aside.
Stir the vanilla into the milk in the pan and bring to the boil. Then slowly pour the milk onto the egg mixture, stirring constantly. When smooth, pour the mixture back into a clean pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring until it starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.
Pour into a bowl and cover the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent it forming a skin. Leave for 30 minutes to cool.
Meanwhile, slice the trifle sponges or lady fingers in half and spread one half with the raspberry conserve or jam. Sandwich back together. Arrange in a single layer over the bottom of the glass dish or individual dishes.
Drizzle the sherry or framboise over the sponges.
Now scatter the raspberries on top.
Whisk 150ml (5 fl oz) (⅔ cup) of the cream until thick. Using a balloon whisk, whisk the custard to loosen it a little and then whisk in the cream until combined. Pour over the raspberries.
Whisk the remaining cream until soft peaks form. Now, to decorate the top, put dollops of cream around the edge of the trifle in the large glass dish or spoon one dollop on top of the trifle in the individual glass dishes. Chill for at least 30 minutes.
Crush the biscuits into small pieces. Just before serving, sprinkle them over the cream.
If a smaller number or servings are needed, just reduce the quantity of ingredients appropriately and use individual glass dishes.
Break enough of the sponges to fit the base of each dish.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of raspberry conserve on top of the sponge and level.
Reserve 4 raspberries and 4 strawberries for decoration. Equally divide the rest of the fruit between the four dishes, cutting the strawberries in half.
Now sprinkle ½ tablespoon of sherry over the fruit in each dish and leave while preparing the custard so the sherry can be absorbed by the fruit and sponge. At this stage it can be left for up to an hour.
Make up 1 cup of Bird’s custard according to the packet. Pour into a small jug and cover the custard with clingfilm so it does not form a skin. Leave until just cold. (I usually like to make my custard from scratch but, hey, this is supposed to be an easy, summer recipe! You could even buy a carton of ready-made custard.)
Divide the custard between the four dishes.
Whip up the cream until soft peaks form and put a dollop on top of the custard.
Half the reserved strawberries and decorate each dish with two strawberry halves and a raspberry.