Can’t say I’ve ever been a fan of trifle – actually I think its one of my least favourite dessert ever. Maybe it was the soggy flavours and eating too many of them in the 80s when they were made with tinned fruit and jelly… yep that’s it, soggy tinned fruit and jelly!
The word trifle comes from the old French term ‘trufle’ and literally means something whimsical or of little consequence – I like this. An American author once waxed poetically about this dessert, call it: “the most wonderful object of domestic art called trifle… with its charming confusion of cream and cake and almonds and jam and jelly and wine an cinnamon froth”.
I want to like trifle…
Trifle is traditionally made with custard, fruit and sponge cake, fruit juice or gelatine and whipped cream. These ingredients are layered with fruit and sponge on the bottom and custard and cream on top. The earliest trifle recipe can be traced back to the 1700s.
The good-old trifle’s come a long way since and I’m pleased to say, this Boozey trifle recipe from Feast magazine is nothing like my horrible soggy trifle memories. With fresh summer berries, orange infused custard and brandy – it’s vibrant in colour, fresh and layered with full flavours – and its getting run on Boxing Day.
It’s a bit laborious, but when it’s a labour of love and tastes this good, it’s well worth it. You could easily cheat your way through and still impress – use bought custard, frozen berries and a ready-made plain sponge cake.
Now I love trifle. Well, I love this trifle.
Boozey berry trifle
Serves: 10; Prep time: 30 minutes; Cook time: 1 hour plus 2 hours refrigeration
500g mixed fresh berries
300g cherries, pitted
55g caster sugar
400ml thickened cream, whipped
40g flaked almonds, toasted
Grated nutmeg to serve
8 egg yolks
55g caster sugar
600ml thickened cream
Zest of 1 orange
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
170g caster sugar
200g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
100g butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
– To make the sponge: Preheat oven to 180’C. Grease two x 20cm -round baking tins, line the base with baking paper and lightly flour the sides. Sift the flour three times and set aside. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until thick and pale and tripled in volume (7-10 minutes). Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and gently fold through using a metal spoon and a gentle cutting-lifting-folding action (so as not too loose all the lovely air that will make the sponge light), add butter. Pour mixture in to tin and bake for 25 minutes until lightly golden or cake springs back to touch and comes away from the sides
– To make the custard: Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a large, heatproof bowl. Place cream, zest and vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat. Gradually whisk cream mixture and place bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Cook stirring with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula, for 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
– Place berries, cherries, 125ml brandy, sugar and 60ml water in a pan. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes pr until fruit is soft and liquid is slightly thickened. Cool for 15 minutes.
– Roughly break sponge cake into pieces and line base of a 4L serving bowl. Drizzle with remaining 125ml brandy. Add fruit mixture, then custard and spread over cream. Scatter over almonds, sprinkle with nutmeg and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.