Lifestyle

Exploring the art of trifle dessert

Trifles are often refreshing and light, which can be a welcome contrast to the richness of many festive meals.

Trifle is a delightful summer dessert that combines layers of sponge cake, creamy custard, fruit, jelly, and whipped cream. With New Year’s Eve festivities fast approaching, trifle’s make-ahead convenience allows you to prepare this dessert in advance, ensuring you have more time to enjoy the celebrations and ensuring a stress-free conclusion to the year.

Ingredients

For the Sponge Cake Layer:

  • 1 sponge cake (homemade or store-bought), cut into cubes
  • 1/4 cup sweet sherry or fruit juice (e.g., orange juice)
  • 1/4 cup raspberry jam or strawberry jam

For the Fruit Layer:

  • 2 cups mixed fruit cocktail (canned or fresh fruit such as strawberries, peaches, and kiwi), chopped
  • 1/4 cup sweet sherry or fruit juice (for soaking the fruit)

For the Custard Layer:

  • 2 cups custard (homemade or store-bought)

For the Jelly Layer:

  • 1 packet red or green jelly, prepared according to package instructions and allowed to set

For the Whipped Cream Layer:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Garnish:

  • Sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
  • Maraschino cherries or fresh berries for decoration (optional)

Method

  1. Cut the sponge cake into bite-sized cubes.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the sweet sherry or fruit juice with the raspberry jam.
  3. Drizzle the sherry/juice and jam mixture over the sponge cake cubes. Toss gently to coat the cake evenly. Allow the cake to absorb the liquid while you prepare the other layers.
  4. If using canned fruit cocktail, drain the liquid. If using fresh fruit, chop it into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Place the fruit in a bowl and drizzle with the sweet sherry or fruit juice. Allow the fruit to soak for a few minutes.
  6. In a large trifle dish or clear glass bowl, start with a layer of the soaked sponge cake cubes at the bottom.
  7. Add a layer of the prepared fruit over the sponge cake.
  8. Pour the custard evenly over the fruit layer.
  9. Carefully place the set jelly  layer over the custard.
  10. If desired, you can repeat the layers once more, depending on the size of your trifle dish.
  11. In a chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream until it starts to thicken.
  12. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
  13. Spread the freshly whipped cream over the top layer of the trifle, creating a smooth and fluffy finish.
  14. If you like, decorate the trifle with toasted sliced almonds and maraschino cherries or fresh berries.
  15. Cover the trifle with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

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