Saturday, 3 January 2009


There are certain staple foodstuffs one must always have at Christmas and trifle is one of them. I think many of us dismiss trifle because we have had bad experiences of shop bought atrocities with an almost concrete jelly and fruit layer.

A good trifle should not contain jelly. The eating experience should be soft and juicy with a lovely mix of sponge, fruit, custard and cream. I used my final swiss roll to provide the trifle’s base.

Here is my pictorial masterclass to trifle making! Step one - have a fruit layer so tempting that you forget it’s good for you:

The fruit should sit heavily on the sponge base so as to ensure there are no pockets of emptiness; these will only limit the amount of custard and cream you can wedge into the bowl:

Step two - add a creamy custard layer so naughty you feel 4 pounds heavier just looking at it:

Step three – add whipped cream and a healthy, understated decoration (ahem):

The finished trifle should be a visual treat as well as a tasty one!

However gorgeous your trifle, sadly, it will always look messy in the bowl:

These quantities made me a huge trifle (my bowl was approx 30cm tall and 25cm across), vary them according to the size of your bowl:
1 swiss roll – for the recipe click here
1 kilo of washed assorted fruit – I used raspberries, blackberries and strawberries
1 litre of ready made fresh custard
500g mascarpone
600ml double cream
2 Cadbury flakes

How to make:

- Cut the swiss roll into approximately 1.5cm slices.
- Line the bottom of the bowl with the swiss roll.
- Mix the fruit together and place on top of the swiss roll. Push down gently on the fruit to compact it a bit.
- Whisk together the custard and mascarpone until smooth and creamy. Whatever amount you make, remember that the volume of custard must always be twice the weight of the mascarpone.
- Spread the custard mix over the fruit. It will sink into any crevices in the fruit.
- Whip the cream until you have soft peaks and spread over the custard layer.
- Decorate as required – I used strawberries and crushed flake.
- Refrigerate until required.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful thing you have made.
- Eat.


Sam said...

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without trifle, we make ours with a LOT of sherry!

anudivya said...

Yeah all trifles are bound to get messy on the plate, but taste divine. Looks cute.

Cakelaw said...

Love the trifle - it's a dying art, and I wish more people still made it.

Margaret said...

I didn't get any trifle this year!!
Trifle never looks brilliant when dished out, but the taste certainly makes up for it.
I loved your mixed fresh fruit idea.

jen said...

Looks fabulous, CC - just the thing to celebrate with.

Mr B. made the 'family' trifle this year, which is a slightly different take where you spread the jam on some trifle sponge and then mash it up with the custard and lashings of sherry. Then you top it off with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. It just seems so wrong though... In my book, you've got to use Swiss Roll and you definitely don't mash it all up!

disa said...