Wednesday 2 May 2012

Trifle sponge cake


Recently I made a trifle and it dawned on me that, with a bit of tweaking as to the order of construction you could make trifle cake.  And here it is!  It may sound immodest (OK, definitely immodest!) but I consider this my masterpiece; so often I am disappointed with my final product as it doesn’t match the perfection I pictured in my mind.  This one exceeded my wildest hopes!

Mr CC is very hands off re cooking and is totally happy to go along with whatever I wish to make, however I wish to make it – with one big exception: trifle.  The look on his face when I once served him trifle without jelly in it now forms the Oxford English Dictionary’s definition of “disgust”. 

The look on his face when I used posh fresh custard rather than Bird’s...well, let’s just say that I’m amazed I ever made it to becoming Mrs CC!

This cake really is, barring the homemade sponge, comprised of trifle ingredients of the 1970s i.e. the decade of my (and Mr CC’s) youth.  Tinned fruit, packet jelly, Bird’s custard and whipped cream.  Happy days.

In order for everything to set make the sponge two days before you wish to serve the cake. 

Leave it overnight to firm up and then, one day before serving slice it into three, place a layer in the tin and add the custard.  Place another layer of sponge on top then back in the fridge to set. 

A little later pour some jelly on to the sponge and then refrigerate until set.

Then add the tinned fruit and the rest of the jelly, top with the remaining sponge and – you’ve guessed it - back into the fridge to set. 

On the day of serving add the whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.  Easy enough, but it does require planning.  I only say this so no one tries to make the cake in one day and then get cross that I didn’t point out the timescale involved!

Slice of trifle anyone?

For the cake:
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
220g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
80ml milk
300g self raising flour
For the filling:
1 pint of powdered custard – made up as per the instructions on the pot (you can’t use fresh custard as it won’t set and hold its shape like Bird’s)
1 tin of fruit cocktail (in fruit juice, not syrup)
1 packet of jelly – made up as per the instructions on the packet

To decorate: whipped cream and flaked chocolate

Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Line the base of a 20cm springform deep baking tin with baking paper.
Start by making the sponge 2 days before you wish to serve the cake: Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Don’t skimp on this stage as this is when you get lots of lovely air into your sponge.
Beat in the eggs gradually, add some of the flour if it looks like it might curdle.
Beat in the milk.
Stir in the flour until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
Spoon into the prepared tin and level the surface.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the sponge comes out clean. Another good sign is if the sponge is just pulling away from the edge of the tin.
Leave to cool in the tin for about 20 minutes before turning out and leaving to cool completely on a wire rack.
Store the cake in an airtight tin overnight – this will firm the sponge and make it easier to carve.
One day before serving: Slice the sponge cake into three even layers.
Line the springform tin you baked the cake in with clingfilm, then wrap the outside in foil. This is so no jelly or custard can escape while it’s setting.  I have an adjustable cake ring so used that – but it’s important to get a tight fit around the sponge.  Also, ensure that the foil (or baking paper) comes up above the height of the tin – this is a tall cake.
Sit the bottom disc of sponge in the bottom of the lined tin.
Now make a pint of custard as per the instructions on the custard pot.  Don’t use fresh custard as it won’t set firm enough to support the cake.
Allow the custard to cool a little but not so much that it sets.
Pour the custard onto the sponge base and level the surface.
Press  the middle disc of sponge onto the top; doing this now will prevent a skin forming.
Refrigerate for about 2-4 hours or until the custard is very firm.
Now make the jelly per the packet instructions.  Leave to cool as you don’t want to upset the set custard.
Remove the cake from the fridge and pour over just enough jelly to soak into the sponge and saturate it – you know when it’s enough as the liquid jelly will start to pool on the sponge.
Put back in the fridge – once this firms up it will act as a seal and ensure that the rest of the jelly sets around the fruit.
Tip out the contents of a tin of fruit cocktail into a sieve, you don’t need the juice.
Spoon the fruit onto the top sponge disc and spread out into an even layer.
Pour the remaining cooled jelly over the fruit.
Gently place the remaining disc of sponge on top and loosely cover the tin with clingfilm.  (You want to put the remaining sponge on now as the jelly will set against it and hold all the layers in place)
Place in the fridge and leave to set – this will take several hours and is best left overnight.
On the day of serving decorate with whipped cream and chocolate.
Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.


Unknown said...

Cor! This looks SO retro, it's wonderful. A version incorporating diced canned fruit cocktail would be cool!

Victory Rolls & Mixing Bowls said...

I have to say, I'm not a typical trifle fan, but as this comes in cake form I think I could be converted! Love how utterly huge it is too nice job!

Nom! x

Anonymous said...

Genius! Takes me back to Christmas with my Nana watching TOTP and waiting for the Bond movie to come on!

Perdita Tinsel said...

Totally making this. Trifle is delish!

Anonymous said...

Wow, yummy! I LOVE trifle and cake! My wonderful eldest sister (this is in case she reads this) pointed me in the direction of your blog, having sung your praises and made my mouth water with talk of a vanilla overload cake....

Georgia said...

CC, the cake looks fab - I may have to have a stab at this one. That is if I can just persuade the other half I really do need a bigger fridge... And your wonderful eldest sister is very glad you came to join the fun Grace!xxx

Jean said...

Magnificent !! I LOVE trifle, this is a great idea.
And made the way old fashioned trifle should be, Birds custard, tinned fruit and jelly.....I might even seek out some Dream Topping for when I make mine !!

Jo said...

I actually did an audible intake of breath there! I really fancy making this. Excellent work CC!

I heart cupcakes said...

oh. my. god. This is AMAZING. Sam you are a genius. I love it.
This would be perfect for Jubilee celebrations - so retro!

Caroline said...

Utterly amazing cake! It seems that on matters of trifle Mr CC and I are in agreement - it must have jelly and thick Bird's custard and no alcohol should taint it. Delicious - what an inspired idea!

Cakefairyblog said...

Amazing! My other half would absolutely love this. Don't get him started on posh custard!

Rachael said...

That is absolutely incredible, it looks delicious!

Clare said...

Oh I love it! It looks fabulous! Very retro! I'd love to try make this, I think my dad would appreciate it - he's a big trifle fan!

Becca said...

That looks truly amazing, only wish the rest of my family loved trifle :(

Baking Addict said...

happy days indeed! I love trifle and this cake version looks amazing!!

Gloria Baker said...

ahhh love this cakes so much, is perfect!!

Unknown said...

That is absolutely exquisite. I live with a confirmed trifle hater (I blame it on the hideous, jelly-filled horror his mum makes) so I can understand the situation in your house. I might make this for my own birthday (so I can eat the whole thing myself). Brilliant!

Cakelaw said...

Trifle Cake? I am in heaven! When I was a child, there was a large department store cafeteria that served trifle in parfait glasses, and I would always order that. And this is so pretty too.

Sarah-Jane - said...

that's bonkers in a really really cool way ! Love it !

Fuss Free Helen said...

Oh my. That is truely wonderful!

Dipika @ The Very Hungry Baker said...

Gorgeous! Good work!

Unknown said...

Now that's a cake!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

That is absolute genius CC! I need this cake in my life. I am utterly impressed. Oh how I want a slice. You are my guru CC x

sensibilia said...

What a construction. Very patient too, to start two days ahead.

This makes me wonder, are you going to construct a masterpiece for the Diamond Jubilee! I wait in awe to see what you will come up with!

she dances on the sand said...

WOW!! Iwithout a doubt, this will be served up n our house.

Lauralovescakes said...

OMG...this is a complete masterpiece...I love it! My guilty secret is that Birds triffle from a packet is my favourite dessert ever so this cake is perfect for me...I will definitely have to make it...I even add the fruit cocktail to my Birds! Well done, this is great and so creative! :-)

Lottie @ Lottiesworldofcakes said...

Wow that is a very impressive cake!

the hungry mum said...

Just discovered your fab blog. Showed this recipe to my hubby [who is mad for a trifle] and I think he loves you. Just saying...

Anonymous said...

Fabulous! My first thought was that this is perfect for the Jubilee! I will be having a go! Hope & co

Maggie said...

Looks fab and a great take on traditional trifle too. We love Bird's Custard in this house.

Choclette said...

It looks fantastic and a real feat to have mastered. But I have to say I never liked trifle until I grew up and got to taste the real thing - ie without the jelly & tinned fruit.

Victoria said...

You are a genius!

divinebakes said...

Finally made this cake. What an adventure but so much fun to make!! Everyone loved it. It felt very strange to be cutting a cake with wobbly jelly but very very yummy. Definately going to make this for the Christmas lunch table.

Marie said...

Love this will definitely be trying it! Bookmarked.... Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Am taking son out for 18th today. Offered to take a cake but he wanted trifle. Your cake was perfect solution. Looks great. Hope it tastes great too. My next challenge is to make gluten/dairy free version so I can try it.

Unknown said...

I'm not sure if my other comment published so here goes. I learned living in NZ that a Trifle has sherry in it, and lots of it. Is there any way to combine the jelly with sherry to do your cake? I wasn't taught to meme mine with jelly. The custard powder, makes sense.

The Caked Crusader said...

Hi Mrs O'Malley

The sherry is normally sprinkled over the sponge layer in a trifle. You could brush it over each sponge layer for authenticity. I wouldn't recommend adding it to the jelly as I'm not sure whether it would inhibit the set.

Happy baking

Anonymous said...

this is really so beautiful dear :) i am going to bookmark it :) shall share u the results soon.. i have followed u glad if ya follow me back too :)

Unknown said...

Lovely cake!! Do visit my blog too :)

Unknown said...

Well... It looks real delicious and nice color combination!