Something fruity, Something sweet

A trifling affair

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A trifle is a real crowd pleaser and is great for feeding the masses at a big gathering, I usually make them around Xmas / New Year, especially if you have a bucket sized trifle bowl like the one I bought recently. It really appeals to the senses and is a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach! No two trifles are the same, at least not when they are made at home! So what do you need…

  • Cake – sometimes I make a plain sponge from scratch, sometimes when I’m feeling lazing I buy butter cake, recently I used a banana cake I’d made, which turned out a lot better than I’d expected so feel free to do what works for you.
  • Fruit compote – I don’t use jelly in my trifle (it’s not veggie and it doesn’t seem grown up!) so I make a compote using some berries fresh mulberries and / or strawberries if they are in season here or shop bought frozen berries. I boil / stew these with a  little water and sugar (juice will come out of the fruit so you don’t need too much water).
  • Alcohol – again I vary this depending on what I have, and it doesn’t tend to be sherry that I have in stock! So Cassis, Cointreau, raspberry vodka, my own mulberry gin have all found their way into my trifles. I add the alcohol to the fruit compote once it’s cooled.
  • Fresh fruit – I use what I can find but favourites are strawberries, mangoes, banana and peaches if they are in season.
  • Custard – sometimes I make it from scratch with fresh egg yolks, sometimes I make it with custard powder. I’ve never used ready made custard as you can’t get it here in Thailand and it’s too sweet for me anyway. Whatever custard you use you need to make it quite thick and allow it to cool / set. Put clingfilm over the hot custard so a skin doesn’t form.
  • Whipped cream – plenty of cream whipped till it’s nice and thick.
  • Toppings / sprinkles – I usually go for roasted almond flakes but I know some people use grated dark chocolate too so whatever takes your fancy!

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To assemble the trifle start with a layer of the alcohol laced fruit compote. Then a layer of cake (it shouldn’t be too thick about 2cms. Then fresh fruit, put some up against the sides of the bowl, they looks pretty. The some custard it doesn’t have to completely cover all the fruit again some up to the sides of the bowl looks good, then smooth over a layer of cream. Repeat this process (usually) two more times or as many layers as you can fit in your bowl. It’s best to put it in the fridge for a few hours so the juices soak through the sponge. Then before serving sprinkle on your toppings and enjoy!

My grown up trifles are inspired by a recipe in a lovely cookbook called “Tratine” given to me by my friends Aly & Frank in this recipe everything is made from scratch and it’s delicious.

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