...I was just inspired by Gail Carriger's New Year's resolutions, one of which was 'Make experimental trifle.' I've been frequently told over the years that my British grandmother, who we all call Grandmama, makes very excellent trifle. Yesterday she taught me how to make it, and I wanted to share this incredibly delicious recipe with you all. Now everyone who loves books like Ms. Carriger's (absolutely hilarious and entertaining) ones that have hints of England (or, you know, everyone who wants to feel even vaguely connected to Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss) can sit around all day eating this quintessentially British dessert.
You start off with a plain 9 inch sponge cake round. You can bake this yourself, but we took the easy route and bought a pre-made one. Put the cake in a nice bowl; trifles seem to often be served in clear bowls so that you can see the pretty layers!
Then you mix up a bit of liqueur (we used Kahlua) with milk and pour it all over the cake to moisten it. Traditionally you use brandy or rum, but this is completely optional; you can use fruit juice or the syrup from canned fruit instead.
Now for the fruit! You can use any in-season soft fruit you want, the riper the better. Seeing as it's winter, none of the fruit in markets was very nice, so we used mostly canned fruit instead, as well as some strawberries...
In terms of tinned fruit, we used pineapple, mango and peach, all of which were delicious, if not exactly traditional!
Make sure your fruit is evenly dispersed across the cake. You wouldn't want one unlucky person to get no fruit in their serving, would you? That would be unnecessarily cruel.
Next, pour on enough custard to cover all the fruit. If you're making custard from a powder mix, Grandmama recommends putting in an spoonful or two more of powder than the package suggests just to make it extra thick.
For the whipped cream, you can either buy pre-whipped topping or make your own by putting heavy cream in a blender bowl and mixing it on high speed until it's really thick and fluffy. Layer that on, too!
Feel free to get artistic with it. Grandmama made some pretty swirls with a fork.
Finally, top it with grated chocolate shavings. Apparently my grandparents make enough dessert that they keep grated chocolate in a jar. This is definitely not necessary to make good trifle!
There you have it! A bowl of very yummy dessert. I can testify that it tastes amazing, because we ate this one for dinner that night. Yum!
I've also typed up the recipe below for easy access.
Grandmama's Famous (and quick!) Trifle
You will need:
1 x 9 inch sponge cake round
Various in-season soft fruits (you can also used canned), chopped up
Kahlua/other liqueur (completely optional; you can substitute fruit juice)
Whipped cream (either store bought or whipped up at home)
Chocolate to grate on top
1. Put the cake in a bowl
2. If using, mix a tablespoon or two of Kahlua or other liqueur with two or three tablespoons of milk. Pour over cake. (If you're not using liqueur, substitute fruit juice or syrup from canned fruit)
3. Cover the moistened cake with chopped fruit
4. Pour over enough custard to completely cover all the fruit
5. Layer on the whipped cream
6. Top with grated chocolate
You can also mix it up by covering the cake with jam instead of moistening it, and decorating with chopped fruit etc. I'm sure you could even use chocolate sponge and topping! (yum)
Grandmama wanted me to stress that this is only her version of trifle and that there are many other versions out there that are equally authentic. So get creative!
Happy trifle-ing! :) If you make it, be sure to write and tell me how it went.