Considering the ongoing Wimbledon
and the upcoming Olympics, England is quite the taste of the season. So why not
try making a traditional English dessert? The first thing that comes to my mind
is the humble Trifle. It’s a delicious layered concoction of cake, custard,
fruit and cream – a treat for your eyes and your taste buds!
The beauty of the Trifle is that
it is very versatile. You can make different versions by simply changing some
ingredients and literally serve up a new trifle every time! A trifle consists
of layers of cake, alternating with fruit, cream and custard. Some recipes also
add jelly for good measure! Many recipes suggest moistening the cake with some
sort of sweet alcohol, such as port or sherry.
Be warned that what follows is not
a traditional trifle recipe. This is the way I make it. Or rather, this is the
way I made it last week! I have
almost never set out to make a trifle; I usually put something together when I
have leftover cake or biscuits that need to be finished off! So, instead of
writing a proper recipe, I’m going to write a general ‘how-to’ about the
various layers in a trifle and then suggest some alternatives for each. Also, I
don’t make one huge trifle in a trifle bowl; I prefer to make small individual
servings in some pretty glasses. It’s less messy to serve it this way and it
also means that you can enjoy a helping without stuffing yourself too much!
To begin the trifle, cut up the
cake into small pieces and tightly line the bottom of the serving glass. If the
cake is too dry, you can give it a little soak – use milk/ sugar syrup/ port/
sherry/ liqueur, whatever takes your fancy. Instead of cake, you can also line
the bottom with biscuit pieces.
Next, put a layer of thick custard.
I make my custard from a packet. You can try making custard from scratch but I
find packet custard has better consistency and there are less chances of
messing it up! I always have a packet of custard powder in my refrigerator, so
I can whip it up in a jiffy.
The next layer would be fresh
fruits or jam. I use strawberry, because what says English Summer (and
Wimbledon) better than strawberries and cream! You can use any other berries or
bananas or kiwi, or any seasonal fruit that you think will go with cake and
custard. You can use jelly instead of jam, but I have never really liked the
taste of it much. But if you’re a jelly person, go right ahead!
Now repeat the layers – cake,
custard & fruit. You can stop here or if you are feeling indulgent, top it
up with some whipped cream and stick a slice of fruit or cake in it. Voila! A fancy-looking
dessert that doesn’t require too much preparation!
Labels: dessert, recipe, trifle