… from The California Kitchen
How you doin’? Have you ever thought about what would King Henry might have eaten for dessert at one of his royal feasts? No need to ponder any longer—it would have been English Trifle, of course!
Trifle, in English cuisine, is a dessert made with fruit, thin layers of cake and egg custard. It is topped with whipped cream and more berries or fresh fruit. The fruit and sponge layers are usually assembled in three or four layers. You can be very creative… the contents of a trifle are highly customizable. Many varieties exist, some forgoing fruit entirely and instead using other ingredients such as chocolate, coffee or vanilla. According to some culinary scholars, trifles are the origin of modern sandwich cakes, only better.
The Scots have a similar dish to trifle, Tipsy Laird, made with Drambuie or whisky. In the Southern United States there is a variant of trifle known as Tipsy Cake. A similar dessert in Germany and Austria is called Punschtorte. In Italy, a similar dessert based on trifle is Zuppa Inglese, or English Soup; in Spain, this dessert is known as Bizcocho Borracho.
Photo credit: Choclatique... 150 Simply Elegant Desserts, Ed Engoron
Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 30 minutes
Chill time: 2 to 3 hours
Yield: 8 servings
1 package of either yellow or white cake mix, baked and cut into cubes (be even more creative and make it chocolate)
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
1-3/4 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1-1/4 cups heavy cream
1/8 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 ounces fresh raspberries, plus 8 to 10 more for topping
2-ounces toasted sliced almonds
ChefSecret: I prefer to assemble my trifles the day before and top them with whipped cream and garnishes just before serving. This is a great way to use stale cake—yellow, white or even chocolate cake. You can make your trifle completely authentic by soaking the cubes of cake in sherry or another fortified wine.
Covid-19 Quip of the Day: “I saw my neighbor Tammy out early this morning scraping the ‘my kid is a terrific student’ sticker off her mini-van. I guess this week’s home schooling didn’t go all that well.”
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©Perspectives/The Consulting Group, Inc., 2021
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