Tenille’s trifles, with her Italian custard recipe, fresh whipped cream, jelly, peaches, and coffee and masala soaked sponge (plus a awholelottalove), is famous within our group of friends.
Especially her motto (taken straight from her instructions) “I like to eat trifle for breakfast, lunch and dinner so keep a spoon handy.”
Tenille, who you’ll remember from our fruit mince pie making
disaster adventure, sent me this recipe in August 2011 while I was living in London.
I foolishly forgot the jelly layer when I made it back in August so my photos were ruined. Don’t do that.
So a few weeks ago Tenille, me and my little sister made it again. And here it is.
Her original email was amazingly succinct and I’ve tried to keep it verbatim. You’ll see in brackets where I’ve added in notes, otherwise these are her words.
From the book of Tenille:
So the idea behind the trifle is a layer of sponge soaked in coffee and marsala, followed by a layer of custard, followed by a layer of peaches/fruit of your choosing, followed by a layer of jelly and then repeat until you run out of room in your bowl or ingredients.
The final step is to top it all off with whipped cream and grated chocolate. I also like to decorate the top with fresh strawberries cut in half.
It is a little involved; I will try make it easy to understand. It has many ingredients
Gather all your trifle ingredients, the custard, the jelly and a large bowl. The bowl should be deep enough to take two to three layers of the trifle, maybe a pretty bowl if you are serving to guest, not a mixing bowl though, more like a salad bowl or punch bowl.
Pour your marsala and coffee into little dishes and have a teaspoon next to you.
Cut your sponge into half inch slices.
(Note from Aimee: meet Quality-Control-Cat, who likes to make sure all food is OK, aka Tenille’s cat Burrito. She found him trapped in a wall in her work. Which I believe is where the best Quality-Control-Cat’s are found. He’s also about to be kicked off the bench.)
Take a knife and slice up your jelly into little half inch cubes. This makes it easier to spread on as a layer.
Drain your peaches.
Place one layer of sponge at the bottom of your chosen bowl.
Spread a teaspoon or two of coffee and a teaspoon or two of marsala on each piece of sponge. So they are covered and moist but not soaking.
Then add a layer of custard. Make it thick enough to cover the sponge well. I like lots of custard 🙂
Place some peach slices on top of the custard. You don’t have to cover the custard entirely with peaches. Just place them around evenly.
Take your cut up jelly and spread a layer of jelly on top. Remember not to use all your custard and jelly at once. You should be able to get about three layers out of a large quantity. But this depends on the size of the bowl you are using.
Repeat until all gone.
Don’t forget to put your marsala and coffee on each layer of sponge, if you forget it will be dry. So once again…
Sponge with coffee and masala:
(note from Aimee: I like Tenille’s jumper, don’t you?)
And then for a third time again, depending on the size of your bowl.
Ta da! Put in fridge as is until ready to serve.
Finally the last step is to whip the whipping cream and place a layer on the top of the trifle.
(note from Aimee: has anyone else noticed a strong outsourcing theme on my blog where my family and friends appear to be doing all the cooking? Mwhaha.)
(And remember Quality-Control-Cat is watching you)
P.S. this is not a weight watches recipe but one year when I was on a diet my aunty cooked me a low fat trifle so I suppose you could always try use low fat milk, low fat cream, and not as much sugar in the custard. Not sure if this could be gluten free, the problems include the sponge roll and the custard powder so you would need specialised versions.
Ingredients for trifle
Jam sponge roll (I usually use 2 cake rolls to make a large trifle)
2 packets of raspberry jelly (but you can use any jelly you like)
A large tin of sliced peaches (about 600g) (also like the jelly you can choose to change your fruit around, eg. use chocolate jam sponge roll, port jelly and cherries – makes it a black forest trifle)
A carton a whipping cream (300ml)
2 Flake chocolates (or any chocolate to grate on the top)
About 50ml of marsala (or similar alcohol)
A cup of strong italian coffee or a strong long black
Ingredients for custard:
This recipe is for an Italian patisserie custard, I suppose you could always make a simple custard but to me this is the best bit. It usually makes enough custard for a large trifle, you could try halving it to make a smaller trifle.
(note from Aimee: you want to try this version. So much better than normal custard.)
½ cup of custard powder (I like to use the nurses custard powder but any good quality one will do)
½ cup of corn flour
½ a cup of sugar
2 egg yolks
30 grams of butter
300ml of thickened cream
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or essence (you can use a vanilla pod if you want to be extra smancy)
4 cups full cream milk
Zest of one grated lemon
- It is best to get your jelly on to set and then start your custard. I like to set the jelly the night before and give the custard plenty of time to cool after cooking.
- You can’t assemble your trifle if the custard is still hot as it will melt your jelly and turn it into a watery mess. If you do the jelly the night before you may as well do the custard the night before also. Or do it first thing on the morning you plan to make the trifle and assemble it at the end of the day.
- Follow the instructions on the jelly packet for setting. I usually set my two jellies together in one bowl but if you want it to set faster separate them into two bowls. Also if you are planning on halving this recipe still use two jellies. I always find I need more. Once you have made up the jelly, put it in the fridge to set and move onto the custard.
Cooking the custard
- Take a large, microwave proof bowl (I like to use a glass bowl) and place all the custard ingredients in it together. You don’t have to bother about melting the butter, it will melt in the cooking process.
- Take a whisk and whisk together all the ingredients until they are well mixed. At this stage the custard will look runny, it will have chunks of butter in it and it will have lemon zest floating in it. It doesn’t look pretty at all but that is how it should look. As long as the custard powder and corn flour are well mixed it will be fine.
- Place the bowl in the microwave and cook for 1 minute at a time on a normal setting. After each minute you need to take the bowl out of the microwave and stir with the whisk. (I know this sounds involved but it is absolutely necessary to do this. Otherwise you run the risk of over cooking your custard and turning it lumpy).
- If you don’t have a microwave do it on the stove top in a saucepan but keep it on a low heat and stir continuously with the whisk.
- After the first few minutes of cooking and stirring nothing seems different, but then slowly the custard will start to thicken, It usually does this around the outside of the bowl first which is why its important to get the custard out of the microwave and whisk every minute.
- Each time you stir make sure you mix all the lumps and thickening custard back into a smooth consistency. Then put it back into the microwave for another minute.
- Because microwaves all differ in strength and people may choose to cook different quantities, I can’t say how many minutes to cook the custard for. You need to go by consistency (hard I know for the first attempt) however once your custard all comes together in a smooth thick molasses like consistency then stop.
- If it seems too runny for a trifle you can try 1 more minute but remember it will continue to cook as it cools and once left in the fridge it will set firmer. The same goes for if you cook it on the stove top. I have cooked this sooo many times and each time I assess via consistency, however I would say for a full quantity of custard it should approx 10 x 1 minute cooking session in the microwave.
- Once ready cover the custard with cling wrap. Push the cling wrap right down on top of the custard so it doesn’t get a skin. Let it rest on the bench for 10 minutes then put it in the fridge.
Assembling the trifle
- Gather all your trifle ingredients, the custard, the jelly and a large bowl. The bowl should be deep enough to take two to three layers of the trifle, maybe a pretty bowl if you are serving to guest, not a mixing bowl though, more like a salad bowl or punch bowl.
- Pour your marsala and coffee into little dishes and have a teaspoon next to you.
- Cut your sponge into half inch slices.
- Take a knife and slice up your jelly into little half inch cubes. This makes it easier to spread on as a layer.
- Drain your peaches.
- Place 1 layer of sponge at the bottom of your chosen bowl.
- Spread a teaspoon or two of coffee and a teaspoon or two of marsala on each piece of sponge. So they are covered and moist but not soaking.
- Then add a layer of custard. Make it thick enough to cover the sponge well. I like lots of custard 🙂
- Place some peach slices on top of the custard. You don’t have to cover the custard entirely with peaches. Just place them around evenly.
- Take your cut up jelly and spread a layer of jelly.
- Remember not to use all your custard and jelly at once. You should be able to get about three layers out of a large quantity. But this depends on the size of the bow you are using. Repeat until all gone. Don’t forget to put your marsala and coffee on each layer of sponge, if you forget it will be dry.
- Finally the last step is to whip the whipping cream and place a layer on the top of the trifle.
- Grate chocolate over the top and place some fresh strawberries in what ever pattern you would like. Then keep it in the fridge.
Serve and enjoy!
Thank you Tenille x