Last Sunday, having been inspired by my latest purchase Nigel Slater's Appetite, I decided to make Berry Trifle for our dessert. I decided that Nigel and I are completely in synchronicity when it comes to our approach to trife (did I mean trife as a play on words for "life"? My friend at work asked me when she read this post - I guess so but it wasn't intended!). I like Nigel, prefer to use a bought cake and while he buys his custard, I make mine from a custard powder so the approach is very much a pedestrian one.
What I did take from Nigel though and incorporated into my recipe was the combining of whipped cream into the custard used for the layers.
Recipe 1 unfilled sponge cake (cut into 1 cm cubes) 1 punnet of raspberries 1 punnet of strawberries 1 punnet of blueberries berry coulis 500ml of whipping cream 1.5 litres of cold custard dessert wine or sherry extra whipped cream for a topping flaked almonds (toasted)
For the berry coulis: I pureed a semi-thawed packet of frozen mixed berries and add 1/4 cup of sugar and warm in a pan on the stove. Let cool and strain through a fine sieve to remove the seeds.
For the custard: I made mine from some Fowlers Custard powder. In a jug/bowl mix thoroughly about 3 heaped tablespoons of the custard powder with about 1/2 cup of the milk . Put the remainder of the milk in a med-large saucepan and gently bring to the boil on the stove. I added sugar (about 1/2 cup) to the milk and stirred to dissolve the sugar.
Once the milk came to the boil I whisked through the custard powder/milk mixture till the custard became quite thick. Leave the custard to cool. In fact you could even make it the day before.
In a separate bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form, it should not be stiff. I then decided to take some of the custard out from the larger bowl and combine it with an equal amount of whipped cream in a smaller bowl. I thought that the combining of the cream with the custard made a very luscious mousse-like custard, which will give the trifle a velvet texture rather than the gell texture that thick custard when cold is want to do.
In a trifle bowl or the bottom of some glasses (this quantity made about 6 huge red wine glasses full) place a few pieces of sponge and soak with some coulis and dessert wine/sherry, top with a few of each of the berries. Top with a few centimetres of the cream and custard mixture. Begin the layers again, sponge, coulis, sherry, berries then custard etc. Leave some room near the top of the glass or bowl and make sure you end with a custard layer.
Just prior to serving top with whipped cream and toasted flaked almonds.