No celebration is complete without relishing a sinful dessert to add to the sweetness. Be it a bowl of ice cream, a ghee-soaked ladoo, gulab jamun or chocolate cake, desserts always occupy a special place on the dining table. It may be the last course of the meal, but one which is most cherished by all. One such dessert that has always been a showstopper in family feasts or community get-togethers is the trifle.
The English trifle made its way to India during the colonial rule and has remained a favourite ever since. What makes it such a treat is the delicious coming together of custard, sponge cake, jelly, fresh fruits and whipped cream. It's simple to put together and tastes effortlessly good. Traditionally, the trifle was prepared by making egg custard from scratch, which requires a little skill to perfect. But, of course, now there is no specific recipe to making this sinful treat. There are numerous variations and tweaks based on choice of ingredients or taste preferences, and it wouldn't be wrong to say that every household has its own unique trifle recipe.
Trifle is also known as 'tipsy cake' because of the drizzle of liqueur in it. The sponge cake which is used in making trifle is often soaked in sherry or other liqueur to spike the flavours. Other ingredients that are added as flavour boosters are chocolate, coffee, vanilla, cinnamon or orange.
To make a good looking trifle, you need to have a tall glass container with a stand. Custard is an essential part of the dessert, which you can attempt making at home from scratch. Here's a recipe from Chef Aditya Bal - Classic Custard.
For the cake, you can make a butterless sponge or flavour it using chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and others flavourings. Coming to the fruits, you can add in seasonal treats such as mangoes, grapes, apples, orange, kiwi and berries to lend some sweetness. Some even prefer to add fruit compotes or jellies rather than fresh fruits.
Since it is usually a celebration dessert, how it is presented plays an important role. Hence, how you layer the dessert matters. Slices of the sponge cake are placed at the bottom of the container, which are then topped with custard. Fruits and jellies are added next before topping them with cake sponge again. The layering continues and finally, the contents are topped with whipped cream and decorated with fresh fruits. You can also sprinkle cocoa powder or chocolate shavings on top. The sight of the sinful layering is tempting enough to make you want to dig in right away.
Here's an easy trifle recipe by Chef Vicky Ratnani - Classic Fruit Trifle