Thursday, 22 November 2012

Luxury (boozy) trifle (EN)

At first, I didn't know what a trifle was and had to look on the internet to know more about this traditional English dessert. Trifle is a dessert made from thick (or often solidified) custard, fruit, sponge cake or biscuits, fruit juice, jelly or alcohol and whipped cream. These ingredients are usually arranged in layers.

For this recipe, Jack made a syllabub which is an English dessert, popular from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. It is usually made from rich milk or cream seasoned with sugar and lightly curdled with wine. In its early variations it was a drink made of new milk and cider, with the cows milked directly into an ale pot. A variation known as an Everlasting Syllabub allows for the cream to rise and thicken by letting it stand for several days.

You will need time ahead for this recipe, as there is two different steps.

This recipe, with its dose of alcohol, will make you dance all night long. If you're not addicted to alcoholic dessert, I will suggest you to reduce the quantity, or even to use fruit juice (Jack will kill me for this mention).


400ml milk
50ml cream

1 vanilla pod or ½ tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs yolks only
20g caster sugar
2 level tsp cornflour

200cl brandy/cognac 
200cl sweet sherry
200g sugar 
Juice of 2 lemons
600-800cl of fresh cream

100g of amaretti biscuits
20cl of cream
some white wine or sherry
some brandy
a handful of crystalised fruit and mix of nuts

Day 1

Make fresh custard :
Bring the milk, cream and vanilla pod to simmering point slowly over a low heat. Remove the vanilla pod (wash the vanilla pod, dry and store in jar with caster sugar to make vanilla sugar).
Whisk the yolks, sugar and cornflour together in a bowl until well blended.
Pour the hot milk and cream on to the eggs and sugar, whisking all the time with a balloon whisk.
Return to the pan, (add vanilla extract if using) and over a low heat gently stir with a wooden spatula until thickened. Jack does this in a bain marie. Allow to cool a little then store in the fridge.

Make syllabub as follows :
Mix 200cl brandy or cognac and 200cl sweet sherry, such as a Pedro Ximenez. Add 200g sugar and the juice of 2 lemons. Stir until the sugar has dissolved. Add 600-800cl of fresh cream. Beat it until it forms soft peaks (until it begins to stiffen). This might take a long time, so best to do it with an electric whisk. It can also be very messy, so perhaps do it in the sink. Line a colander with a tea towel / muslin cloth. Pour the mixture into this. Set the colander on top of a bowl and put in the fridge overnight. During the night a mysterious liquid will seep out of the top layer. By morning, the cream will be syllabub.

Day 2

Put a couple of handfuls of amaretti biscuits into the final trifle bowl (quite a big one) and splash over some Brandy or cognac and white wine or sherry and allow them to soak up the liquid. I like to allow them to stay a little crispy, so don't flood the biscuits with booze. Next take out half this mixture and pour the custard over the biscuit layer. Add the remaining biscuit layer on top. 
Next heap on the syllabub. I do this with a fork. It should have a kind of cake-like texture and taste delicious. In a separate bowl pour a little cream and white wine together and beat it until it is foamy / just a little set. Then spoon this over the top to give the top of the trifle a nice cloudy look. 
Chop up a mixture of nuts and crystalised fruit and sprinkle on top of the trifle. Et voila, c'est fini! It's best to allow the dessert to rest for 3-4 hours in the fridge before serving.

And now you're ready to dance!

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