Recipe by Sarah Phillips © 2007 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com
Variations: Easy Fruit Trifle; Apples and Cream Trifle; Banana Cream Trifle; Black and Orange Trifle; Black Forest Trifle; Chocolate Raspberry Trifle; Peaches and Cream Trifle; Raspberry Lemon Trifle; Strawberry Shortcake Trifle; Tropical Fruit Trifle
Trifle, a quintessential English dessert. Today, the basic ingredients of a trifle are always the same: sponge cake soaked in sherry and perhaps brandy, covered with raspberry jam and then an egg custard, all topped by whipped cream. The top is traditionally decorated with angelica (a plant stem crystallized with sugar) and glace cherries, but fresh fruit is a modern option. However, opinions on the ingredients vary greatly! Trifle is usually served in a large cut glass bowl so that the layers of cake, jam, custard and cream can be appreciated.
There is no record of the origin of the name trifle appeared as early as 1598, not in its current composition and bBy the middle of the 18th century, trifles included ratafia (almond-flavored biscuits) or macaroons soaked in sweet wine, covered with custard and topped with whipped cream. In Victorian times, it was regarded as a way of finishing up stale sponge cakes, which were soaked in wine, amd layered with left over custard. Left over cream was poured it on top and the dessert was consumed right away since there wasn't good refrigeration, if at all. The dessrte should not be soggy at all.
If you aren't concerned about serving a traditional English trifle dessert, you can be very creative. While a sponge cake is traditional and holds up well to being moistened with liqueurs or sweet wine, any type of cake tastes delicious, as does pairing it with flavored pastry cream, chocolate sauce, Italian or Swiss Meringue Buttercream, different flavored liqueuers or jam, fruit syrup, crushed amaretti cookies, frosting, a sprinkling of toasted nuts, crushed candy - you get the idea ~ This is a great dessert to make if you have left over cake scraps or other ingredients.
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