Christmas Trifle


I just flew in to Adelaide from San Diego, California where we spent the last five months. I miss the mild, sunny weather of San Diego and the incredible Mexican food there, but it’s also nice to be back in Australia with its great beaches, laid-back lifestyle and waking up in the morning to the ‘flute-like’ call of the Magpie.

I find that travelling is more complicated now that I have become a passionate food blogger – everywhere I travel, I seem to accumulate new cookbooks, kitchen gadgets and food styling ‘toys.’ This time, my carry-on bag burst open as I checked-in at the airline counter to return to Australia. Out burst some of my copper canelé moulds, a cherry pitting gadget, my mini POLKA DOT BOWLS, and several other odds and ends. As I frantically tried to scoop my food ‘toys’ back into my bag, I could sense a slight wave of disapproval emanating from the airline attendant. Oh, well …

Here is my recipe for a Christmas Trifle, layered with port wine gelatine, sponge cake, vanilla cream custard and garnished with various fruits to add some Christmas color to your dessert. Hailing from Britain, the trifle is a much-loved Christmas dessert usually made with sponge cake soaked in sherry or fruit juice and layered with various combinations of fruit, cream or custard. I love Trifles because you can layer them with just about anything: chocolate, mascarpone, whipped cream, puddings, fruit or various liqueurs.

Use your imagination to create your own wonderful Trifle- if you have any other great ideas for a Trifle, let me know!

Makes about 4 Trifles

 Step 1 : Prepare the Port Wine Gelatine

  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) port wine
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 sachet (10 g) of gelatine powder
  1. Over medium heat, stir together the port wine, sugar and cinnamon stick. Add more sugar to taste, if required.
  2. Heat the water in a separate container until very hot. Add the sachet of gelatine and stir with a fork until completely dissolved.
  3. Add the gelatine mixture to the port wine mixture and stir.
  4. Pour into the bottom of 4 Trifle glasses, filling each glass about 1/3 full. 

 Step 2: Prepare the Sponge Cake and peach layer

  • 2/3 cup (100 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (110 g) fine caster sugar
  • 75 g melted butter
  • 1 small can of diced peaches
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F (180 C). Lightly grease a cake tin or round casserole dish.
  2. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. 
  3. Using an electric mixer on high speed, whisk together the eggs and sugar until triple in volume- about 5 – 6 minutes.
  4. Using a spatula or large spoon, fold in half of the flour mixture into the egg mixture. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture.
  5. Gently fold in the melted butter. Pour the mixture into the cake tin or casserole dish and bake for approximately 15 minutes until the cake feels springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  6. Cut a circle shape from the sponge cake, using a pastry ring. If the cake is thick, slice the circle in half and then place the cake round in the trifle glass, on top of the layer of port wine gelatine.



   7.  Pour the small can of diced peaches into a bowl and mash using a fork or spoon.  Smooth a thin layer of the peaches on top of the cake layer in the Trifle glass.


Step 3: Prepare the Vanilla Cream Custard and Fruit Topping

  •  250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) heavy cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla favoring
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 75 g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 50 g (1/3 cup) sifted flour
  • Diced fruit (blueberries, strawberries, cherries, pineapple, etc)
  1. Warm the milk, cream and vanilla flavouring together over medium heat- do not boil.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and egg yolks, then add the flour.
  3. Over medium heat, gradually whisk in the egg/sugar mixture to the milk/cream mixture. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens
  4.  Spread a layer of the custard over the peaches in the Trifle dish. Place the dish in the fridge for several hours until the custard ‘melts down’ and settles into the other layers below.
  5. Remove from fridge and top with diced fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, cherries and/or pineapple. Garnish with a small mint leaf and serve.
  6. Merry Christmas!



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