In case you’re stuck in a recipe rut this month, here’s a fail-safe favourite to add to your repertoire. Happy cooking and eating!
From: Dr Anita Soosay of The Aesthetics Centre
“This trifle is always a hit with my guests!”
- 2 16-ounce (473g) cans of dark, sweet cherries
- 8 tbsp dark rum (or brandy)
- 800ml custard (can make from custard powder or use ready-made custard)
- 600ml thickened cream
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla essence
- 1 pack of 30 ladyfinger biscuits
- 100g flaked almonds (for topping)
- Optional: raspberries for topping
Preparation of ingredients:
- Drain cherries and soak overnight in the dark rum; reserve the excess cherry syrup to use the next day during assembly of trifle
- Make 800ml of custard based on the manufacturer’s instructions on the package, using full fat milk for a creamier custard. Prepare at least one hour prior to assembly of trifle so that the custard has time to completely cool down.
- Add icing sugar and vanilla essence to the thickened cream, and whisk until it firms and forms soft peaks. Do not over-whisk, as the cream will become grainy; if this happens, just add a bit more fresh cream to the mixture and whisk a little to smoothen it.
- Lightly toast the flaked almonds in a frying pan until golden brown. Let the flakes cool completely before storing in an airtight container until ready to use as a topping.
Tip: A deep trifle bowl works best so that you can see the layers.
- For the first layer, arrange 15 sponge fingers at the base of the bowl. Drizzle a small amount of the reserved cherry syrup and alcohol from the soaked cherries on to the sponge fingers; don’t wet them completely, as the trifle will become too soggy.
- For the second layer, arrange half of the drained, alcohol-soaked cherries over the ladyfingers; focus on placing some cherries neatly on the outer part of the bowl so that they show nicely.
- For the third layer, arrange half of the custard over the cherries. Note: Make sure the custard has cooled completely; if the custard has thickened, just use a manual whisk to smooth it out.
- For the fourth layer, gently dollop half of the whipped, thickened cream over the custard layer, then slowly smooth it out with a spatula; be careful not to ruin the custard layer!
- Repeat the layers again.
- Cover the trifle with cling film. Refrigerate for at least four hours, or overnight for a tastier trifle.
- Sprinkle the toasted almonds on top just before serving, and top with raspberries if you choose to include them.
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This article first appeared in the March 2017 edition of Expat Living Singapore. Subscribe now!