Every year, without fail, my gran made us a giant bowl of traditional trifle for Christmas. Layers of Madeira cake, jelly, custard, tinned fruit and cream would be layered in a large glass bowl and served as a finale for our Christmas lunch. As a child, I loved it. As an adult, I ate it with a smile on my face while wishing I had something slightly more sophisticated to eat. I loved it because my gran made it but after the third person dished their portion, the trifle would become a mish-mash of dare I say, grossness. There’s not much about mushy cake, lumps of jelly, custard and chunks of fruit that’s appetising.
Even with all of that, I can’t imagine not serving trifle as part of a Christmas meal but I thought I would ‘chic’ it up a bit by simplifying the whole thing and only focusing on one main flavour. Perfectly ripe strawberries. I decided to make these strawberry and cream trifles but instead of simple whipped cream, I made a crème patisserie (pastry cream) which is a beautiful sweet, thick custard, perfect for using in a trifle. Instead of normal madeira cake, I used caramel swiss roll, sliced into thin slices. You could of course use Madeira cake as well. Finished with macerated strawberries and whipped cream, this trifle is turned into a masterpiece and do yourself and your guests the favour of making individual portions. No messy, mushy trifle, only pure deliciousness.
- 600 ml full cream milk
- 5 ml vanilla extract
- 4 egg yolks
- 50 g caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour (approximately 30g
- 4 tablespoons corn flour approximately 60g
- pinch of salt
- 100 g mascarpone cheese
- 800 g strawberries sliced
- 3 tablespoons caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- swiss roll/madeira cake sliced
- whipped cream
- sliced strawberries
- icing sugar
To make the custard cream, heat the milk and vanilla in a medium saucepan until just before boiling point (this is called scalding).
In the meanwhile, mix together the egg yolks, sugar, flours and pinch of salt until the mixture is smooth and thick.
When the milk mixture is hot, pour it slowly into the egg yolk mixture whilst continuously mixing.
When all the milk has been incorporated, transfer the runny mixture back to the saucepan and over a gentle heat, allow to cook and thicken, whisking continuously.
When the mixture is thick and there is no flouriness when you taste it, remove from the heat and beat in the mascarpone cheese.
Place in a bowl and put a piece of cling film directly onto the surface of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Place in the fridge and allow to cool.
To prepare the strawberries, combine the sliced strawberries with the caster sugar and vanilla and stir well. Allow to stand for 20 minutes until the strawberries have released a lot of juice.
To assemble the trifles, layer the sliced madeira cake with the macerated strawberries and the custard cream.
Top with whipped cream, sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of icing sugar.