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Trifle Pudding

In Tea Party, Under 30 min! on February 14, 2007 at 7:55 pm

Trifle Pudding

Trifle is amongst TH’s favourite desserts. My sister introduced us to this delicious dessert when she was a Home Ec student at Lady Irwin College. And she would make it from scratch, the cake, the fruit jam, the works. And TH was totally impressed with his sis-in-law-to-be.

The other day I happened to catch Nigella Lawson on TV (and I said to myself, “So this is the Nigella that everybody talks about!”). Interesting, to be named after a spice and end up getting your fame in the world of food. So, anyway, she was all for something bought, something whipped, to put together a Trifle in a lot less time. We had a friend coming for dinner later in the evening, and it had been a busy weekday. And ‘twas the season for chocolate too…

This is not exactly as Nigella demonstrated. Like we ever follow any recipe in toto! My substitutions resulted in a much lighter dessert and I didn’t need to rush out looking for exotic ingredients, just a visit to the neighbourhood dairy for some fresh cream, and some cake from the same market. The chocolate cake was substituted with Britannia’s fruit cake which all neighbourhood grocers stock. Instead of ‘real’ custard made with cream, whole milk and eggs, I used custard powder and my every-day 3% milk. I used Hershey’s semi-sweet morsels since there was no fancy chocolate available (and would have cost a day’s worth of salary, if it was). Cherries and cherry liqueur were replaced with raisins soaked in rum, and Kahlua diluted with plain water. I was able to use fresh cream for fresh cream though. Wow! 🙂

Follow these steps for a quick dessert in line with the blogosphere mood-of-the-moment. Happy Valentine’s day to you too.

Trifle Pudding

Chocolate Trifle
(loosely/strongly based on Nigella Lawson’s recipe on her TV shown)

1 package Britannia fruit cake
½ C raisins soaked in ½ C rum
3 heaped T custard powder (vanilla or chocolate flavour)
3 T + 1 T sugar
1 lt milk (3% or whole)
1 C semi-sweet chocolate morsels (or fancy chocolate)
¼ C Kahlua or any other liqueur
150-200 ml fresh cream
grated chocolate to garnish (and cherries, if you have)

Make a paste of the custard powder with a little cold milk. Heat the rest of the milk with the 3 tablespoons of sugar. As it nears boiling point, take it off the heat, give the custard powder paste a good stir and pour it into the hot milk, stirring till thoroughly mixed. This is the trick to lump-free custard. Always do this off heat. The mixture will begin to thicken. Put it back on medium heat, and cook for a few minutes, stirring all the time.

Melt the chocolate in the microwave. My chocolate was not cooperating this time, though I have done this many times. Serves me right for sticking my tongue at fancy chocolate! The chocolate morsels wouldn’t melt and were sort-of thickening. Not wanting to take chances, I added a little bit of milk to it and warmed it again (before it underwent some chemical change and was beyond redemption!). You should have melted chocolate with a pouring consistency sauce. Pour it into the custard and stir till well combined. You may cover the custard with plastic wrap or stir it now and then as it cools, to prevent a skin from forming.

whipped cream

While the custard cools get working on the other layers. Use a good low-sugar (more fruit) jam to sandwich the cake slices. I used the very flavourful tart-sweet Kumaoni Apricot jam bought at, yes, Dilli Haat. Press these into the bottom of a pretty glass bowl or serving dish. Sprinkle with the rum-soaked raisins. Dilute the Kahlua with twice as much water and pour on to the cake layer – mine was a bit strong here! Whip the cream with 1 tablespoon of sugar till it forms soft peaks.

Pour the chocolate custard over the cake layer. Cover with whipped cream and garnish with grated chocolate or chocolate curls. Chill in the refrigerator till set. Serve with cherries or other fruit. It tastes even better the next day when the liqueur and chocolate falvours get to meld some more.

  1. Trifle looks so delicious. I love shortcuts… who has the time to make eveything from scratch.
    Happy Valentine’s day!

  2. Delicious dessert. I like Nigella’s recipes too.

  3. Yes indeed I saw that one too, her second episode or so, but that bowl was good enough to make a whole state in the US fat! Must be well over a million calories. I like your version anyday, and until I watched food tv in US i never knew a custard other than our Brown and Polson custard powder Haha. But her recipe was very adaptable and you have done a splendid job. Will do this for my next potluck or while entertaining. That was I get to make lovely desserts while not eating them.

    You’ll find all the recipes on Nigella Feasts on under the same show. (in case you haven’t seen them already) I’ve tried some of her stuff in advance, esp the red bean dip that i was meaning to share with fellow bloggers.

    BTW my grocer doesn’t keep yeast. Sorry for the LONGISH comment!

  4. I was just telling my sons about the trifle and they asked we what it was? Sad to say I have not made it even once since I had them. At least now I can show them what it looks like. Bada Masi you are going to be Oh so popular. This is great, now whenever I want a home recepie I just go to your website. Awesome job.

    I am stuck at a conference in DC, a happy Valentine to you too.

  5. That is a lovely dessrt!!!! And nice substituted by you!!! 🙂 Who says we need exotic ingredients to make desserts like this???!!! 🙂

  6. Hi Anita, This pudding is ever so popular and tasty too in parties.I liked the way you have assembled it 😉

  7. Perfect dessert. So glad you made this version.

  8. Anita did some one lick up the bowl too;)? I would have done it for sure. It looks yum. The assembled bowl was hiding behind the more…. and was an OMG for me when I saw it. Hope you had a good one.

  9. Hey Anita-
    This looks really delicious! I have never made or tasted a trifle before, so my curiousity is definitely aroused by your post. This is an English dessert, yes? I think I saw “The Two Fat Ladies” make this once, but I am sure your version is easier on the figure…:-)

  10. Spice Lover, Lakshmik: Thanks, guys. And the ‘shortcuts’ make it a breeze!

    Nandita: I did know ‘real’ custard but then I have been reading cook books and ‘Women’s magazines’ since I was in KG! Almost. But I cooked it just that once, some 20 yrs ago, it was infused with oranges in a very ingenuous way (that I must share here!).

    I like the ‘long’ comments – they usually get a good discussion going.

    Minnie: Ah, so you are reading! This is the first time I’ve made it. And now you can use my recipe to make the little guys happy (and informed!).

    Coffee, Archana, Hema: This really is a great dessert especially for entertaining.

    Anjali: Coffee is a good flavour, whatever the source! 🙂

    Pelicano: Go ahead, make it. I would guess it is an British since it had been part of the Home Ec syllabus at LIC for ages!

  11. I honestly have not had trifle since I was a child – now I have no excuse not to try it again.

  12. Hi Anita,first time here,keep hearing about you from Anjali,so decided to visit you finally!you have a nice blog here.the trifle looks very nice.I have never made trifles before though I made tiramisu to make it now!Thanks for the recipe as well as the inspiration!
    Hi Vini. Welcome to the Mad Tea Party! Hope you will find some new things to try.

  13. Hi Anita,

    The trifle looked so yummy that I couldnt resist attemptng it…though it turned out to be quite a weep weep custard didnt come out right at fact it just obstinately remained without thickening, whatever i tried…wonder what went wrong !

    Hmm. Never had that happen. The only thickener in the custard is the custard powder (corn starch). Did you use enough?

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