Although trifle is not something I grew up eating, when asking people what they like most about a good trifle, I can immediately see their eyes light up with both nostalgia and pure delight. It's custard, it's cake, it's fruit, it's booze – what's not to like? It's true, this is not a purist's recipe. I have taken a bit of creative licence but hopefully you can find room in your hearts for this version.
For the genoise sponge
100g plain flour
35g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
3 eggs at room temperature
3 egg yolks at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the coconut butterscotch custard
190g dark brown sugar
800ml coconut milk (two cans, preferably organic and free of additives)
1 tsp salt
20ml vanilla extract
For the raspberry prosecco jelly
1kg raspberries (frozen is fine)
1 litre water
juice of 1 lemon
5 sheets titanium strength gelatin sheets
For the pedro ximenez caramel sauce
200g brown sugar
pinch of salt
60ml pedro ximenez sweet sherry
extra pedro ximenez sweet sherry
125g fresh raspberries
100g toasted coconut chips (or flakes)
Altogether it may seem like a few steps, but it doesn't all have to conquered in one day. You can almost fully assemble it the day ahead, leaving only the last step of adding whipped cream and final topping until just before serving.
1. Make the genoise sponge (recipe here)
2. Make the coconut butterscotch custard (recipe here)
3. Make the raspberry and prosecco jelly (recipe here)
4. Make the pedro ximenez caramel sauce (recipe here)
1. The day before serving, slice the cake in three layers (if you haven't already) and trim them to fit in a large trifle bowl. Gently warm the custard.
2. Place a layer of cake down first. Then splash it really well with sherry (how much depends on how you like it but this sponge can take more than you think). Top that with a drizzle of the caramel sauce and half of the warm custard. (Doing this while warm will allow more of the custard to soak into the cake.) Let this cool for about 10 minutes before roughly breaking up the jelly and adding half to avoid melting the jelly.
3. Repeat this process with the next layer, starting with the cake, and finishing with the third cake layer and a splash of sherry. Keep a little of the pedro ximenez caramel sauce aside for final assembly. Do not put anything else to the last cake layer. At this stage, cover the trifle and put it in the fridge overnight.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form and spread on top of the cake. Top with raspberries, toasted coconut chips and a final drizzle of caramel.