Berry Christmas Trifle

Do you feel Christmas in the air, everybody? If you haven’t finished planning your Christmas dinner, here is an amazing dessert idea! I made this last Christmas, immediately after stepping off a plane, as you need 2 days to put it together. This trifle was a lot of firsts for me- first trifle I had made, including all the components made from scratch. I fell in love with it when I saw it on the cover of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine.

I was quite daunted though, because I was apprehensive about not having made a trifle before, and I had mini-scares imagining failing dramatically, and turning up to a spectacular Christmas dinner with a flop! I remember checking and re-checking that Soy had bought all the ingredients for me whilst I was overseas.

I don’t have very nice photos, as this was pre-blog, so please excuse all the ‘background noise’. This was happy Christmas noise though, and I still feel warm and fuzzy remembering what a ball we had with family and close friends around.

You do need to start this recipe a day ahead, and it takes some time and patience while assembling the layers, but it is extremely worth it! It looks spectacular, and you can be assured of getting ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from your guests when you bring this out after serving Chrsitmas dinner, or from your hosts when you turn up with this. And it tastes brilliant!! We were savouring this trifle for days after Christmas. The moscato gives the jelly a fruity, sweet spritz. I always think trifle has a very comforting feeling. I think it’s because of the way the layers come together- lush creme anglaise, tangy jelly and boozy sponge. So, give this dessert a go. If I could make this and succeed even though I just stepped off a plane, you can make this beautiful creation too!

Berry Christmas Trifle

adapted from Australian Gourmet Traveller

1.5 kg blackberries or mulberries, plus extra to serve (see note)
300 gm caster sugar
2 vanilla beans, split and seeds scraped
10 gelatine leaves (titanium strength), softened in cold water for 5 minutes
300 ml pink moscato
1 lemon, juice only
330 ml crème de cassis
1.25 kg crème fraîche
150 ml milk, or enough to thin
2 lemons, finely grated rind only
40 gm (¼ cup) pure icing sugar, sifted
8 eggs, at room temperature
250 gm raw caster sugar
250 gm plain flour, sieved
50 gm butter, melted and cooled
For sponge, preheat oven to 175C. Whisk eggs and sugar in an electric mixer until tripled in volume (7 minutes). Fold through flour in batches, fold in butter, pour into a 28cm-square cake tin lined with baking paper. Bake until golden and centre springs back when pressed (20-25 minutes). Cool in tin, turn out, halve sponge horizontally, trim each half to fit a 6 litre-capacity glass bowl, then remove from bowl and set aside, reserving trimmings.
Meanwhile, combine 1kg berries, sugar, 1 vanilla bean and seeds and 1.1 litres water in a large saucepan, simmer over low heat until infused (50 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve (discard solids), transfer 1 litre hot liquid to a bowl (reserve remainder). Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to bowl, stir to dissolve. Add moscato, lemon juice and 80ml crème de cassis. Strain half into trifle bowl, scatter over 250gm berries and refrigerate until set (2-2½ hours). Chill remaining berry jelly, removing from refrigerator if it starts to set.
Reduce 250ml remaining liquid (discard excess) over high heat to 50ml or until syrupy (10-15 minutes), refrigerate until required.
Meanwhile, combine crème fraîche, milk, rind, icing sugar and remaining vanilla seeds in a bowl, adding extra milk if necessary until spreadable. Spread one-third over set jelly, top with a sponge round, fill any gaps with trimmings, drizzle with 125ml crème de cassis. Scatter over remaining berries, pour over remaining jelly (mixture should be starting to set). Refrigerate until set (2-2½ hours). Top with half the remaining crème fraîche mixture, then remaining sponge. Drizzle with remaining crème de mûre, top with remaining crème fraîche mixture. Cover, refrigerate overnight. Serve scattered with extra berries and drizzled with blackberry syrup.

Note You’ll need to begin this recipe a day ahead. You can use frozen blackberries for the jelly and the syrup.

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  • Lollcakes

    Looks wonderful Honey. Trifle is a great way to finish a Christmas meal!

  • Michelle Chin

    This is one of the larger trifles that I’ve came across. most of the trifles i have come across are very tiny!

  • InTolerant Chef

    Wow! What a labour of love! I also have to say I love your triffle dish, very stylish and swanky.

  • Faith

    This is a really stunning trifle! It’s so festive and full of holiday cheer…my family would absolutely love this!

  • Anonymous

    Well done on your first trifle. It sounds so elegant and refined, especially with the addition of moscato! Yuummmm :)

  • Barbara Bakes

    Really gorgeous! A perfect way to celebrate.