There is no more classic British dessert than Trifle and although this Strawberry Trifle recipe takes a little bit of time to construct, and make all the components, it will make the perfect version of this popular dessert. A quicker, easier to make, classic recipe version can be made here Classic Strawberry Trifle. However, if you are confident in the kitchen, and want to make a dessert to wow your intended audience, then this strawberry trifle will certainly be a show-stopper. To make this recipe it is all about the stages and layers, each one needs to be fully complete before the next one, and each layer needs time given so it can set.
‘Trifle’ actually has hundreds of years of heritage, being one of the first dishes to be fully developed by English Chefs. The earliest known use of the name ‘trifle’ was for a thick cream, flavoured with sugar, ginger and rosewater, a recipe published in 1596 in London, in a book by Thomas Dawson called, ‘The Good Huswife’s Jewell‘. Yet it wasn’t until sixty years later, when milk was added, and the custard was poured over alcohol soaked bread, that we begin to see it take shape as a layered dessert – with the fruit and jelly being a much later addition to the recipe, coming in the 20th Century.
Strawberry Trifle Recipe
Note: You can make the Strawberry Sponge Roll and the Strawberry Juice for the Strawberry Jelly the day before.
For The Strawberry Sponge Roll
- Butter, for greasing
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 100g caster sugar, plus extra to dust
- 100g self-raising flour
- Icing sugar, to dust
- 2 tbsp strawberry liqueur (optional)
- 300g strawberries
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 3 tbsp strawberry conserve (home made if possible)
- 2 tbsp toasted flaked almonds
For The Strawberry Jelly
- 600g strawberries, sliced – (some for the juice, some for the jelly)
- 40g castor sugar
- 8g silver leaf gelatine, soaked in water
- 250ml British sparkling white wine
For The Custard
- 250ml of whole milk
- 250ml of double cream
- 1 vanilla pod (or quality vanilla essence)
- 6 fresh egg yolks (the yolks only are needed)
- 50g of caster sugar
For The Cream And Toppings
- 600ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds removed
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- ½ lemon, zest
- 100g dark chocolate, grated (min 70% coco best quality chocolate)
- 100g strawberries, sliced
For the Strawberry Sponge Roll:
Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Grease and line a large, flat, roasting tin measuring about 25 x 35cm and 3cm thick, with baking parchment, leaving the edges of the parchment sticking up around the sides. Whisk the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl for about 10 minutes until the mixture is pale, creamy and tripled in volume.
Sift the flour over the mixture in batches, carefully folding it in after each addition. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, spread it evenly into the corners and smooth the surface. Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the sponge turns golden and feels slightly springy when pressed.
Cut a piece of baking parchment slightly larger than the size of the tin and lay it flat on the work surface. Dust with caster sugar. Remove the tin from the oven and pull the parchment to loosen the sponge from the sides. Invert the sponge on to the sugared parchment and peel away the lining. Drizzle with a little strawberry liqueur, (if using). Roll the long edge of the cake and parchment over to form a neat log, use the parchment to help you, then leave the sponge to cool, rolled inside the parchment.
Meanwhile, hull and quarter the strawberries and put them into a bowl, sprinkle with the caster sugar, stir to coat and leave for 5 minutes.
Unroll the sponge again, and leaving a 2cm border all the way around the edges, spread the strawberry conserve, or Home-made Strawberry Jam, over the unrolled sponge, followed by the fresh strawberry quarters, and sprinkle the almond flakes on top. Then roll the long edge of the cake over to form a neat log, (tightly) using the parchment to help you. Making sure that the seam side of the roll is facing down, chill for at least 30 minutes before using in the trifle (can be left overnight). Slice into 3cm thick cirlces when ready.
For the Strawberry Jelly:
Make the night before: To make the strawberry juice for the jelly, mix the sliced strawberries (400g) with the sugar and place in a glass heat proof bowl (or similar). Place it above a simmering saucepan of water. Cook on a low heat for 90 minutes. Pour the strawberry mixture into a muslin bag and suspend over a bowl. When cool refrigerate overnight so that the juice collects in the bowl. Discard the strawberry solids.
To make the jelly, heat the strawberry juice. Squeeze the gelatine after soaking it, and add it to the strawberry juice. Stir to dissolve. When the gelatine has dissolved, transfer the mixture to a bowl, leave to cool then refrigerate until partially set – about 1 or 2 hours. Then whisk in the British sparkling white wine (Champagne will do at a pinch!) and add in the remaining thin sliced strawberries (200g). Put it back in the fridge for a short time before assembling the trifle: we do not want it to set in the bowl, so get it to this stage when you are ready to make the trifle. The jelly must be poured onto the slices of Strawberry Sponge Roll and left to set before pouring on the cooled custard.
For the Custard:
Proper English Custard is a mix of sugar, egg yolks, cream and milk, flavoured with vanilla.
Put a heavy based saucepan on a medium heat, add the milk, cream, and vanilla pod. Stir and slowly bring up to the boil. When near the boil, take off the heat. Meanwhile beat and whip the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl, until the yolk is almost white. Then add in the hot milk and cream little by little to the egg yolks and sugar, making sure you whisk continuously as you do so. Transfer all the ingredients back to the saucepan, split the vanilla pod and scrape the seeds out into the custard, and return the custard to a medium heat for a few minutes – stir continuously with a spoon until it is thick enough to coat the back of it, and then it must be withdrawn from the heat. If the custard sauce reaches too high a temperature, it will curdle – but note: the higher the temperature, the thicker the resulting custard, and as it cools it will thicken some more. Finally strain the custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl or serving jug, and as it cools stir occasionally to stop a skin from forming.
Get it to this stage and cooling 30 minutes before assembling the trifle – after the jelly has set in the trifle bowl.
For the Cream and Toppings:
When ready to serve, (the jelly and custard has set) whip the cream with the vanilla seeds until it thickens. Sift in the icing sugar and continue to whisk to create soft peaks, then stir in the lemon zest. Spoon the whipped cream on top of the trifle. Sprinkle with grated dark chocolate.
Assemble The Strawberry Trifle:
You can decide to either make the strawberry trifle in individual sized portions, or make it in one very large glass bowl, it is up to you.
Into the large trifle bowl, (or individual glasses) add in the slices of strawberry sponge (3cm thick slices – any left over can be eaten with some whipped cream). Pour over the sponge slices the chilled and setting strawberry jelly, leave to fully set in the fridge – about 2 hours. When the jelly is set and when the vanilla custard is cool to cold (remove any skin) pour over the layer of jelly a layer of custard (spread a piece of cling film over the custard to prevent a skin forming). Put the trifle back into the fridge until the custard is fully set – about an hour. When it is set (remove the cling film) and ten minutes before you want to serve, make the cream topping and spread over the custard layer. Shave over some grated chocolate, add some strawberry slices on top and serve.