A trifle is a dessert with multiple layers—each special and adding a unique texture and flavor to the end product. The combination of mango and raspberry (in the form of jelly and fresh fruit) is refreshing, and custard adds a lovely, creamy finish to this stunning recipe.
This is one recipe that you can make as easy as you'd like, with a few shortcuts: You could just use a store-bought Madeira cake or pound cake, or use custard powder to make instant custard. Though I love using the custard powder (follow the package directions from your preferred brand) as opposed to homemade in this particular dessert, I would recommend making your own cake (and jelly), as it enhances the flavors, making a much more complex-tasting dessert. One of the best parts: This trifle can be prepared a day in advance, covered and refrigerated, and served chilled after a summery meal.
- Prep time 4 hours
- Cook time 2 hours
- serves 10 to 12
- Trifle Filling
(¾ cup, 1½ sticks) softened unsalted butter, plus more for greasing the pan
(1 scant cup) superfine sugar
(1¾ cups) self-rising flour
(¾ cup) blanched ground almonds (or unblanched almond flour)
(heaping 2 cups) frozen raspberries
(2 cups) frozen mangoes
(¾ cup) superfine sugar
sheets (13 grams) gelatin
(½ cup) custard powder, plus additional ingredients called for on the package (varies by brand)
- Trifle Assembly
mangoes, peeled and cut into cubes (about 2 cups chopped)
(1¾ cups) fresh raspberries
(1⅔ cups) heavy cream, cold
(⅔ cup) canned coconut cream (not cream of coconut), stirred
(¼ cup) superfine sugar
Toasted unsweetened flaked coconut, for serving
- Trifle Filling
- Make the cake. Heat the oven to 350°F/180°C and grease and line an 8x5-inch loaf tin with baking parchment.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and cream together with a flexible spatula or with a hand or stand mixer on low until just combined. Mix in the eggs and vanilla until just combined, then mix in the flour and ground almonds. With a whisk or with a mixer on medium speed, beat the batter for 2 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Pour the batter into the prepared tin, spread evenly, and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave it aside to cool completely.
- When you’re ready to assemble the trifle, make the jelly and custard. For the jelly, combine the frozen fruit with the sugar and 4¼ cups water in a medium saucepan and bring it to a boil over medium heat (this may take up to 20 minutes). Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Let cool for a couple minutes (it should still be warm), then transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the fruit mixture into a medium bowl. Pour ⅔ cup of the strained fruit syrup into a separate bowl and set aside.
- Place the gelatin leaves in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 5 minutes, or until softened. Squeeze the softened gelatin leaves and add them to the remaining sieved, still-warm fruit syrup and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Cover and let the jelly cool in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, until cooled but not set.
- Prepare the ½ cup custard powder according to the package directions. Transfer the custard to a bowl, pressing a piece of plastic wrap to the custard’s surface (this will prevent it from forming a skin), then let it cool in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes, until only barely set.
- Trifle Assembly
- Cut half the prepared cake into 1- to 2-inch cubes (about 4 cups) and place in the bottom of a deep trifle bowl (or another large, deep serving bowl, preferably clear). It should hold at least 4 quarts. Pour the leftover ⅔ cup of the fruit syrup all over the cake cubes. Set aside a handful of cut mango and raspberries (transfer these to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve the trifle) and scatter the rest on top of the cake. Save the remaining half of the cake for another use.
- Pour the slightly cooled custard over the fruit and place the bowl in the refrigerator, uncovered, to set for 10 minutes, until a slight skin forms over the custard.
- Gently pour the slightly cooled jelly (it will still be quite runny) over the custard, cover the bowl, then return it to the fridge to set, at least 2 to 3 hours, but ideally overnight, or up to 10 hours.
- When you are ready to serve, use a hand mixer at medium speed to beat the cream and coconut cream with the sugar until it forms soft peaks. Transfer the cream mixture into a piping bag and pipe the cream in any pattern you like on top of the set jelly, or simply spread the cream directly over the surface with a spatula. Scatter the reserved raspberries and mango pieces over the top, sprinkle the toasted coconut, and serve.