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  • Chef Aly’s Easy Trifle

    Chef Aly’s Easy Trifle

    As served to Freddie Flintoff and Jason Manford on All Round to Mrs Browns


    12 trifle sponge fingers

    2 punnets large fresh strawberries

    1 tablespoon sherry / brandy

    1 large tub Madagascan vanilla custard (or make your own, see below)

    Fresh whipping cream

    1-2 packets strawberry jelly

    1 small jar good quality strawberry jam

    1 small bar good quality milk chocolate

    1 large clear trifle bowl

    Piping bag with wide circular nozzle

    Stick two trifle sponges together using the strawberry jam. Then soak the trifle sponges with the sherry or brandy and put to one side. You do not need a lot of sherry or brandy, otherwise the sponges will start to break apart.

    Set aside 6-8 strawberries of the same size for decoration. Slice the rest of the strawberries lengthways, trying to make sure all the strawberries are a similar size.

    Make the strawberry jelly by adding hot water as per the instructions on the packet. Leave the jelly to thicken slightly otherwise it will soak in to the sponges (you can even put the jelly in the fridge for a few minutes).

    In the meantime, place the soaked trifle sponges in the bottom of the glass bowl at an angle (see the image below as to how I have placed them). Place the sliced strawberries on top and around the sponges. Make sure you also place the strawberries around the side of the bowl showing off your presentation skills.


    Once you’re happy with the way your strawberries are placed, slowly pour the jelly over the sponge fingers and strawberries, making sure it gets in to all the gaps. The sponge, fruit and jelly should fill three quarters of the glass bowl

    Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least an hour, possibly longer, until set. Once the jelly is fully set, add a thick layer of the Madagascan vanilla custard so it sits just below the rim of the glass bowl. Leave to chill and let the custard set.

    For the trifle I made for Freddie and Jason, I piped the whipped cream using a simple piping bag. Give it a try too! Whip the cream until it thickens and holds peak (please do not use squirty cream!) then place the cream in to the piping bag filling half way. Create circular swirls gently on top of the custard. If you are not confident enough to try the piping bag method, when you are adding the custard, leave around 3cm from the top of the bowl in order to add your layer of whipped cream with a spoon.

    Now slice the 6-8 strawberries you put aside earlier, in half, and place on top of your trifle remembering that presentation is very important. Finally grate the chocolate all over the trifle then chill until you cannot resist eating it any longer!


    Be creative – This is such a simple but luxurious dessert that it allows you to experiment with it. Add different types of fruit (sliced peaches would work really well) and if you have a particular sweet tooth, then add a spoon of icing sugar to the cream before whipping.

    If you want to make your own custard you can follow this easy recipe:

    • 1litre milk

    • 8 egg yolks

    • 140g vanilla sugar

    • 3 tbsp cornflour

    3 tbsp plain flour

    1. Heat the milk in the saucepan until it comes just up to the boil, then take off the heat immediately. In a bowl, beat together the egg yolks, vanilla sugar and flours. Pour the milk slowly over the egg mix, beating well.

    2. Return the mixture to the pan and place over a low heat, stirring for 8-10 mins until the mixture thickens. Remove and let cool before before adding to the trifle. If the custard does not thicken properly, add a little more conflour and stir over a low heat.

    Let me know how you get and you can always send me pictures of your finished dish via Twitter or Facebook.

    Aly Jason Manford


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