Treat your family and friends to this superb traditional boozy trifle full of sherry, raspberries and cream, especially popular at Christmas time. (Forget about counting calories until the New Year!)
A trifle is a typically British dessert made with thick custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice or alcohol, and whipped cream. Interestingly it was always made so as to use up, stale, left over sponge cake, which is then softened with either fruit juices or a sweet alcohol like sherry. It really is best not to use fresh sponge as it just goes very soggy and mushy. In the UK you can buy "sponge fingers" or "sponge trifle cakes" which are perfect, or if you have an Italian shop nearby, try ready made tiramisu sponge.
It's really easy to make and the ingredients are usually arranged in layers with the fruit and sponge on the bottom, and the custard and cream on top.
The best trifles contain a small amount of alcohol such as port, or, most commonly, sweet sherry or madeira wine. If you can't drink alcohol, you can use fruit juice instead, the liquid is necessary to moisten the cake. Trifle containing sherry is sometimes called 'sherry trifle' or referred to as being 'High Church'!! We often had a sherry trifle for dessert or tea on a Sunday afternoon, it was a delicious end to a lazy and relaxing day!