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    You are in: Home / Recipes / Bagatelle (French-Canadian Trifle) Recipe
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    Bagatelle (French-Canadian Trifle)

    Total Time:

    Prep Time:

    Cook Time:

    4 hrs 45 mins

    45 mins

    4 hrs

    Chef Kate's Note:

    The typical bagatelle in La Beauce is a child’s delight of Jell-O, white cake, and strawberry jam. This grown-up version, with fresh fruit, custard (instead of Jell-O), and a drizzle of marsala was originally published in Saveur in 2000. It's wonderful to bring to a party; it's really easy and really pretty; and most of the time is chilling time.

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    Units: US | Metric



    • 1 loaf poundcake, 8-inch x 4-inch (or equal amount of genoise or sponge cake)
    • 2 -4 tablespoons marsala (or rum or brandy)
    • 1 cup strawberry jam
    • 2 cups fresh raspberries
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 tablespoon sugar


    1. 1
      For the custard:.
    2. 2
      Mix together sugar and cornstarch in a large saucepan.
    3. 3
      Add egg yolks, and whisk to combine; then gradually whisk in milk.
    4. 4
      Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens to the consistency of thick cream, about 25 minutes.
    5. 5
      Transfer to a large bowl, and add vanilla. Cover surface of custard with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours.
    6. 6
      For the trifle:.
    7. 7
      Cut cake into 2" x 1" pieces.
    8. 8
      Arrange a layer of cake pieces in the bottom of a large trifle or glass bowl.
    9. 9
      Sprinkle cake with some of the marsala; then spread a layer of strawberry jam over the cake; then scatter some of the raspberries over the jam.
    10. 10
      Pour some of the custard over the berries.
    11. 11
      Repeat layering, ending with custard.
    12. 12
      Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
    13. 13
      Remove trifle from refrigerator about 1 hour before serving.
    14. 14
      Just before serving, put heavy cream and sugar into a large, well-chilled mixing bowl.
    15. 15
      Beat cream with a whisk or an electric mixer fitted with whisks until cream holds soft peaks (Do not overbeat).
    16. 16
      Decorate trifle with large dollops of whipped cream.

    Ratings & Reviews:

    • on June 21, 2006


      Great trifle! Subbed strawberries for the raspberries as I had some on hand. We all dug in when this was ready and it actually became our supper! (yes, it's all gone)

      people found this review Helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes | No


    Nutritional Facts for Bagatelle (French-Canadian Trifle)

    Serving Size: 1 (174 g)

    Servings Per Recipe: 10

    Amount Per Serving
    % Daily Value
    Calories 459.8
    Calories from Fat 197
    Total Fat 21.9 g
    Saturated Fat 13.1 g
    Cholesterol 159.8 mg
    Sodium 173.5 mg
    Total Carbohydrate 59.4 g
    Dietary Fiber 2.2 g
    Sugars 28.9 g
    Protein 4.9 g

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