Drenched in sherry and kirsch, this holiday dessert features layer upon layer of ginger cake, custard, berries, chocolate, and cream. It's a showstopper.
Enlarge Image Credit: Todd ColemanSERVES 10–12
INGREDIENTSFOR THE GINGER CAKE:
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, plus more for pan
1¾ cups flour, plus more for pan
¾ cup Lyle's golden syrup or dark corn syrup
½ cup packed light brown sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 cup fresh or frozen lingonberries or halved cranberries
FOR THE CUSTARDS:
¾ cup sugar
7 tbsp. cornstarch
½ tsp. kosher salt
4 egg yolks
4 cups milk
8 oz. 70 percent dark chocolate, finely chopped
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
3 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
10 oz. fresh blueberries
2 tbsp. sweet oloroso sherry
12 oz. fresh raspberries
2 tbsp. kirsch
1 cup seedless raspberry jam
FOR THE SYLLABUB:
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. sweet oloroso sherry
1 tsp. cognac or brandy
½ tsp. lemon zest
1 cup heavy cream
INSTRUCTIONS1. Make the ginger cake: Heat oven to 325°. Butter and flour an 8" square baking pan; set aside. Heat butter, golden syrup, and brown sugar in a 2-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add cream and eggs and whisk until smooth; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1½ cups flour, ground ginger, baking soda, and salt; add to syrup mixture and stir until just combined. Toss remaining flour with lingonberries in a small bowl and add to batter; stir to combine. Pour into a baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer to rack and let cool. Unmold cake, cut half the cake into 1" cubes; set aside. Reserve remaining cake for another use.
2. Make the custards: Whisk together ½ cup sugar, 2 tbsp. cornstarch, and ¼tsp. salt in a 2-qt. saucepan; add 2 egg yolks and 1 egg and whisk until smooth. Add 2 cups milk and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and cook until mixture thickens, 1–2 minutes. Remove from heat and add dark chocolate in four batches, whisking after each addition until smooth. Add 2 tbsp. butter and 2 tsp. vanilla and whisk until smooth; transfer to a bowl, cover surface with plastic wrap, and refrigerate dark chocolate custard until chilled. Whisk together remaining sugar, cornstarch, and salt in another 2-qt. saucepan; add remaining egg yolks and egg and whisk until smooth. Add remaining milk and heat over medium heat. Bring to a boil, stirring often, and cook until mixture thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add white chocolate in four batches, whisking after each addition until smooth; add remaining butter and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cover surface with plastic wrap; let cool to room temperature. Fold blueberries into white chocolate custard and set aside.
3. Assemble trifle: Arrange ginger cake cubes snugly in bottom of a 3-qt. glass trifle dish or bowl; drizzle with sherry. In a medium bowl, toss raspberries with kirsch and add to the top of the cake in a single layer. Spoon white chocolate custard over raspberries and smooth top with a rubber spatula; refrigerate until set, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the raspberry jam in a small saucepan over medium heat until loose; pour through a fine strainer set over a small bowl and let cool for 10 minutes. Pour jam over white chocolate custard and spread evenly. Return trifle to refrigerator and chill until set, 2 hours. Stir dark chocolate custard until smooth, spoon over jam, and smooth with spatula; cover dish with plastic wrap; chill for 8 hours.
4. An hour before you plan to serve trifle, make syllabub: Whisk together sugar, sherry, cognac, and lemon zest in a large bowl until sugar dissolves. Add cream and whisk until mixture holds peaks but is not stiff; spoon syllabub over dark chocolate custard, creating swirls and peaks with spoon, and chill until ready to serve.