Decadent Trifle

Decadent Trifle
Decadent Trifle
The trifle is a very old concoction—by some accounts, more than 300 years old—but twentieth century variations have turned it into a classic, occasion-ready centerpiece. Drenched in sherry and kirsch, our version features layer upon layer of ginger cake, custard, berries, chocolate, and cream.Todd Coleman

Drenched in sherry and kirsch, this holiday dessert features layer upon layer of ginger cake, custard, berries, chocolate, and cream. It's a showstopper.

Decadent Trifle
Drenched in sherry and kirsch, this holiday dessert features layer upon layer of ginger cake, custard, berries, chocolate, and cream. It's a showstopper.
Yield: serves 10-12

For the Custards

  • 34 cup sugar
  • 7 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 12 tsp. kosher salt
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 oz. 70-percent dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3 tsp. vanilla extact
  • 8 oz. white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 10 oz. fresh blueberries

For Assembly and Syllabub Topping

  • Ginger-Lingonberry Cake
  • 2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. sweet olorosso sherry
  • 12 oz. fresh raspberries
  • 2 tbsp. kirsch
  • 1 cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cognac or brandy
  • 12 tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Make the dark chocolate custard: Whisk together 12 cup sugar, 2 tbsp. cornstarch, and 14 tsp. 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.
  2. Make white chocolate-blueberry custard: 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: Cut half of Ginger-Lingonberry Cake cake into 1" cubes (reserve remaining cake for another use). Arrange cake cubes snugly in bottom of a 3-qt. glass trifle dish or bowl; drizzle with 2 tbsp. 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, 1 tsp. sherry, cognac or brandy, 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.