Christmas trifle

Christmas trifle

The 12 Days of Christmas
Mark Roper

A summery version of this soft Italian dessert, the fresh raspberries and mangoes are a lovely addition. The ingredients can be bought from a good supermarket or delicatessen – even the custard, although homemade is better.


Quantity Ingredient
250g sponge finger biscuits
125g amaretti biscuits, coarsely crushed
300g raspberries, fresh or frozen
3 mangoes, flesh cubed
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup thickened cream, whipped
1 quantity vanilla egg custard, (below)
persian fairy floss and silver leaf, (optional), to decorate

Vanilla egg custard

Quantity Ingredient
2 cups milk
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise, seeds scraped
4 egg yolks
1 tablespoon cornflour
1/4 cup caster sugar


  1. Lay half of the sponge fingers in the base of a large glass serving bowl or divide equally between eight individual dishes or glasses. Sprinkle with the crushed amaretti. Scatter with three-quarters of the fruit. Top with the remaining sponge fingers. Drizzle with the combined sherry and juice. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Gently fold the cream into the custard. Spoon over the sponge fingers, allowing excess to drizzle down the sides of the sponge. Top with the remaining fruit, Persian fairy floss and silver leaf, if desired.
  3. For the vanilla egg custard, combine the milk, vanilla bean and seeds in a saucepan over a moderate heat, until simmering. Remove from the heat, cover and set aside for 15 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.
  4. Beat the egg yolks and cornflour in a bowl with an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat until pale and thick.
  5. Reheat the milk back to simmering point. Pour on to the egg yolks, whisking continuously. Return to a clean saucepan. Cook over a low heat for 8 minutes, stirring, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Cool.


  • Persian fairy floss and silver leaf are available from some supermarkets and delicatessens or fine food stores.
The 12 Days of Christmas
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