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Feb 3, 2007 09:52 PM

Trifle? [split from Trifle on the LA board]

Can someone explain to me the virtues of trifle?

I don't think I really get this dessert ... or maybe I've just never had a good one ...

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  1. It could certainly fall under the nursery food/comfort food rubric. It can be a great way to make use of a cake that otherwise tastes good but unmolded terribly. It's one of my favorite Passover desserts since you can take a bland spongecake and brighten it up with lemon curd and delicious in-season local strawberries (at least here in the South).

    You can be as creative as you like. Use any cake, any filling, any fruits or no fruits. Just use quality ingredients (read: no Jello pudding fillings) that go well together.

    Or it could be that you just don't like trifle.

    1. What's not to get? It's cake soaked in booze, whipped cream, jello, custard, and fruit. Some of the best dessert items you can have, all layered together.

      6 Replies
      1. re: JMF

        I'm with you...except for the jello. Can't imagine wanting to put jello in a trifle. I sometimes spread the cake slices with a little jam before adding the booze. People FIGHT over my trifle.

        1. re: LT from LF

          By jello I don't jello brand but that English brand that's real tasty. It comes in a rubbery thick sheetlike form, not a powder. It makes some pretty good gelatin, a bit firmer and more fruitlike than jello brand or powdered types.

          1. re: JMF

            I've never had trifle with jello in it, any brand or kind. But I think I like it better that way.

        2. re: JMF

          I have been looking for a trifle recipe that my Aunt mistakenly called a dump cake. Do you have a recipe?
          I remember the dessert as being delightful,tasty and refreshingly light. As best as I can remember, it contained sponge cake, red jello, vanilla pudding, fresh strawberries, and possibly galliano.

          1. re: MsMel608

            All the dump cake recipes I have heard of are a weird but tasty mix of yellow cake mix, canned or dried fruit, nuts, butter, etc. all mixed together and baked.

            What your Aunt served sounds like an American version of a trifle, sometimes called the American-English trifle. (As opposed to the American or All American trifle which has raspberries or strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream so that it is red, white, and blue.)

            1. re: MsMel608

              Thanks JMF and everyone else for your input.
              I disagree that jello messes up this dessert. When I had it, I had never had trifle before. I've had 3 different kinds since that time and I enjoyed all of them.
              But there was something about this one... the different textures... the coolness of the jello... some of the cake was wet and some was dry... the smoothness of the pudding... the different tastes of the vaniilla, strawberry, and aromatic taste and smell of the liquor. The experience was delightful. I'm not usually a dessert eater after a holiday dinner. This was light and kind of mellowed the palate. So I'm still looking for a specific recipe.

          2. Trifle is delicious! Tiramisu is a trifle. Use a sponge cake, brush it with sherry (very british) or make a simple simple and add grand marnier, layer with a luscious creme anglaise, fresh fruit and top off with vanilla specked sweetened whipped cream and toasted sliced almonds. You must have had one with jello - not good.

            1. Trifle was true elegance and indulgence in my family. My mother always made a trifle out of bakeapples (aka cloudberries) with custard, sponge cake, liqueur, and whipped cream. It is one of the few based desserts that I will always crave. I think it is a AngloSaxon thing...

              1. Gooshy gooey cake and custard and fruit... what's not to like? Just keep the bananas far away from it (they're too strong) and whatever you do, do NOT ruin it with pudding, mixed or otherwise. It's got to have real custard...