Recipes > Desserts > Trifles > To Make a Trifle

To Make a Trifle

For the whip

  • 1 pint of cream
  • 3 ounces of pounded sugar
  • whites of 2 eggs
  • 1 small glass of sherry or raisin wine

For the trifle

  • 1 pint of custard, made with 8 eggs to a pint of milk
  • 6 small sponge-cakes, or 6 slices of sponge-cake
  • 12 macaroons
  • 2 dozen ratafias
  • 2 ounces of sweet almonds
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • layer of raspberry or strawberry jam
  • 1/2 pint of sherry or sweet wine
  • 6 tablespoonfuls of brandy


The whip to lay over the top of the trifle should be made the day before it is required for table, as the flavour is better, and it is much more solid than when prepared the same day. Put into a large bowl the pounded sugar, the whites of the eggs, which should be beaten to a stiff froth, a glass of sherry or sweet wine, and the cream. Whisk these ingredients well in a cool place, and take off the froth with a skimmer as fast as it rises, and put it on a sieve to drain; continue the whisking till there is sufficient of the whip, which must be put away in a cool place to drain. The next day, place the sponge-cakes, macaroons, and ratafias at the bottom of a trifle-dish; pour over them 1/2 pint of sherry or sweet wine, mixed with 6 tablespoonfuls of brandy, and, should this proportion of wine not be found quite sufficient, add a little more, as the cakes should be well soaked. Over the cakes put the grated lemon-rind, the sweet almonds, blanched and cut into strips, and a layer of raspberry or strawberry jam. Make a good custard, using 8 instead of 5 eggs to the pint of milk, and let this cool a little; then pour it over the cakes, etc. The whip being made the day previously, and the trifle prepared, there remains nothing to do now but heap the whip lightly over the top: this should stand as high as possible, and it may be garnished with strips of bright currant jelly, crystallized sweetmeats, or flowers; the small coloured comfits are sometimes used for the purpose of garnishing a trifle, but they are now considered rather old-fashioned.

Sufficient for 1 trifle.

Seasonable at any time.


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The Book of Household Management (1861).

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