This is my take on an old favourite: trifle. It uses local ingredients and is not difficult although a little time consuming. It assumes that you can make creme patisserie and chocolate ganache. If you can’t there are plenty of recipes available. Some hints: don’t make the cream pat too sweet, do use good dark chocolate in the ganache, the bitterness is important for balance
This is very rich so save it for special occasions. This version is not really for children.
Historically people have made trifle to use up stale cake. You can do that but it is better if the cake is fresh. This makes a large bowl that will give 12-16 servings depending on serving size. You can increase or decrease the quantities in proportion and have no effect on the result.
Choose a flat serving bowl that is the right size for the quantity – glass is good if you have it. If you have glass dessert bowls for individual serves these make a nice presentation. You will also save time and mess when you come to serve but filling and chilling them can be tedious.
The trifle will keep a day (or more) if refrigerated so you can make it in the morning of a dinner party or even the night before.
• Two sponge cakes. You can make your own if you want to but unfilled sponges from a cake shop or supermarket will do quite well.
• A generous half cup of sherry and half a cup of orange-based liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Cointreau.
• Two cups of Crème Patisserie, not too thick.
• Two large mangos peeled and sliced, if small use more. You can substitute other fresh soft fruit in season. Good ripe peaches or nectarines are suitable but not as reliable as mangoes in flavour unless you grow your own.
• One cup dark chocolate ganache.
• One small container (300ml) of fresh cream (35% milk fat). Thickened cream with the same fat content is fine. Add a dessertspoon of sugar and teaspoon of vanilla essence and whip to soft peaks.
• One punnet of fresh berries de-stemmed, if large halved. Use strawberries, blueberries or whatever you prefer.
With a sharp knife cut the cake into about 4cm squares and place them in the bowl in one layer. It doesn’t matter if you push them in closely but don’t squish them to crumbs. Sprinkle the alcohol all over, cover and refrigerate while doing the next steps.
Prepare the fruit. Make the cream pat allowing it to cool a little but not get cold. Make the ganache keeping it warm too. Whip the cream.
Spoon the warm cream pat all over the cake and push it down between the cracks, smooth out the top. Lay the mango slices evenly over the crème pat layer. Spread the ganache over the mango layer. Spread the cream on top. Garnish liberally with berries. Cover and refrigerate until serving, at least two hours.
Give each serving a vertical slice so that they get some of all the layers.