Want to make a fancy dessert but don’t want to turn on the oven? Make a trifle.
A trifle is a classic English dessert, called by a variety of names including Tipsy Cake, Tipsy Parson, Tipsy Squire and Tipsy Hedgehog. “Tipsy” indicates the addition of spirits, typically sherry.
Trifle was an evolution of the fool, a simpler dessert of puréed fruit and whipped cream. The trifle emerged as a way to use stale cake.
Today, a classic English trifle layers fruit, whipped cream, egg custard and sponge cake that’s been soaked in sherry. Zuppa inglese is the Italian version.
According to What’s Cooking America, the recipe was brought to America in the mid-1700s by Brits settling in the coastal South. The combination of cake or biscuits with custard and alcohol became a popular dessert, served in an elegant cut-glass trifle bowl.
The recipe below is an evolution still, using modern America’s outdoor grills to add another note of flavor to the fruit. Of course, you can make the recipe without cooking the fruit. The recipe is from QVC’s chef David Venable.
Chocolate trifle with grilled strawberries. Photo courtesy QVC.
RECIPE: CHOCOLATE BERRY TRIFLE
Strawberries are usually the most economical berry, but you can substitute other berries (and matching preserves). While this recipe uses whipped topping, we vastly prefer whipped cream.
Use a large glass trifle bowl or salad bowl to assemble the trifle. If you don’t have one or can’t borrow one, a glass mixing bowl works, too; the idea is to show the visual appeal of the layers. But you can default to a lovely [opaque] porcelain bowl or soufflé dish.
There’s no sherry in this recipe, but if you want it, sprinkle it over the cake.
Ingredients For 14-16 Servings
For The Grilled Strawberries