Saturday, 26 August 2017

Sherry Trifle Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle: Michelangelo

Sherry Trifle Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle: Michelangelo
The earliest use of the name trifle was in a recipe for a thick cream flavored with sugar, ginger, and rosewater, in Thomas Dawson's 1585 book of English cookery The Good Huswifes Jewell.

Trifle evolved from a similar dessert known as a fool and originally the two names were used interchangeably.
Jelly is first recorded as part of the recipe in later editions of Hannah Glasse's eighteenth-century book The Art of Cookery

In her recipe she instructed using hartshorn or bones of calves feet as the base ingredient (to supply gelatin) for the jelly.

The fruit and sponge layers are suspended in fruit-flavoured jelly, and these ingredients are usually arranged to produce three or four layers.

The contents of a trifle are highly variable; many varieties exist, some foregoing fruit entirely and instead using other ingredients such as chocolate, coffee or vanilla.

Mrs Beeton’s Trifle Recipe taken from Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, first published in 1861.

For the whip:
1 pint of cream
3oz sugar
2 egg whites
small glass sherry

For the trifle:
1 pint custard
6 small sponge cakes
12 macaroons
2 dozen ratafias
2oz sweet almonds
lemon rind
layer of jam
1/2 pint sherry
6 tbsp brandy

(Sufficient for 1 trifle)

1. The whip to lay over the top of the trifle should be made the day before it is required for the 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.

2. 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.

3. 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 tablespoons 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.

4. Make a good custard using 8 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, crystallised 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.

Average cost, with cream at 1s. per pint, 5s. 6d. Seasonable at any time. ;)

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