Coffee Trifle + A Little Trifle History

Happy Birthday, Jinny!! I see you loved the death. Wish I were there to witness the killing.

Here is the Coffee Trifle Recipe revisited:

Okay, so what is a trifle? Turns out it has more or less 5 components arranged in layers:

1. Sponge cake
2. Custard
3. Cream
4. Fruit and/or jam
5. Fruit Juice or a liquor to moisten the cake

And why is it called trifle? "Doesn't trifle mean unimportant or a waste of time?" Yeah, it means that too. There are no records of the origins, but Susanne and I are guessing that it's called "trifle" because people used stale scraps and unimportant leftover ingredients to make this cake in the old days...?

Still doesn't explain trifle's other alias, the foole. But that's okay because I've come to accept the fact that those Brits just like to make up crazy Alice-in-Wonderlandish-names for desserts like hedgehog pudding, tansies, syllabubs, flummeries, and junkets. Whaaaaa??

One day, we'll figure out how to make the trifle that Mrs. Hsu's mom used to make her while she was a wee babe. Until then, here's a pretty tasty recipe for something that isn't technically a trifle:

5.1 oz package of pudding (vanilla or chocolate)
3 C milk (can use anything from half and half to nonfat milk)
--> or buy a tub of pre-made pudding, I buy a 22oz. Kozy Shack tub

1 lb. angelfood cake
1/4 C kahlua (optional)

Whipped Cream
2 C whipping cream
1 T instant espresso, Medaglia D'oro Brand (make sure it's the type that dissolves easily even in cold liquid)
1 t vanilla extract
4 T sugar

Toppings--mix and match
1/4 C skor english toffee pieces, about 1.5 skor bars in the food processor works too (optional)
1/2 C sliced almonds (optional)
2 T cocoa powder (optional)

Prepare pudding according to directions.

Cut cake into 1" pieces, sprinkle with kahlua, gently mix pudding and cake together.

Whip cream, coffee, vanilla, and sugar until cream forms soft curls.

In a 8 C glass bowl, layer half the cake, then half whipped cream, then all toffee. Repeat, ending with the sliced almonds. If you don't use the toffee, just top with almonds and/or cocoa powder.

Refrigerate for a few hours until chilled.

Here's a funny quote about trifle and his race to fame to inspire your trifle cookery experience. It is best read quickly with a British accent:

"For nearly a century the syllabub had been keeping company with the trifle and in due course the trifle came to reign in the syllabub's stead. The syllabub and the trifle were eventually amalgamated to make one glorious sticky mess.''
Hahaha ok, whatever.

1 comment:

sueshoe said...

oh i love love love this "trifle". i must make this pronto.