In the run up to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee there was a competition to find the best pudding to celebrate at a Jubilee party. A lemon trifle won and I’m sure it was lovely but my chocolate and coffee version with chopped pears and stem ginger was a real winner at our party. Definitely should have entered it! Trifle is a good make-ahead pudding for a lot of people but you do need a nice tall glass bowl so that you can show off all the layers – I found this one in a charity shop for a fiver! You could also make this in individual jars – this quantity would easily fill about 10 Bonne Maman jam jars. This trifle is super-easy to make and uses store cupboard ingredients available from most supermarkets. It is nicer if it’s made the day before, just take it out of the fridge half an hour before you want to serve it though to take the chill off it as it deadens the complex combination of flavours otherwise.
- 1 200g pack of Arden and Amici chocolate Savoiardi trifle sponge fingers (Waitrose)
- 10 tbsps good quality instant coffee made up with 300ml of boiling water
- 1 tbsp of Kaluha coffee liqueur stirred into 1 500g carton of Jude’s Belgian chocolate custard (Tesco or Sainsbury’s)
- 2 x 420g cans of pear halves in syrup, drained and cut into bite-sized pieces mixed with 3 balls of stem ginger in syrup, finely chopped and a tablespoon of the syrup
- 1 300ml carton of whipping cream, whipped to soft peaks with a tsp of vanilla bean paste
- 2 tbsps of flaked almonds toasted in 20g melted unsalted butter and 10g of icing sugar
- 25g Green and Black’s cocoa powder for dusting
- Prep all of your layers to begin with and then it’s just an assembly job i.e. make the coffee, mix the chocolate custard with the Kaluha, whip the vanilla cream, chop the drained pears and mix in the stem ginger and syrup. In a small non-stick frying pan melt the butter and icing sugar and add the flaked almonds. Allow them to toast so they are lightly golden and candied by the butter and sugar. Taste all of your components and if you fancy a bit more Kaluha in the custard or more ginger in the pears you can adjust it at this stage.
- Line the trifle bowl with the Savoiardi fingers – stand them upright in a circle and then add the remainder to the base which will help to stabilise the upright ones – you might need to break them in half. Working quickly, gently spoon over the coffee mixture so that the fingers get a good soaking without them being too soggy or they will collapse before you start to add your filling. Press the fingers into the side of the dish with the back of a spoon if they look like they will fall over. You might not need all of the coffee but it’s best to make enough in the first place.
- Spread a couple of tablespoons of custard into the base. Dust lightly with cocoa powder.
- Next layer in the pears mixed with the stem ginger.
- Now pour the chocolate custard over the pears. Dust lightly with cocoa powder.
- Cover the custard layer with the softly whipped vanilla cream. Dust lightly with cocoa powder and sprinkle evenly with the candied flaked almonds.
- Refrigerate, preferably overnight and remove half an hour before serving. Serve the first spoonful from the side and work your way around to make sure everyone gets a good distribution of all of the layers.
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