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The Hirshon Christmas Trifle

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • The Jelly Sponge Roll:
  • 3 lg Eggs
  • 1/2 c Sugar
  • 1/2 ts Vanilla
  • 3/4 c Flour
  • 1/2 ts Baking powder
  • 1/3 c Raspberry jam, seedless
  • 1 tb Kirsch
  • 1/4 c Med-dry sherry (JH note – use an Amontillado)
  • ***
  • The Custard:
  • 7 lg Egg yolks
  • 1 c Sugar
  • 2 c Milk, scalded & cooled
  • 1/2 c Heavy cream, scalded & cooled slightly
  • 1 t Vanilla
  • 1/2 c Creme fraiche
  • 1/4 c Med-dry sherry
  • ***
  • The Whip:
  • 1/2 litre (2 cups) full-cream cream
  • 80 gram (2/3 cup minus 2 tsp) powdered sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 decilitre (3 Tbsp and 1 tsp) cream sherry
  • ***
  • Assembly:
  • 1 1/2 c Amaretti biscuit crumbs
  • 1/8 c Med-dry sherry
  • 1/8 c apricot brandy (or use med-dry Sherry)
  • 1 pound strawberries, sliced
  • ***
  • Garnish:
  • 2 tb Pistachio nuts, shelled and chopped – you can get these pre-chopped from Trader Joes)
  • Paradise Brand Old English Fruit and Peel Mix, minced and use to taste as garnish
  • Candied rose petals, lightly crushed (optional)
  • Candied violets, lightly crushed (optional)
  • Microplaned lemon zest
  • Raspberry jam, seedless
  • Garnish:
  • Pure Edible Silver Leaf Flakes, Jar, 0.100g (optional but recommended)
  • DeiAurum: 24K Edible Gold Leaf Flakes, Jar, 0.100g (optional but recommended)


  1. The whip:
  2. Actually, whip is an abbreviation of whipped syllabub. Take care that not a trace of the egg yolk or any other fat contaminates the egg whites.
  3. Beat the whites stiff, spoon in sugar, cream and sherry, and beat again. Spoon the froth off the remaining liquid in the bowl; place it in a sieve in the refrigerator (with a bowl underneath). Leave it for the night. Use it the following day.
  4. The cake:
  5. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla, until the mixture is thick and pale. Sift the flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and fold them into it gently but thoroughly.
  6. Line the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, spread the batter in the pan and bake in a preheated 400f oven for 8 minutes or until it is puffed and golden. Invert onto a lightly sugared kitchen towel.
  7. In a small saucepan, melt the jam over low heat. Stir in kirsch and spread the surface of the cake with the jam mixture. Starting with a long side and using the towel as a guide, roll up the cake, jelly-roll fashion and sprinkle it with Sherry. Wrap the sponge roll firmly in the towel. Let it cool and cut into ¾-inch slices.
  8. The custard:
  9. In a bowl, set over a saucepan of simmering water, beat the yolks and the sugar with an electric mixer until the mixture is thick and pale. Remove from heat and stir in gradually, milk, cream, and vanilla. Cook the custard in the bowl over the simmering water, until it registers 170f on a candy thermometer.
  10. Transfer the custard to a metal bowl and whisk in the creme fraiche and Sherry. Set the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and whisk until custard is cool.
  11. Chill it, covering surface with plastic wrap, until it is cold.
  12. Assembly:
  13. In the bottom of a 2-½-qt. trifle bowl, scatter half the amaretti crumbs, sprinkle apricot brandy over the crumbs. Add a layer of sliced strawberries. Top them with half the sponge roll slices, and top those with the remaining amaretti crumbs.
  14. Sprinkle the Sherry over the remaining sponge roll slices, line the side of the bowl with the slices, and pour in the custard, spreading it to let it seep down around the sided and bottom.
  15. Chill the trifle for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  16. Just before serving, transfer the whip to a pastry bag, fitted with a decorative tip and pipe rosettes around the edge and in the center of the trifle.
  17. Sprinkle pistachios, crushed candied flowers, lemon zest and candied peel/fruit mince over the trifle and garnish the rosettes with the citron and small drops of jam. Cover all with gold and silver flakes, if using.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes