Cyrus Todiwala’s Spiced Trifle
150–200g strawberries, hulled, plus a
Icing sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Ground pepper for sprinkling (optional)
100g blueberries, fresh or frozen
100g raspberries, fresh or frozen
6 gelatine leaves
1.2 litres (2 pints) ready-made custard
1 litre (1¾ pints) double cream, whipped
For the spiced fruit syrup
3 cardamon pods, lightly crushed and seeds
Extracted for use (save the pods for flavouring other dishes)
5cm (2in) cinnamon stick piece
3–4 black peppercorns
1 lime, cut into small pieces and pips removed
250g white sugar
For the Swiss roll
3 large eggs
70g golden caster sugar
70g self raising flour, sifted
Vanilla extract to taste
Icing sugar for sprinkling
Strawberry jam for spreading
- First, make the syrup. Put all the spices in a mortar and crush coarsely. Transfer to a saucepan, add the measured water and lime and bring to the boil. Simmer for ten minutes or so, until the spices are well infused in the liquid.
- Stir in the sugar, bring back to the boil, then simmer for a further 10 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly, then strain into a bowl. The solids can be discarded or reused, as you wish.
- If making your own Swiss roll, preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6 and line a Swiss roll tin or shallow baking tray with greaseproof paper or baking parchment.
- Break the eggs into a clean heatproof bowl and, using an electric whisk, gradually beat in the caster sugar and continue whisking until the mixture is light and foamy, cream in colour, and forms a visible trail behind the whisk (this is easier to do, and produces a frothier result, if you place the bowl over a pan of simmering water).
- Transfer to a work surface lined with a tea towel (to prevent slipping) and gently fold in the flour a tablespoon at a time. When you have a smooth batter, mix in the cinnamon or vanilla. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 8–10 minutes, until the sponge feels springy to the touch. Allow to cool for about five minutes, then turn out on to a sheet of baking parchment sprinkled with a little icing sugar.
- Peel off the top layer of paper and spread a generous layer of the jam over the sponge. Using the paper to help you, roll up the sponge as tightly as possible. Set aside until cool and firm, refrigerating it if you wish.
- Quarter or thickly slice the strawberries. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with a little icing sugar and black pepper, if you wish. Put the blueberries and raspberries in a saucepan, add the spiced syrup and bring to a gentle boil.
- Cook for a few minutes, until the fruits are soft, then whiz the mixture to a purée. Strain through a sieve, discarding any solids. Set aside until needed.
- To make the jelly, soak the gelatine in a little cold water for about ten minutes. Meanwhile, measure 500ml of the syrup into a saucepan and heat gently. Squeeze the gelatine dry, then add to the syrup, stirring until completely dissolved. Depending on the look you want for your trifle, you can either set the jelly in a shallow tin, then chop it and spread it over the top, or allow to cool a bit, then pour it over the trifle. Note that it will not be a crystal clear jelly because it contains puréed fruits.
- To assemble the trifle, slice the Swiss roll and arrange it on the bottom and sides of a 3.4-litre (6-pint) serving bowl. Add the strawberries, including any juice they have released, spooning it over the sponge. Now add the jelly, followed by the custard and whipped cream.
- Garnish with the whole strawberries and serve chilled.