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Amontillado sherry and raspberry trifle

The trifle you know and love, though we've used amontillado sherry for greater depth of flavour.

By Emma Knowles & Lisa Featherby
  • 35 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking plus chilling, setting
  • Serves 8 - 10
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Amontillado sherry and raspberry trifle
The sherry trifle is a classic, and here we've used amontillado to give it greater depth of flavour. We've borrowed the sponge recipe, minus the vanilla, from Alistair Wise (of Hobart's wonderful Sweet Envy) because it's light but a little cakey as well. Start this recipe a day ahead to set the jelly.


  • 2 tbsp jam (such as mulberry or mixed berry), thinned with water
  • For drizzling: Amontillado sherry
  • 600 ml pouring cream, whisked to soft peaks
  • To serve: sliced strawberries and raspberries
  • 50 gm toasted almonds flakes, to serve
Sponge cake
  • 2 eggs
  • 175 gm caster sugar
  • 120 ml milk
  • 60 gm butter
  • 125 gm plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
Sherry jelly
  • 750 ml amontillado sherry
  • 260 gm caster sugar
  • 160 gm frozen raspberries
  • 5 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes
Vanilla custard
  • 180 gm caster sugar
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • Scraped seeds of ½ vanilla bean


  • 1
    For sponge, preheat oven to 170C and butter and line a 20cm-diameter round cake tin. Whisk eggs and sugar in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water until mixture reaches 50C or it feels hot (1-2 minutes), then transfer to an electric mixer and whisk until ribbon stage (when beaters are lifted, batter falls from beaters like a ribbon; 3-4 minutes). Heat butter, milk and vanilla seeds to about 75C (2-3 minutes). Fold flour, baking powder and a pinch of salt into egg mixture, then add a third of the batter to milk and butter mixture and beat. Add this mixture back to batter and fold to combine. Pour into tin and bake until a skewer withdraws clean (25-35 minutes). Cool in tin for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely. Cut cake in half horizontally, spread one half with jam, then sandwich with the other half and place in the base of a 20cm-diameter, 2.5-litre trifle bowl. Drizzle with sherry to taste and set aside to soak.
  • 2
    For jelly, bring sherry and sugar to a simmer in a saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar, then add raspberries and bring to the boil. Press through a fine sieve into a bowl, squeeze excess water from gelatine and add to raspberry liquid and stir to dissolve. Transfer to a bowl placed over ice and stir occasionally until jelly starts to set (5-10 minutes). Carefully pour jelly over sponge in trifle bowl and refrigerate until set (at least 6 hours or overnight).
  • 3
    For custard, whisk sugar and yolks with an electric whisk until pale and creamy, then add cornflour and whisk until smooth. Bring milk, cream and vanilla to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, then gradually add to yolk mixture, whisking to combine. Return to pan and stir continuously with a whisk over medium heat until thick (10-12 minutes). Transfer to a bowl placed over ice and stir occasionally until cooled (10 minutes), then refrigerate until chilled (1½-2 hours).
  • 4
    To serve pour custard over jelly in trifle bowl, top with whipped cream to fill, then decorate with strawberries, raspberries and toasted almonds.