Drunken Dessert - Berry Trifle

A sugar addict like me should stay away from dessert related blog events for her own good. But one look at the theme for this month's SHF - Drunken desserts - and my resolve melted like you-know-what on a hot summer afternoon!

I have wanted to make this particular trifle for some time now. When Nigella Lawson says "this is a trifle to end all trifles", you take note. You make the trifle to see for yourself, if you are like me you tweak the recipe a bit depending on what's in your pantry and then you put in your two cents worth: delicious.

Traditional English trifles use sherry to moisten the cake and have a layer of custard. Lawson's take on this is to do away with the custard altogether and add Italian ingredients such as amaretti biscuits and limoncello. Fortunately she doesn't experiment with onions and peas like Rachel in one of the Friends' episode. (Wonder what that would have tasted like?)


(three layered trifle with cake, jam and mascarpone)

(serves 2)
8 small ladyfingers/ thin slices of a sponge cake
6 tbsp blackcurrant jam
2-3 amaretti biscuits/ almond cookies
1/4 cup lemon liqueur
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup blackberries
3 tbsp superfine sugar
5-6 tbsp mascarpone cheese
a handful of slivered almonds, toasted

Spread jam on two slices of the cake and make sandwiches using the remaining two slices. Wedge one sandwich at the base of each bowl, pressing lightly.

Crumble the cookies and scatter over the sandwiches. Pour about two and a half tablespoons of the liqueur over this evenly so the layer is moistened.

Melt the remaining jam with lemon juice in a microwave or over low heat. Add the berries, stir and pour this over the first layer.

Whisk the cheese and sugar until creamy. Add the remaining liqueur to this and whisk until you get a mousse like texture. Spread this over the blueberries. Refrigerate for about 4 hours so all flavors blend together. Remember to cover the bowls with clingflim.
Before serving top with toasted almonds.

* This makes a great pot luck/ party dessert because it is easy to put together for a large number of people and the layers look really pretty in a glass bowl.

As a sidenote - I actually wanted to make a drunken Indian dessert. Nothing came to mind except Madhur Jaffrey's Sharabi narangi (recently blogged by Manisha and not authentic Indian anyway). Considering royal chefs whipped up desserts using such exotic ingredients as saffron, silver and roses, I am surprised none added a dash of the good nectar to liven up the royal banquet?!



Blogger Lakshmi said...

Such a nice one Ashwini, hats off. Your presentation and your dessert is kya kehana, don't know what to say.....great

7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashwini, this looks pretty,with what a intoxicating name to go by...:)

9:30 PM  
Blogger Vineela said...

Hi Aswini,
Today i did the same kind of experiment.
Let me post that recipe but your dessert looks delicious.

12:34 AM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Lakshmi, Santhi and Lera - thanks! you girls are very kind
Vineela - an experiment? sounds interesting...I will check out your post

12:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the trifle looks YUMMLICIOUS !! blackcurrant jam, mascarpone, almonds, LEMON LIQUEUR MMMMhmMMMM Awesome!!!! Cant wait to taste it .. but unfortunatley i dont have any of the ingredients avaliable.i have included all these in my ingredients list for grocery shopping this weekend.. will try it soon.

11:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Simply divine!!! Excellent combo.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ashwini, it's true! I haven't heard of drunken Indian desserts. Even Madhur Jaffrey's Sharabi Narangi is not really Indian. It's her take on a dessert of Lebanese/Greek origin.

It may be that most Indian desserts are milk or dairy-based. Then again, how much wine do you find in our food? Shiva! Shiva! ;-)

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

very tempting...will try this as soon as I am off the lactating diet ...

7:30 PM  
Blogger Ashwini said...

Priya - let me know when you try it. Btw look for lemon liqueur at a beverage store. Its usually not available at the supermarket.
Thanks Pushpa.
Vee - let me know when you try it.
Manisha - haha! Apart from the milk based desserts even Nizami desserts like khubani ka meetha etc dont have liquor in them. And didnt Indra enjoy somras now and then? :-)

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow! that's all I can say. I'll say it!!

:-) :-)


11:30 AM  
Blogger RP said...

I am drooling........

8:26 PM  
Blogger KA said...

mmmm looks yummy

9:14 AM  
Blogger BDSN said...

man this is a fun recipe to do with friends around!!!so many layers of goody goodness!!!!!nice photo!!

2:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That looks utterly drunken..I am sure you impressed everyone with that creation.

3:34 PM  
Blogger CyberRowdy(Q8TechDrive) said...

looks great!

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG!! That looks so awesome!! definitely making it next weekend!!

12:59 PM  
Blogger vrb said...

I am trying to find a recipe, but I have a question concerning the gorgeous photos that seem to be on most of these blogs. Are you a professional photographer? So many food pics lately have this REALLY amazing quality, and I don't know how a home photographer "gets" that look...IF you see this, could you contact me at
Thanks! Vicki

2:31 PM  

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