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Raspberry and almond trifle

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Classic Christmas dessert

Trifle is a classic Christmas dessert that dates back to 16th century England. Trifle is typically a layered dessert of custard, whipping cream, fruit, jelly and sponge cake or lady fingers. Trifle often has a bit of booze, traditionally sherry or madeira. The great thing about trifle is you really can't mess it up. Modify this recipe and throw in your favorite fruits. Think bananas, berries, pomegranate seeds, roasted cranberries, passion fruit, pineapple or mangos. Don't forget a splash or two of your favorite tipple. It will be good.

Great for a crowd

The nice thing about trifle is a little goes a long way and it is prepared at least a day in advance. This recipe will serve 16. The trifle in my pictures is even larger than the recipe. Increase the recipe by 50% and it will easily serve 24.


This is one of those recipes you don't want to skimp on the quality of your white chocolate. I use Lindt white chocolate. For the lady fingers, I use Cantreau French Boudoirs.

Trifle bowls

Traditional trifle bowls have straight sides and are raised on a glass pedestal. These bowls beautifully show off the layers of trifle. If you don't have a trifle bowl, any glass bowl will do. The one shown in my pictures is a bowl I bought at a flower warehouse as I needed something extra large to feed a crowd.


This is slightly modified from a recipe in the December 2005 Bon Appétit magazine.

Raspberry and almond trifle
Serves: 16 servings
Trifle is the quintessential Christmas dessert. Fruit, jelly, whipped cream, lady fingers and a bit of booze. A great make-ahead dessert for a crowd.
  • 18 ounces frozen unsweetened rasperries
  • ¼ cup chambord
  • 1 cup raspberry jam
  • 3½ cups cold whipping cream, divided
  • 12 ounces good quality white chocolate (Lindt), coarsely chopped
  • 1¼ t almond extract, divided
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 7 to 10 ounces crisp lady fingers such as Boudoirs or Champagne
  • 12 ounces containers fresh raspberries
  • ¾ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  1. Put the frozen raspberries in a bowl and pour the chambord over the raspberries. Stir and set aside.
  2. Put the raspberry jam in a microwave proof bowl. Heat jam in a microwave for 1 to 2 minutes, until jam melts. Set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of cream just to a simmer. Remove from heat and whisk the chocolate into the hot cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Set aside until lukewarm, about 10 minutes.
  4. With a mixer, beat the remaining 2½ cups cream and ½ t almond extract together until the cream holds firm peaks. Fold in the lukewarm white chocolate and cream mixture until combined. Don't overmix. Set aside.
  5. In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water until sugar melts and bubbles just start to form on the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ¾ t almond extract.
  6. Depending on how big your glass dish you will make two or three layers. Divide up your layering ingredients (biscuits, melted raspberry jam, frozen raspberries & chambord, whipped cream & chocolate) accordingly.
  7. Dunk each lady finger completely in the sugar syrup and arrange side-by-side in the bottom of a glass trifle dish until the bottom of the dish is covered in biscuits. Spread a layer of melted jam on top of the biscuits. Cover the jam with a layer of frozen raspberries and chambord (they will be partially melted). Cover the frozen raspberries and chambord with a layer of whipped cream & chocolate. Repeat with one or two more layers (depending on the size of your dish).
  8. After your final layer of cream & chocolate mixture, place the fresh raspberries side-by-side and upside down on the top of the trifle. Scatter the toasted almond slices on top of the raspberries. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.




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