29 Dec 2009

The tipple in Scotch Trifle

As desserts go, trifle might just be the ultimate expression of lazy decadence. Indolent self indulgence. Slothful debauchery. You get the idea.

Like all trifles, Scotch Trifle (also known as “Tipsy Laird” in my Maw Broon Cookbook) is a matter of gathering several ready-made ingredients and stacking them inside a bowl so that the finished product resembles a queue that got bored and melted.

From our trusty local supermarket we amassed the following:

A packet of little sponge cakes
Some almond biscuits which I then smashed to bits
A tub of custard (we chose a fancy vanilla custard because we’re custard snobs)
Some raspberry jam (seedless for that smooth, dreamy texture)
A punnet of raspberries
Some flaked almonds
Double cream for whipping
A bloody big bottle of Drambuie

Flavoured with heather honey and herbs, it is the addition of this fragrant "secret recipe" whisky liqueur that separates a Scotch trifle from its southern counterparts.

We began by smearing our sponge cakes with jam and placing them at the bottom of the bowl. I am not including measurements because I believe trifle construction should always possess a personal flair. You may be someone who prefers two layers of sponge cake. Who am I to judge?

Atop the sponge cake we sprinkled the broken almond biscuits (I had stuffed mine in a bag and did them in with a rolling pin. You can’t buy that kind of therapy).

Next, douse the crumbled mess with your Drambuie. Ma Broon says “ye can lick the spoon.” Follow this with your raspberries and dump over your custard. If you have any patience, put this in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours. However if you are like me and can‘t be bothered to wait, immediately spoon over the double cream that you already have diligently whipped. Top with flaked almonds.

When you serve the trifle, it will not look pretty. But that is okay because this is meant to be a collision of textures, a sensual pile-up in the mouth. My suggestion: Make yourself a strong cup of tea and just go with it.

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