Annie Bell's Garden Trifle

Just a trifle we knocked up earlier: a stunningly creamy centrepiece for a sunny day.


1. Have ready a trifle bowl about 20cm across and 5cm deep or equivalent. Arrange the trifle sponges in the base, cutting to fit if necessary.
2. To make the elderflower jelly: cut the gelatine leaves into broad strips. Place these in a small bowl, cover with cold water and soak for 5 minutes, then drain. Make the elderflower cordial up to 450ml with boiling water, add the soaked gelatine strips and stir to dissolve. Pour the elderflower jelly over the sponges in the bowl, leave to cool, then cover and chill for several hours until set.
3. In the meantime, make the gooseberry fool. Whisk the egg yolks and icing sugar together in a medium-size nonstick pan until smooth, then whisk in the flour a third at a time until you have a thick creamy paste.
4. Bring the milk to the boil in a small pan. Gradually whisk the milk into the egg and flour mixture a little at a time to begin with, until incorporated. Return the pan to a low heat and cook for a few minutes until the custard thickens, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon or mini whisk until smooth. Continue cooking over very low heat, without boiling, until thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the gooseberry jam, then spoon the mixture into a bowl, cover the surface with clingfilm and leave to cool.
5. When ready to proceed, whisk the whipping cream to fluffy peaks in a bowl. In a food processor, whiz the cooled gooseberry fool until creamy and smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the whipped cream in two goes. Crumble the ginger cookies and scatter over the layer of elderflower jelly. Smooth the gooseberry fool on top, cover and chill for several hours or overnight. To serve, decorate with redcurrants, if using, and dust with icing sugar.

Hints 'n' Tips

NOTE We used Supercook brand leaf gelatine. Alternatively, use powdered gelatine (again, Supercook is good): you will need 3&#8260,4 sachet. Follow the packet instructions for dissolving. For other brands, consult the packet for the correct gelatine-to-liquid ratio.


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