Trifle with a Twist



This Trifle recipe is very special to me. This was one of the first few recipes that Nikhil had given me 🙂 when we first got to know each other. I was to make a dessert to carry to a friend’s party about 3 years ago in Singapore and wanted to do something different. I didn’t cook as much at that time and usually work kept me very busy. So Nikhil suggested that I do an easy assembly type of a dessert and came up with this trifle. It’s not the usual trifle in the sense that it doesn’t have custard or jelly or even the lady fingers yet it was  delicious as can be and easy so that is why I call it a Trifle with a Twist. So all I had to do was: get ready-made cakes, get ready-made whipped cream, mascarpone, fresh raspberries, strawberries & blueberries to make the compote, make the chocolate sauce and assemble the different layers of the trifle! Now since I have the time, I make all the layers from scratch.  The best part of this dessert is you can make your own layers and do what you want to. It’s such a fun and yummy dessert that it is hard to go wrong.

So anyway, came the day of the house party and even though it was a Saturday I got stuck at work until 7 in the evening- yes I remember. One usually remembers the times when plans go for a toss thanks to work!  Thankfully I had brought all the ingredients the night before and so I had one thing less to worry about. There I was home at 7 and racing against time to get to my friend’s (Korobi) house by 8ish. I started getting all things together and it actually took me only about 40 minutes to pull it off! And it was such a super duper hit that I decided that this is going to be my trademark dessert to carry to anyone’s house I go to 🙂 (a special mention to my friend Angelique who also loves this dessert and has been asking me for the recipe since forever- this one’s for you!). I have made quite a few of them since then and made it again recently to take to a Thanksgiving party. With all the already great food at the thanksgiving party (Thank you, Holly :)) little did I know everyone would relish this Trifle as much! The fact that I carried these to house parties and almost was always running late, I could never manage to click good pictures but I hope the few that I did click using my phone would tempt you enough to make this!

When you read the recipe you may think that there is lots to do and too many things to get together and I won’t deny that but it is all worth the effort and is such a great dessert! Before you start making a trifle you can think of different colors that you want to see on your trifle bowl and then start building it- raspberry & strawberry compote for a red layer, blueberry compote for a purple layer, custard for the yellow layer, orange cream for the orange layer, crumbled cookies or nuts for a crispy layer and I could go on and on…

So here is how we made it-

Trifle with a Twist

Yield: 10-12 servings


  • One 8 inch round vanilla cake or orange cake
  • One 8 inch round chocolate cake
  • 2 tablespoons whisky or vodka or red wine, optional
  • For the Chocolate Sauce
  • a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • a teaspoon instant coffee granules
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • For the Raspberry& Strawberry compote
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries and strawberries
  • 4-5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine, optional but good to add to enhance flavor
  • For the Blueberry Compote
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blue berries
  • 4-5 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine, optional but good to add to enhance flavor
  • Orange Mascarpone
  • 1 ½ cups mascarpone cheese
  • 3-4 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • a drop or two of orange food color, optional
  • a handful of fresh orange chunks
  • For the whipped cream
  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • a dash of vanilla essence
  • Fresh fruits such as blueberries, raspberries, orange etc., for garnish


    For the chocolate sauce
  1. In a heatproof glass bowl over a pan of simmering water, put all the chocolate sauce ingredients and allow them to melt, stirring occasionally. This should take about 7-8 minutes. Once it’s all melted and glossy, take it off the heat and allow it to cool.
  2. For the raspberry and strawberry compote
  3. Put all the raspberry and strawberry compote ingredients in a pan and cook it on medium heat until the raspberries and strawberries have released their juices and it looks all mushy and cooked, stirring occasionally. This should take about 10-12 minutes. Keep this aside.
  4. For the Blueberry compote
  5. Put all the blueberry compote ingredients in a pan and cook it on medium heat until the blueberries have released their juices and it looks all mushy and cooked, stirring occasionally. This should take about 10-12 minutes. Keep this aside.
  6. For the Orange Mascarpone
  7. In a small mixing bowl, add the mascarpone and stir by running a fork through it just to loosen it up slightly. Next add the sugar, orange zest, orange food colour and orange juice and mix well. Lastly, add the fresh orange chunks and combine.
  8. For the whipped cream
  9. Whisk all the whipped cream ingredients together until it forms soft peaks. You could use store bought whipped cream but personally I like freshly whipped home-made whipped cream.
  10. Assembly
  11. I used a 9 inch tall and 8 inch in diameter trifle bowl to build the layers for my trifle but you could use any flat bottomed, preferably, glass bowl or even individual dessert glasses.
  12. The order of layers in my trifle was as follows:
  13. Vanilla cake: I layered big chunks of the Vanilla cake on the bottom.
    Vodka/ Whisky: Pour 2 tablespoons whisky or vodka on the cake and allow the cake to soak the alcohol. This is optional and you may choose to skip this step.
    Chocolate sauce: Pour the chocolate sauce over the cake and cover the top pf the cake completely.
    Raspberry & strawberry compote: Next for the color, pour in the raspberry & strawberry compote and make sure you spread it on the sides of the glass bowl so that you can see it.
    Chocolate cake: Again, lay big chunks of the chocolate cake.
    Orange mascarpone: Spread this over the chocolate cake evenly. Make sure that this is a fairly thick layer that you can see from the side of the glass bowl.
    Blueberry compote: pour this over the orange mascarpone.
    Whipped cream: pipe or spread a 2-3 inch thick layer of whipped cream on the top.
    Fresh fruits (oranges, raspberries & blueberries) for the topping.
  14. Once you have assembled all the layers pop your trifle bowl into the freezer (at least an hour) and then half an hour before you want to serve this transfer it to the refrigerator. The longer it sits the yummier it becomes.


Like I said before, you could just build the layers as you go and with ingredients that you like. Do let us know what you’d like to add to your version of the trifle. I had some of the ingredients remaining so I also made a couple of individual trifles a day later. 🙂


Coming up next: Vegetarian Samosa’s- perfect for a cold winter day! 🙂


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  3. I like your twist on trifle! I am from England and I grew up eating trifle for special occasions, this looks delicious!

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