Find your recipes and restaurants here

Make the perfect Christmas trifle with these 5 tips

British born chef, Matt Manning shares these helpful ways to make the most of this classic festive dessert.

by: Matt Manning | 13 Dec 2017

(image: iStock)

Trifle is one of those desserts that you either love or hate. Many people have a tough time accepting the texture of it; a blend of sponge cake, layered with fruit, jelly, custard, cream and a load of brightly coloured toppings.

Perhaps what makes one averse to it, is the fact that trifle often isn't prepared how it traditionally should be. We had a giggle watching this old episode of FRIENDS where Rachel tries to make an English trifle. Poor thing!


In order to avoid having a Rachel situation on your hands this Christmas, we asked SA-based British celebrity chef, Matt Manning of One Ingredient fame to share a few of his top tips to making a great trifle.

Here they are...

1. Alcohol

The first is obvious, make sure there is enough sherry! Some for the trifle and some for the chef. My Nan used to soak her sponge overnight so it gives a good kick to end off a hearty Christmas dinner!

2. Homemade custard

Never cut corners in the kitchen just because it is Christmas and you think you are too busy. A delicious, thick, creamy vanilla custard can give your dessert the cutting edge. And it isn’t that hard to make! Click here for an easy recipe. 

3. Toppings

Another thing my Nan used to do, was to cover the top layer in Hundreds and Thousands. No trifle is complete with out it.

4. Fruit

Freshly picked strawberries make the perfect fruit for your trifle. I had some amazing fresh, ripe ones just last week that were picked in Stellenbosch - so if you are serious about making a kick-ass trifle, go the extra mile for the best ingredients.

5. Presentation

Make your trifle as individual portions using small glass console jars. Not only does this look great because you can see the layers of sponge, fruit, cream and custard... but it also makes less mess and there is less wastage.

Follow Matt Manning on Twitter @MattManningChef.


9 Alternative festive desserts to make this year if you hate trifle

There's no way of resisting these mouthwatering desserts this festive season. by: Mandy Blankenberg | 14 Dec 2016 Conclude your Christmas lunch or festive party with something delightfully sweet to add to the jolly occasion. Trifle is likely the most ideal dessert: it's elegant in appearance, and an overall top-notch mouthwatering traditional festive dessert.

Read more on: festive  |  desserts  |  classics  |  trifle  |  recipes

NEXT ON FOOD24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.