Trifle in the Grand Manner

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 4 hours 40 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 1 pound cake (1 lb.)
  • 1⁄4 cup dry sherry
  • 1⁄4 cup cognac or other brandy
  • 1⁄2 cup raspberry jam
  • 1⁄2 cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 3⁄4 cups milk
  • 1⁄2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1⁄4 cup sliced almonds, toasted


  • Cut the pound cake into 2-inch square chunks and place in a single layer in a shallow dish. Combine the sherry and cognac and pour evenly over the cake. Let soak for 10 minutes. Spread each piece of cake with some of the jam. Place in a large glass bowl or trifle bowl and let stand for 2 hours.
  • Make the crème anglaise: In a medium bowl, combine the sugar and egg yolks and beat until the mixture is very thick and creamy, pale yellow, and forms ribbons that fall back on themselves when the beaters are lifted. This will take about 5 minutes. Beat in the cornstarch.
  • In a saucepan, heat the milk over medium heat until a film shines on top. Do not allow to boil. While beating constantly, add the hot milk to the yolk mixture in a thin, steady stream. Place over very low heat and cook, stirring constantly, until sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Beat for a minute or two to cool. Then beat in the almond extract.
  • Top the soaked cake with raspberries and pour the hot crème anglaise over the raspberries. Cover and chill at least 2 hours. Just before serving, whip the cream until stiff peaks form and spread over the trifle. Top with almonds.