Mulled wine trifle

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This seriously sophisticated trifle recipe by Simon Jenkins combines flavours of blackberry, vanilla and mulled wine, resulting in a very festive treat. The perfect dessert to serve after Christmas dinner if you don't fancy a steamed pudding, as it can all be made in advance.

First published in 2019





Mulled wine jelly

Savoie sponge

  • 250g of egg, beaten (approx. 4–5 medium eggs)
  • 2 lemons, finely zested
  • 195g of caster sugar
  • 185g of soft flour, pastry flour or gluten-free flour, sieved
  • 20g of unsalted butter, melted

Vanilla chantilly

  • 100g of whipping cream
  • 250g of double cream
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds scraped
  • 7g of caster sugar

Trifle anglaise

  • 300ml of double cream
  • 75ml of whole milk
  • 200g of egg yolk, (approx. 10 yolks)
  • 60g of caster sugar
  • 2 oranges, zested with a peeler

To serve


  • 10x6.5cm glass 6


Begin by making the savoie sponge. Preheat an oven to 210°C/190°C fan/gas mark 7. Beat together the eggs, lemon zest and caster sugar in a heatproof bowl, then place over a pan of simmering water (ensuring the base of the bowl does not touch the water). Continue to whisk until the mixture reaches 40°C and thickens
Gently fold in the flour, then add a little of the mixture to the melted butter and stir to combine. Add this butter mixture back into the bowl, then fold in gently
Pour the cake mixture into a 24x33x1.5cm baking tray lined with baking paper and bake for 20 minutes or until light golden. Remove the cake from the tray and leave to cool, then place in the fridge or freezer for 30 minutes to firm up
Cut the sponge into 6 discs approximately 6cm in diameter – they should be no more than 1cm thick
To poach the blackberries, place all the ingredients (except the blackberries) into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Place the blackberries in a heatproof bowl and pour the poaching liquor over them. Leave to cool
To make the mulled wine jelly, soak the gelatine leaves in cold water while you bring the mulled wine to the boil. Once boiling, remove from the heat and squeeze the gelatine leaves to remove any excess moisture, then whisk the gelatine into the mulled wine. Add the blackberry puree, stir, then pass through a fine sieve into a suitable container. Lower the container into a bowl of iced water to chill quickly – once the mixture begins to thicken, set aside
To make the vanilla Chantilly, place all the ingredients (reserve the vanilla pod for another recipe) into a round-bottomed bowl and whisk until the cream reaches medium ribbon stage. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve
Once all these elements of the trifle have been made, start to assemble the trifles. Take 6 straight-sided glasses, measuring 10cm high and 6.5cm in diameter, and place 16 poached blackberry halves into the base of each. Top with 75g of the mulled wine jelly
Place a sponge disc on top of the jelly in each glass, ensuring it is flat and completely covering the jelly. Make sure they have all cooled and set before making the trifle anglaise
For the trifle anglaise, pour the double cream and milk into a pan and add the orange peel. Gently bring to the boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until smooth. Once the cream is boiling, pour half of it over the egg yolks and whisk vigorously to temper the eggs. Lower the heat, then pour the egg mixture back into the pan to combine. Use a spatula and move it in a figure of eight motion constantly, until the mixture reaches 86°C
Remove the anglaise from the heat and pass through a fine sieve
Pour 55g of the hot fresh custard on top of the sponge, then place in the fridge to set for at least 1.5 hours
Finish the trifles with approx. 15g of the Chantilly, then sprinkle with cinnamon powder
First published in 2019

Simon Jenkins is an award-winning pastry chef and consultant who has years of experience in Michelin-starred kitchens.

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