Blackberry and Elderflower Trifle

I have an overgrown bush.

Yep a massively overgrown bramble bush at the bottom of my very unkempt overgrown garden. Annoying to the eye, but come September I always come away with kilos of blackberries which is not a bad thing.

So the theme for the Great British Bake Off week three was desserts and the signature bake was a trifle.

For me, a trifle isn’t something I would immediately think of making for a dessert, preferring tarts or old school puddings. The last time I made one was Christmas 2011 for our Delia Smith supperclub event so I thought it might be time to make another one. I wasn’t sure how it was all going to taste but I knew I wanted to create a “hedgerow” theme.

I remembered that I have a bottle of home made elderflower cordial made by my lovely friend and supperclub partner in crime Dan, so the decision was made! A blackberry and elderflower trifle!

Blackberry and elderflower trifle

Sponge based, soaked in orange gin (Cointreau would be a good substitute) and then layered with a blackberry and elderflower compote, thick custard and then lashings of cream! I wanted to kind of recreate the flavours of the Bramble cocktail but also create a great transitional pudding, merging elements of summer and autumn together.

The result? I like to think it was a success. If made again I think I would add slightly more sugar in the compote as it was on the edge of my sourness tolerance, and perhaps a touch more elderflower to bring out the floral notes.

Given blackberries are in abundance at the moment, do go out foraging and make something delicious.

The recipe below is for 1 large trifle, however you can make these in individual servings which is what I did. Give this trifle a go and let me know what you think.

Blackberry and Elderflower Trifle 2

Blackberry and Elderflower Hedgerow Trifle
Serves about 6 – 8

For the sponge
Make up 1/2 quantity of genoise sponge from my Jaffa Cake. Leave to cool and then chop into fingers / squares. Alternatively you can use shop bought trifle sponges / savoiardi biscuits if you want to skip this step.
75ml orange gin / Cointreau

For the compote
500g blackberries
75g sugar
2 tablespoons elderflower cordial

For the custard
300ml double cream
300ml whole milk
1 vanilla pod, split
6 egg yolks
3 tablespoons caster sugar

To finish
300ml double cream
50g Pistachio nuts, chopped

Firstly, make the compote. Tumble the berries into a pan along with the sugar and a couple of tablespoons of water. Set on a medium heat. Bring to a boil and then leave to simmer for 15 minutes until soft and syrupy. Then stir in the elderflower cordial. Set to one side to cool.

Next up make the custard. Beat the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Put the milk, cream and vanilla into a pan and set onto a medium heat until simmering, try not to let it boil. Take the pod out and then slowly add the milk to the egg and sugar mixture, stirring this constantly.

Pour this back into the saucepan and keep on a low heat, stirring all the time until thick and coats the back of a spoon. Pour this into a jug / bowl, covering with cling film so a skin doesn’t form. Leave to cool.

Line the bottom of your serving dish with the sponge and then layer over the fruit compote. Pour over the gin / Cointreau. Layer over the cool custard and then cover and keep in the fridge until set.

To finish, whip the cream to soft peaks and pipe / spoon over the custard / sponge. Decorate with extra blackberries and a sprinkling of nuts. I used pistachio for colour but toasted flaked almonds would add a traditional feel to the trifle.

Dig in with a huge spoon!

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