Raspberry and elderflower trifle

Paul Rankin is proud of his trifle combination; however feel free to use up what you have in the house: biscuits instead of Madeira cake, raspberries instead of blackberries After all isnt that just how trifles came about in the first place?
By Paul Rankin
Raspberry and elderflower trifle
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 454 g ripe raspberries
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 160 g caster sugar
  • 250 g mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 225 g custard
  • 125 ml elderflower cordial
  • 150 ml sweet sherry
  • 200 g madeira cakes
  • 50 g hazelnuts, roasted, peeled and chopped
  • whipped cream, to decorate


1. Pick over the raspberries, removing any stems etc. Place 8 perfect ones to the side for a garnish.

2. Purée 225g of the raspberries with the lemon juice and 100g of the sugar in a blender. Pass through a fine sieve. Toss this purée with the remaining berries, and set aside for the moment.

3. Stir the remaining sugar into the mascarpone - do not overbeat because the mascarpone can split if overworked. Carefully stir the custard into the mascarpone, a spoonful at a time. Set aside.

4. Mix the elderflower cordial with the sweet sherry. Chop up the Madeira cake into bite size pieces and toss in the mixture so that the cake absorbs all the liquid.

5. To assemble the trifles, start with about 1 tablespoon of the mushy cake into the bottom of each glass or mould. Top this with a generous spoonful of the berry mix, followed by a generous spoonful of the custard mix. Sprinkle a few of the chopped hazelnuts on to this, and repeat the layers once again. These can be made up even a day in advance, and stored, covered with cling film in the refrigerator.

6. If there is room left at the top of the trifle, add a dollop of freshly whipped cream just before serving. Decorate with the reserved raspberries.

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