Christmas in summer means that we get a bounty of fresh berries and cherries for our year end celebrations. For this boozey trifle, try soaking the fruits in Grand Marnier, for a hint of zesty orange.




Skill level

Average: 3.6 (62 votes)


  • 500 g mixed fresh or frozen berries, thawed
  • 300 g cherries, pitted
  • 250 ml (1 cup) brandy
  • 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar
  • 460 g ready-made plain sponge cake
  • 300 ml thickened cream, whipped
  • 40 g (½ cup) flaked almonds, roasted
  • grated nutmeg, to serve



  • 8 egg yolks 
  • 55 g (¼ cup) caster sugar 
  • 600 ml thickened cream 
  • 1 orange, zested 
  • 1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Cooling time 2 hours
Drink match
2004 Chateau Lafaurie-Peyraguey Sauternes ($45, 375ml).

To make custard, whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a large, heatproof bowl. Place cream, zest and vanilla pod and seeds in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat. Gradually whisk cream mixture into egg mixture and place bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula, for 10 minutes or until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl, cover surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed. Discard solids.

Place berries, cherries, 125 ml (½ cup) brandy, sugar and 60 ml (¼ cup) water in a pan. Bring to the boil, stirring, then reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes or until fruit is soft and liquid is slightly thickened. Cool for 15 minutes.

Roughly break sponge cake into pieces and line the base of a 4L serving bowl. Drizzle with remaining 125 ml (½ cup) brandy. Add fruit mixture, then custard and spread over cream. Scatter over almonds, sprinkle with nutmeg and refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.



Photography by John Laurie. 


As seen in Feast magazine, December 2011, Issue 4. For more recipes and articles, pick up a copy of this month's Feast magazine or check out our great subscriptions offers here.