Skill level

Average: 4.1 (12 votes)


  • 160 ml (⅔ cup) port
  • 250 g store-bought jam sponge roll, cut into 1 cm slices
  • 850 g canned fruit salad in syrup, drained, or your choice of chopped fresh fruit (such as strawberries, peaches, passionfruit, kiwifruit, apricots), plus extra chopped fruit to decorate
  • desiccated coconut or coconut chips (optional), to decorate



  • ½ vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
  • 250 ml (1 cup) milk
  • titanium-strength gelatine leaves
  • 300 ml pouring cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 100 g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp kirsch

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.


Chilling time 5 hours
Michele has used a bavarois (a creamy egg-based dessert set with gelatine) in this recipe, but you can always use pouring custard. This recipe is best made the day before, to allow the flavours to infuse. You will need a 2 L-capacity trifle or serving dish.
Drink match 2012 T’Gallant Juliet Moscato, Mornington Peninsula, Vic ($14)

To make bavarois, combine vanilla bean and seeds and milk in a small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes to infuse.

Remove vanilla bean and heat milk over medium heat until hot. Place gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Remove, squeezing out excess water, and add to milk mixture, stirring to dissolve.

Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick and pale. Whisking continuously, pour in hot milk mixture.

Place egg mixture over a saucepan of gently simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water) and stir continuously with a wooden spoon until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Stir in gelatine and milk mixture to combine. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, whisk cream to soft peaks. Fold in the cream and kirsch, then refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.

Pour port over sponge slices and set aside for 5 minutes to soak through.

To assemble trifle, spread about  cup of custard over base of trifle dish and arrange a layer of cake on top, trimming to fit. Top with half the fruit. Repeat layers, then finish with a layer of custard. Decorate with extra fruit and coconut. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until chilled and set.



Photography John Laurie


As seen in Feast magazine, November 2013, Issue 26.