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This is a bold and creative recipe! The classic trifle gets a Greek makeover. Angela Nicolettou is infusing the flavours of baklava in the summer dessert bringing nuts, spices and fragrant rizogalo ( Greek rice pudding) into a favourite dessert.
Baklava -inspired trifle
This trifle borrows from some classic Mediterranean desserts to create a summery delight. The sponge can be made a day or two ahead of time. It is best made the day before and the berries and cream added just before serving.
Prepare all the layers as listed below.
- To assemble, cut the cake in half lengthwise to create a cake sandwich and trim the edges to fit your trifle dish. Drizzle half the syrup over the base and add half the nut mixture. Place the next layer of cake and add the remaining syrup and nut mixture.
- Add the rizogalo to create a thick layer.
- Refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
- Add the strawberries and then the whipped cream.
- Garnish with the mixed berries and mint leaves.
Sponge cake layer
1 cup self-raising flour, sifted
½ cup caster sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
pinch of salt
Heat oven to 170C. Grease and flour a 20cm cake tin.
Whisk the eggs, sugar, salt and lemon zest until light and fluffy (about 15 min). Add the sifted flour a little at a time and gently fold into the egg mixture using a spatula.
Place batter in the cake tin (being careful not to overwork or flatten it). Bake for 30 to 40 min. When ready, let it rest in the tin for 10 mins before turning it onto a wire rack to cool.
750ml milk, plus 2 tbs extra
½ cup short grain white rice
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out or 1 tsp vanilla paste
3 tbs corn flour
4 tbs caster sugar
2 tbs rose water
Boil rice in plenty of water until cooked. Strain and rinse under running water.
In a heavy based small pot add the milk and vanilla and heat to just before boiling.
Add the rice and sugar and stir (remove and discard vanilla pod, if using).
In a small bowl dissolve the cornflour with 2 tbs of cold milk until a paste forms. Add this to the milk and rice and continue to stir until it thickens and reaches boiling point. Remove from heat and stir through the rose water.
Syrup for cake
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 strip of lemon rind
1 cinnamon quill
2 tsp lemon juice
3 tbs brandy
2 tbs honey
To make syrup, add all ingredients except the honey and brandy to a saucepan and boil for 5 minutes. Add the honey and brandy and stir for 1 minute. Let cool.
1 cup walnuts
½ cup almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch ground cloves
Heat oven to 190C
Place walnuts and almonds on a flat baking tray and toast in the oven for 10 minutes. When cool enough to touch chop or pulse in a blender. In a bowl, mix the nuts and spices.
250 g mixed berries
2 tsp rose water
2 tbs caster sugar
fresh mint leaves for garnish
Halve or quarter strawberries and mix with the rose water and sugar and leave until needed. Only marinate the strawberries. Leave other berries such as raspberries, blueberries, etc as they are.
300ml thickened cream
1 tbs icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
Place cream, icing sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl and whisk until soft peak form