British Food Fortnight: Wild Blackberry Trifles 1

For those of you that follow the blog on Twitter, you will realise that British food fortnight crept up on me without even a boo or how’s your father. Why we need a fortnight to celebrate & promote British food is beyond me, Gary Rhodes has been doing it most of his career. Anyway that is another post.

For the two weeks of British food fortnight I’ll be bringing you recipes that I feel are inherently British and encapsulate food from these fair isles. First up is a revised classic for this time of the year, Wild Blackberry Trifle.

So to the recipe, it has many component parts but many can be made a day or so in advance.

Port Macerated Wild blackberries

750g Wild Blackberries, picked & washed

Enough ruby port to cover, around about 400ml

60g Caster sugar

10 Large Mint leaves, bruised


Vanilla Custard

400ml Cream

400ml Milk

200g Sugar

15 Egg yolks

2 Vanilla pods

3 leaves of gelatine, pre-soaked


Flourless Chocolate Sponge

6 Egg, separated

110g Caster Sugar

40g Cocoa powder


‘Whipped Cream’ topping (requires a 1L Soda Siphon)

500ml Whipping Cream

500ml Milk

3 ½ gelatine leaves, pre-soaked

50g caster sugar

2 lemons, zest only

1 orange, zest only

2 Gas charges (N₂O)


The Method

Blackberries, this can be done 2 days before the trifle is required. Carefully wash & rinse the berries. Gently warm the port (don’t boil) and add the sugar. Add the bruised mint leaves & leave to steep until required.

Vanilla Custard, whisk the yolks & sugar together until pale. Boil the milk & cream together with the split vanilla pods. Pour the boiling mixture onto the eggs & sugar mix and return to the heat stirring constantly. Continue to cook over a medium to low heat until the temperature reaches 82°c, then quickly strain into a clean bowl. Add the pre-soaked gelatine leaves when they are soft & feel like a used condom. Fully incorporate & reserve.

Chocolate sponge, this can be done the day before assembly. Carefully separate the eggs. Add the yolks, ½ the sugar (55g) & the cocoa powder. Beat together. Create a meringue with the remaining egg whites & sugar by whisking on high speed in a kitchen aid then gradually adding the sugar in a steady stream. Reduce the speed & continue to whisk until the meringue has become shiny & glossy.

Take a third of the meringue and beat into the cocoa paste. Then gently fold in the rest of the meringue. Spread on to a lightly greased baking paper or silpat mat & then sandwich with another layer of baking paper, expelling as much air as possible. Bake at 175°c for 6mins, remove from the oven & leave to cool on the baking sheet.

Whipped cream topping, combine the milk, cream, sugar & fruit zests bring to the boil and cover the pan with a cling film lid. Remove from the heat & infuse for 2hours. Remove 200ml of the infusion, warm and add the gelatine. Dissolve the gelatine and then return the infusion back to the main pan. Strain directly into a 1liter soda siphon. Screw the top on and charge with the first gas. Shake vigorously and then charge with the 2nd gas. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours before use.

The Construction

Remove the mint leaves from the blackberries & discard. Strain the blackberries & reserve the liquid. Warm the port liquid and add 3 pre-soaked leaves of gelatine, return the liquid back to the berries.

In the dishes you have chosen to use (I’d recommend Martini glasses for the full effect) first place enough blackberries to fill the dish to about a third of the way. Top with a disc of chocolate sponge & chill for about ½ an hour. Next add the lukewarm custard & again top with a disc of chocolate sponge.

The trifles can be made up to this stage & stored in the fridge for up to 6hours.

To finish the trifles, gently squirt the ‘whipped cream’ on the top & finish with some grated chocolate or wild blackberry just prior to serving.

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One thought on “British Food Fortnight: Wild Blackberry Trifles

  • jessicameilly

    Wow! I’ve enjoy reading and learning sites about British food
    ! It makes me hungry, so I will try to prepare this to my family and I will eat first the chocolate sponge! It looks very delicious. Hope that my family will appreciate what I’ll prepare this weekend. Thank you for sharing this and I like it very much. Keep up the good work!