Ultimate Christmas trifle

Eight generous portions


295g/10oz Madeira cake, readymade or homemade

150ml/5fl oz sweet sherry

135g pack of raspberry jelly cubes

150g punnet fresh raspberries, but save a few back for decorations

1 large can of fruit cocktail to include juices

1kg carton ready-made custard


300ml/10fl oz double cream, whisked to soft peak

85g flaked almonds, toasted

1 chocolate flake


1. Make the jelly following the manufacturer’s instructions on the packet, then put to one side.

2. Crumble the Madeira cake into the base of your poshest trifle dish.

3. Pour over the cake the fruit cocktail juices and sherry. Don’t be shy with the sherry, but don't float the sponge or your guests will need a taxi home.

4. Set to one side for five minutes.

5. Scatter over the fruit cocktail and fresh raspberries.

6. Pour over the jelly carefully, then help it set by putting the bowl in the fridge for a few hours.

7. Once the jelly is set, pour over the custard and level flat with a spatula or the back of a tablespoon.

8. Pipe or spoon on the soft peak cream on top of the custard and scatter over the flaked toasted almonds and chocolate flake, with a few raspberries scattered around.

9. For best results, prepare your trifle the day before and keep in the fridge in readiness for the big day, being one less job to worry about.

10. Top Christmas tip from me: trifle is also a smoothing hangover food of the Gods.