layers of strawberries and marsala wine.

Every time I watch a culinary program on TV or when I see a picture from Nigella or Lorraine on Instagram, I get hungry. Like, proper hungry. My eyes eat as crazy and, to my doom, I do have a stomach as big as my eyes (if not bigger).
I tried this recipe after scrolling down on Instagram and being marvelled with Lorraine Pascale’s Strawberry Trifle. It was Wimbledon’s season so plenty of the great and plump and sweet English strawberries.

I started by following a basic recipe of Madeira cake.
Crazy fact: the first time I heard about Madeira cake was through Mary Berry on GBBO and my eyes just started glowing. Oh, a cake named after my place of birth! Nope, it does not resemble anything I was thinking of nor it is our traditional Madeira cake nor it has Madeira wine. By doing a quick research on Google, I could find that it is named after Madeira wine as it was baked to accompany it.

Well, going back to the recipe. Starting with the Madeira cake. Lorraine says to use ready-made Madeira cakes but I just had to try to do everything from scratch (decided to do this as soon as I saw that the recipe for the cake was not that difficult. Otherwise ready-made would be great! And because the trifle recipe does not need any baking at all.)
I used James Martin’s recipe (love, love all his programs: Saturday Kitchen at BBC1, you’re one of my guilty pleasures). Please be aware that all the measurements are in grams or in ml. I know I am living in England but I stand by the metric system. But I do know what a pint is! It’s 330ml, isn’t it?!

James Martin’s Madeira Cake recipe (recipe’s link)

– 175g butter, at room temperature
– 175g caster sugar
– 3 free-range eggs
– 250g self-raising flour
– 2-3 tbsp milk
– 1 lemon, zest only

How to:
1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Grease an 18cm round cake tin, line the base with greaseproof paper and grease the paper.
2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture well between each one and adding a tablespoon of the flour with the last egg to prevent the mixture curdling.
3. Sift the flour and gently fold in, with enough milk to give a mixture that falls slowly from the spoon. Fold in the lemon zest.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and lightly level the top. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30-40 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
5. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

After successfully doing a Madeira cake for the first time without burning anything (yes!), I decided to tackle Lorraine’s trifle. I must say that I was a bit afraid as the photo I saw was just a-ma-zing. I decided to put my grown-up cape on and went ahead. And had a glass of the strong liqueur needed for the recipe. Just for a tasting, to check if my Marsala wine went done well with the recipe. I do need to say that for this recipe, one needs her vision at 100%.

Lorraine Pascale’s big fat tipsy trifle recipe (recipe’s link)

– 2 x ready-made Madeira loaf cakes
– 150ml amaretto (or any strong liqueur)
– 800g strawberries, hulled, cut in half lengthways
– 250g amaretti biscuits, crumbled
– few drops vanilla extract
– 100g icing sugar
– 900ml double cream
– 200g white chocolate, grated

How to:
1. Put the trifle dish on a large tray to make it easy to carry. Slice one of the Madeira cakes into 0.5cm slices and use a few of the pieces to line the bottom of the dish. (Make sure they are nice and tight and in a single layer, so push down any bits that are standing up too high.)
2. Brush the sponge with some of the amaretto. Then take a few strawberries halves that are roughly the same size and put them point upwards on the outer edge of the cake so the cut edges are pressing up against the glass. Repeat all the way round the dish.
3. Sprinkle some crumbled amaretti biscuits on top of the sponge to a third of the way up the strawberries.
4. Place the vanilla, icing sugar and cream in a bowl and whisk until thick and well combined.
5. Spread a third of the cream on top of the strawberries and crumbled biscuits, and smooth it down with a spoon.
6. Once the cream mixture is level in the bowl, wipe round the edge with kitchen towel. Sprinkle over with white chocolate.
7. Repeat the layering process until the bowl is full, finishing with a layer of strawberries. Chill in the fridge until ready to eat.

I tried my best not to eat all the strawberries during the assembly. Some were gone mid-battle but with the Marsala they went down well. As soon as I finished the assembly, my eyes couldn’t believe what I had just done. Nor did my husband’s, when he arrived from work.

The trifle was a success and a joy to eat and to look at. An easy recipe to do and one that impresses the beholder and the eater at the same time. Hope you have fun doing it as I had (except sometimes when I mistakenly ate a strawberry that was the exact size for that place in the row of strawberries and I had to find a similar one. I blame the Marsala.). The photo shared above was my trifle, no one else’s. Yes, you can drop dead on the floor.

More to come next week from Tatiana Daily’s kitchen (it’s more my husband’s kitchen, I cannot touch anything without him getting pissed but he, without a choice, borrows it to me during the day or else he would sleep on the balcony).

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