There is an inherent difference between men and women, or at least between Matt and I. I want fuss and time and effort, Matt wants anything for the easy life – the less stress version.

This is most obvious by looking at what I made each of us for a birthday cake. I wanted a stunning three layer brightly coloured cake, lots of time, lots of effort, lots of stress and essentially (in this case) disappointment.

Raspberry and Whisky Trifle

Matt however wanted… nothing, he wouldn’t be drawn on what he wanted at all as his birthday cake this year. For a while I thought about making a lemon torte, but I have tried umpteen different recipes and none of them worked, none of them were really even tasty. In the end I gave in to what he wanted which was the least stress option.

But no I couldn’t give in entirely, however I could opt for the less stress, minimal effort and tiny chance of failure option instead. This way I could relax which seems to be all he actually wanted.

So I did meet him half way between triple-layer-disaster-cake and nothing at all. I made him a simple trifle. I avoided the common pitfalls like deciding to make my own jelly, sponge and custard. Instead, shock horror, I bought them all in Tesco. The appeal of trifle for Matt I would guess is the simplicity and if I went around making raspberry and champagne jelly, topped with homemade sponge fingers and custard made-from-scratch – it just wouldn’t be the way he would like it. You know, the way you get trifle at christmas, it’s just a shame I couldn’t get those teeth-breaking-80s-silver-ball-things to really complete the look!

Raspberry and Whisky Trifle

~ serves 6, as I was making individual sizes I only made two

  • 1 packet of jelly, I used raspberry
  • 4 raspberries per person, you could chose other fruit but be careful some fruits stop the jelly from setting.
  • 1 packet of sponge fingers, I only used two
  • 1 shot of whisky, I used Highland Park
  • 1 tub of custard, we had plenty of leftovers
  • spray fresh cream, you could of course whip your own – it’s still relatively low-stress!
  • 1 Cadbury Chocolate Flake

Make up the jelly as per the packet instructions. Pour into your individual trifle glasses (as you can see I used coffee glasses for mine) dropping in the raspberries. Then place in the fridge. Leave until it sets, this could take a couple of hours, so make sure to do this step as early as possible.

Once the jelly is set, you need to soak the sponge fingers in Whisky. Pour the whisky onto a plate or small bowl and dunk in each sponge.

Soaking sponge in whisky

You don’t want the sponge to be soggy it’s just enough to soften it slightly. Place the sponges on top of the jelly.

Add the soaked sponge layer

Pour the custard on top of the jelly, trying to ensure there are no visible gaps on the outside.

Pour in the custard layer

Add the cream on top, and flake the chocolate.

Top with cream and flaked chocolate

Voila. A simple birthday treat, that was easy and stress free.

Despite not really liking Whisky I was surprised at how well it worked here as it kept the trifle from being way too sweet. If you still don’t want to use whisky for taste or the alcohol, I would try to use something with a strong but unsweetened taste. Coffee would actually be a great example (one which I am dying to try myself).

This trifle went down really well with Matt, it was pretty and tasty, I think we probably ate it too quickly in fact because the time between jelly setting and the trifle being eaten was only 20 minutes or so!

Empty Trifle Glasses