Zuppa Inglese

Why the Italians call Wine Trifle "English Soup" is beyond me, but it does make a pretty and festive dessert dish, with its pinwheels of sponge and jam, creamy thick custard, whipped cream and ruby-like, glistening topping of chopped port wine jelly. The only thing to be careful of with this delicious sweet is not to be too sparing with the sherry bottle!

You will need:

  • 1 x Swiss Roll cut into 2 cm (") slices
  • Sweet sherry or Marsala (be generous!)
  • Thick boiled custard
  • Whipped cream
  • 1 packet of port wine or raspberry jelly crystals made into a jelly

And this is what you do:

Buy or make one Swiss Roll. A Swiss Roll is a rectangular slab of sponge cake, about 30 cm (12'') wide by 40 cm (16'') long (or thereabouts), by about 2.5 cm (1'') thick, liberally spread with raspberry jam and rolled up whilst still warm into a ''log''. Procure your Swiss Roll a day or two before you want to make your Trifle - slightly stale Swiss Roll works better. Make your jelly and leave it in the fridge until needed. Cut the roll into round slices approximately 2 cm (") thick. Line a fairly large crystal bowl (because crystal looks good!) with the cut slices, squishing them together slightly so that there are no gaps. Sprinkle VERY GENEROUSLY with sweet sherry or Marsala, and set aside. Make your boiled custard, and when cool but not set, pour into the bowl on top of the Swiss Roll lining. The custard should fill the lined bowl to about the mark. Leave to set. Whip the cream with a little castor sugar and sherry (or Marsala) until it forms soft peaks, and spoon onto the set custard. Smooth gently with a knife or spatula. There should be about of an inch of unfilled bowl after this step. Take your jelly out of the fridge and mash it roughly with a fork - place spoonfuls of the mashed jelly on top of the whipped cream until it covers the top of the bowl evenly.

To serve:

Chill well before serving, where it should be spooned generously into dessert bowls at the table. A nice Botrytus or good dessert wine would go well with this.



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