Introduction: Copycat: Marks & Spencer Strawbery Trifle

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So it was my best friend's birthday and she has alawys raved to me how much she loves the Marks and Spencer strawbery trifle that she would have as a kid in London. I got to try this for the first time with her last year and so i thought I would surprise her with a recreated recipe of her favourite dessert!

It is a very refreshing dessert which has a delicious strawberry compote base with soft vanilla sponge cake, vanilla bean custard and whipped cream. This recipe makes every component from scratch and i think it is really yummy so I hope that you enjoy it!

You can make all of these components on the day (just make sure the cake is fully cooled). But you can also make each component a day or so ahead but do the whipped cream the day of.

Step 1: Ingredients

Vanilla and Lemon sponge

½ cup caster sugar

¾ + 2Tbsp plain flour

1/3 Cup + 2 Tbsp milk

¼ cup soft better (55g)

1 Tbsp vegetable oil (not olive oile, try canola)

1 tsp fresh lemon zest

1 tsp baking powder

1 pinch salt

½ egg

½ tsp vanilla extract or paste

Vanilla Custard

35 grams Cold unsalted butter

4 egg yolks, room temperature

70g Caster sugar

35g Corn flour

1 pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla bean paste or vanilla pod (I did not have, it gives a great flavour!)

400ml Mile (I used full cream)

Strawberry compote

3 Cups finely chopped fresh strawberries (cored, hulled and chopped) (Frozen can also be used)

2 tsp sugar or to your taste (this depends on your preference and if the strawberries are in season

1 Tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp lemon zest

2 Tbsp orange juice

½ tsp cinnamon

Whipped cream (this makes extra because yum)

500ml whipping cream (35% fat)

¼ cup caster sugar

½-1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Step 2: Equipment

-19-20 cm circle baking tin

- baking paper

- scissors

- Spatula

- Electric beater

- Sauce pan

- Piping bag

- 4 small dessert bowls (i'm using 300ml bowls) (or one large bowl)

- Whisk

- Mixing spoons

- Masher

Step 3: Strawberry Compote

***Strawberry Compot***

To start wash the berries and cut off the leaves and chop the strawberries finely*

Then place the strawberries into a small saucepan, and add the orange and lemon juice, lemon zest and cinnamon and bring to the boil on a high heat. Then bring it down to a medium low heat and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes until the fruit starts to disintegrate. Stir it every couple of minutes to make sure fruit does not stick to the pan.

If you like your compote very smooth, you can also mash the berries with a fork or potato masher to make it smooth.

Once the compote has reduced (has thickened and more become sticky) taste it and add add a teaspoon or two** of sugar if neede (I did not need any as my strawberries were super sweet).

Then pour the compote into a bowl and allow it to cool. Then cover it in glad wrap and place it in the fridge for at least an hour.

*A little note is if you have different sized strawberries this will give a bit of texture, it is quite nice to have a bigger chunk of strawberry sometimes.

** It is better to have a slightly tart compote as the custard, cake and cream will be sweet as well. It will give a nice balance to the overall trifle.

Step 4: Vanilla Custard

***This step can be done ahead of time***

For the vanilla custard place the milk and vanilla (pod or paste) into a sauce pan and slowly bring to the boil on a medium heat, this prevents the milk from burning and will infuse the vanilla throughout the milk beautifully.

While the milk is heating up, in a separate bowl whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, salt and cornflour until it is light and thick. Then once the milk has started to simmer pour a few tablespoons of hot milk into the egg mixture and mix it together to 'temper' the eggs*. Then add this egg mixture to the vanilla milk and whisk for about 5 minutes on a medium high heat until it has thickened significantly. Trust me you will know.

Then take the custard off the heat when it is delicious and thick and let it cool for a few minutes. Then whisk in the cold butter a small bit at a time, whisking constantly until it is all encorporated.

Then allow the mixture to cool and pour into a separate bowl, cover with glad wrap and place in the fridge for about 1 hour or until cooled completely.

* Adding a small bit of heat to the eggs before pouring them into the pot of hot milk will prevent the egg cooking in the pot, resulting in lumps of cooked eggs.

Step 5: Prepare Your Cake Tin

Take a large square of baking paper and fold in inhalf to make arectangle, then in half again to make a square.

Then fold the square over the diagonal to make a triangle and fold it again to maks a smaller triangle.

Place the point of the triangle in the centre of the base of your cake tin. Then cut the small triangle at the wide base end ( not the pointed end) to the edge of the pan. Then open up the rounded triangle and magically you have a perfect circle to line the bas of your tin!!!

This is hard to understand reading this text (sorry i know it sounds confusing) it may be better to look at the pictures.

Step 6: Vanilla, Lemon Sponge

**This step can be done ahead of time**

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius (355 degrees Farenheit)

To make the cake batter, beat the soft butter until it is lighter in colour. Then add the caster sugar and continue to beat for another 2-3 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Add the ½ egg and beat again for another 2 minutes or until well combined. Then add the vanilla and lemon zest, quickly beat these in.

In a small separate bowl whisk together the plain flour, baking powder and salt (this prevents lumps and makes sure the baking powder is evenly distributed). Of course you can sift the flour but this way is less messy!

Then add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mix, and mix together, then add 1/3 of the milk and mix again. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk until it is all incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Then add the oil and beat it for about 10 seconds.

Place a couple dots of cake batter in the base of your cake tin then place the baking paper circle in the base of your tin. Then pour the batter in the tin and place in the oven to cook for between 15-18 minutes until golden brown and spongey on top.

Allow the cake to cool completely and then crumble it apart for assembling the trifle.

Step 7: Whip the Cream

Place the cold cream, sugar and vanilla in a bowl and beat together with an electric mixer until it is light and flouffy with stiff peaks. Then get a piping bag and spoon the cream in the bag, cut off the tip and put asisde for assembly.

Step 8: Construct the Trifle

You layer the trifle however you like, but to recreate the Marks and Spencer trifle we are using small individual bowls and place the compote in the bottom, try not to touch the sides of the bowl and it will mix up the layers. Crumble some sponge on top of the compote then the custard and then whipping cream on top. The Marks and spencer trifle has the whipped cream piped in lines on the top, of course you can fluff it up or make little dollops on top.

Place them in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Step 9: Eat the Trifle

There you go! I hope that you enjoy this and that you can try a delicious recreation of Marks and Spencer's Strawberry Trifle.

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