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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Tipsy Pudding or The famous English Trifle ~ A British Festive Dish

Few days back I have posted a British era recipe of Country Captain Chicken, today I'm going to post another such recipe which is very much associated with the British still today. We, Kolkata Food Blogegrs are recreating such British Era dish as a part of KPC Nutrifest Event.

     The recipe I'm sharing today is called, "Tipsy Pudding". It is popularly know as English Trifle, which is one of the traditional and most favorite dessert of British still today. With a name like this, there's no doubt that this pudding has a little something extra to give it a "kick."
  Tipsy Pudding is the alcoholic version of The English Trifle and it is served at British homes during Christmas time and on special occasions. It is very easy-to-make dessert and believe me, every house has their own recipe of this, that means you can use your favorites and assemble them into a Trifle.

What is English Trifle :

         A trifle is a dessert made from thick custard, fruit, sponge cake, fruit juice and whipped cream. These ingredients are arranged in layers in a transparent glass bowl or in a tall glass with the sponge cake forming the bottom layer. The alcoholic version is known as tipsy pudding. In original Tipsy Pudding the layer of cake is well soaked with sherry or rum or wine and served with a boiled custard poured over it.  This dish got its name because it can make one slightly tipsy from the wine or sherry in it. The Non-alcoholic versions use fruit juices instead of the sherry or wine as some liquid need to be use to moisten the cake layers. 
       No specific recipe need be followed for preparing a Trifle. It all depends on the availability of the ingredients. One can make a trifle using ingredients that are readily available at home. Basically, there are 3 to 4 things we need to prepare and then assemble them in layers into serving dish. 
 (some information about this recipe is collected from Bridget White-Kumar's Tipsy pudding recipe)
There are many versions available of this pudding recipe, but I am following the recipe from Bridget White's Anglo-Indian Recipes

So we need :

A sponge cake : you can make it at home or buy a basic sponge cake from store
Freshly prepared vanilla custard
Fresh fruit/ canned fruit
Fruit juice : enough to soak the fruit pieces

Few drops of rum/sherry or wine
Your favorite jelly/jam : 1-2 tblsp.
Whipped cream - traditionally it is a must but in variation you can skip it too. 
For decoration - dry fruits, candied cherries, fresh fruits, toasted sliced almonds

Method ::
So, basically we need to make a sponge cake and vanilla custard and then assemble in a transparent trifle bowl or tall glass.

1st layer - Sponge cake layer 
I have recently posted the recipe of an eggless n butterless lemon flavoured Sponge cake

For Vanilla Custard :

You can make it from the readymade mix available in the market following the package direction, but if you want to make it fresh at home, don’t worry. It takes hardly few minutes from scratch.
For that we need,
2 cups milk
2 eggs,
2 tblsp. Cornstarch
1/3 cup sugar
1 tblsp. Vanilla essence

How To :
  •  Keep aside 2 slightly beaten eggs. 
  • Combine milk, sugar and cornstarch in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk with a wire-whisk and allow milk to boil until tiny bubbles form around the pan. Whisk occasionally to prevent cornstarch from clumping on bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and keep aside. 
  • Mix 2 tblsp. Milk mixture into eggs using whisk, then add eggs into milk mixture in a slow stream, whisking milk mixture continuously. Immediately, return pan to heat and whisk gently until custard thickens, another 2-3 minutes. Do not allow it to boil. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Tips : Custard will thicken more after it cools down.
Assembling ::::
Preperation : 
  • If you are using fresh fruits, cut them in small pieces. Then soak in fruit juice.
  • If you want to make the alcoholic version, add few drops of rum/sherry or wine in the fruit juice.
  • Keep the custard ready.
  • Chop the sponge cake into small pieces. 
Assemble :
  • Take a tall and clear glass or bowl, arrange the cake pieces at the bottom of the glass.
  • Then add 1-2 spoonful of fruits with fruit juice, so cake pieces can soak the juice. 
  • Next, place 1 tblsp. of your favorite flavour of jam or jelly. 
  • Next comes vanilla custard. Pour 2-3 tblsp. of vanilla custard on top. 
  • Now place 1-2 tblsp. of whipped cream over the custard layer. You can skip it if you don't have whipped cream. 
  • Decorate with fresh fruits and/or slivered almonds, candied cherries etc.


Wednesday, November 27, 2013 / by / 6 Comments


  1. I like the name Tipsy Pudding, very delicious and very tempting..

  2. Looking simply delicious pudding.

  3. These are some great tips.For those who could use some more specific advice, tips and information about great article thanks for posting…

    clock table & 3m command


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