Christmas Special: Hartley's Black Cherry Jelly Trifle

I have always been in awe of the English dessert trifle. The layers of sponge cake doused in alcohol, balanced with jelly, fruits, custard and cream is like the ultimate dessert to me. After sampling it a few times, I did a bit of research and found out that this dessert has a long history and a longer debate about what constitutes a proper trifle. Needless to say there are thousands of recipes out there. Some people swear by the jelly in the trifle, some dismiss it as a mere modern addition. But of course they are mistaken, jelly has taken it's place in trifle since the 18th century. Feeling a little confused and a whole lot overwhelmed, I shelved my trifle making plans. Till Hartley's sent me this trifle making kit and I just could not say no. The star ingredient of this trifle is Hartley's newly launched Black Cherry Jelly. Since I never made a trifle before, I decided to stick to the recipe that Hartley's had sent me and it made a super indulgent trifle. Though next time I would soak my sponge cake in sherry to give it an adult kick!

I think it's a perfect dessert for Christmas, specially since you can make it a day ahead and leave it in the fridge to set and there is always that wow factor when you bring out the trifle to the table.

Hartley's Black Cherry Jelly Trifle Recipe

Sugar (for decoration)
Madeira cake 
Canister of whipped cream

To make the jelly
Hartley’s 135g Black Cherry jelly (or a flavour of your choice) 
1 pint of water

To make the syrup
300g of fresh raspberries (keep a handful aside for decoration)
1 jar of Hartley’s Raspberry Jam

To make the custard
300ml milk 
300ml double cream
2 large eggs and one egg yolk 
50g caster sugar
50g cornflower
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the desired look you will need 8 glass cups. 
·        Wipe a wedge of lemon around the edge of each cup
·        Dip the cups in a bowl of sugar, moving it round clockwise until the rim is covered in sugar
·        Set aside until they are ready to be filled

·        Make the jelly according to the packet instructions

To make the syrup
·        Add half a pot of Hartley’s raspberry jam to a sauce pan with your fresh raspberries
·        Cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes before removing from the heat and leaving to cool

To make the custard
·        Add the sugar, cornflower and vanilla into a large mixing bowl. Next add the eggs  and egg yolk before whisking until the mixture is blended
·        Pour milk and double cream into a pan and heat gently until hot but be careful not to boil. Pour this over the egg mixture and immediately whisk until blended
·        Wash pan to remove any scum from milk, and then pour the mix back into the pan heating gently and stirring constantly until thickened. Do not panic if the mix is lumpy just continue to heat and whisk until it is thick and smooth.
·        Finally pour into a jug and cover with cling film to prevent any skin from forming, and then set aside to cool

Making the trifle
·        Cut 8 1cm slices of Madeira cake, place one slice into the bottom of each cup, pushing down to make sure it covers the bottom 
·        Next pour the raspberry syrup generously over the Madeira slice
·        Take the chilled jelly from the fridge and spoon into the cup on top of the Madeira cake
·        Spoon in some custard on top of your jelly layer
·        Next whip cream and apply over the fresh custard
·        Finally place a couple of fresh raspberries on top and pop in the fridge to chill for two hours before enjoying with friends

Thanks Hartley's Jelly for the trifle making kit and the recipe. I sure enjoyed making the trifle and writing this post.


  1. I should not show this post to my son whose favourite dessert is this. but mine is not even half as gorgeous as this one.

  2. OH what a delectable trifle, Suchi. I've always been intimidated by the notion of making a trifle but I find them so tempting as well. Yours looks simply delightful.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Suchi...oh so pretty:)

  3. perfectly prepared trifle to celebrate Christmas

  4. Awesome and delicious looking dessert.Wonderfully taken pics as well.

  5. it looks like a lot of treasures to eat:)


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