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Tuesday's Letters Eat 16: 'J' is for Jelly: Philistine's Trifle.

I am not going to let the fact that I am not a billionaire stop me from making The MasterChef Trifle, however it will be the Philistine's Version!!!

I used some sparkling wine which cost $10 instead of champagne for $100, and frozen raspberries: $2-50, one third of the mascarpone, just one bunch of rhubarb and sponge fingers. It doesn't look too bad for a generic trifle!!!

There were some issues with he leaf gelatine for the jelly, which is the J for this week. The leaves from Germany are repackaged here, but there is absolutely no information on the packet, the label, or the company's web site to indicate the ratio of gelatine leaves to liquid. I shan't buy any gelatine from the HBC Trading Company again until their labelling information is updated.

I googled 'Titanium leaf gelatine' and the suggested ratio was 1 leaf: 250ml. This didn't set, so I added 4 or 5 more sheets and that did the trick. I think the ratio is more like 1 leaf:100ml of liquid for a jelly for this particular leaf gelatine.

I more or less halved the quantities from The MasterChef and the trifle almost fills a 3 litre container. For ease of transport and storage I used a BPA free plastic airtight container.


Jelly Trifle: Philistine's Version   serves 8-10

  • leaf gelatine to set 750ml of liquid
  • 1 bottle of sparkling wine, 750ml
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 1 cup or more, of frozen raspberries
  • sponge finger biscuits or savoiardi
  • 1 bunch of rhubarb cut into 3cm lengths
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 1-2 tbspn water
  • optional blueberries/raspberries
  • 250g mascarpone
  • 200ml double cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 75g pure icing sugar, sifted

Put the wine and sugar into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for a minute then remove from the heat and cool slightly.

Meanwhile soak the correct number of gelatine leaves in cold water for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water and then add to the cooled wine mixture, stir to dissolve. Pour into your trifle bowl and then add the raspberries and cover. Refrigerate for about an hour. Mine gave a lovely jelly wobble at about an hour. I left it a little longer though, just in case.

There were some leftover frozen blueberries and raspberries so they were added to the rhubarb, sugar and water. Bring the fruit to the boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Cool.


To make the mascarpone topping, gently beat the mascarpone till it is creamy and then add the double cream, vanilla bean paste and icing sugar. Beat only to soft peak stage and refrigerate till needed.

Once the jellied raspberries are set, begin to layer the trifle. First the sponge fingers, then the rhubarb and fruit which has thickened nicely on cooling, and finally the mascarpone mixture. Smooth the top, cover tightly.


Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, overnight is better, before serving.

A trifle of trifle

NB The Philistine's Trifle doesn't have an extravagant garnish of a kilo of chocolate curls or 2 punnets of raspberries, but feel free to add whatever you like!!! MrsDrWho and I declared this to be a delicious concoction with just the right amount of sweetness balancing the slight tartness of the jelly. A definite for Christmas this year!!




I love the notion of titanium grade gelatine leaves.


It looks amazing! I am so impressed you made jelly for reals! I'd love to try champagne jelly, I'll have to try to find some titanium strength gelatine leaves!


You definitely score a 10!


Yum! I'll have some of that please!


Looks so yummy & I like your version. I think you won the Immunity Pin.




that looks divine!!!!!!!!!!!


oh i love a good trifle. nothing philistine about that version!


oh that whole titanium thing is perplexing isn't it? I've never gotten my head around it. And I never know if recipes mean the full size sheets or the half size sheets! Such trouble.

But it's all gorgeous Cindy. Great work!


Oh yum!! Great adaptation, well done!


I think I might need to make this!


Wow! That's wonderful! It's very Christmassy in color, but I think a good, cool treat for summertime too!


I love trifle....it is my next-to-best dessert. I'm a bit boring though as I only like the old fashioned traditional trifle....madiera cake, port wine jelly, peaches (in nectar please!!)& I will now condescend & use Oak brand fresh custard rather than make my own from custard powder & add whipped cream.

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