Champagne jelly, raspberry and mascarpone trifle

Photographer: Emma
Makes one big bowl

Christmas couldn’t come any sooner for me this year.  I am already buying into the buzz of the silly season by eating and drinking too much and compared to last year  I am as cool as a cucumber.  I am not strung out about what to serve for Christmas dinner, where to go for the 3 week break or what is on the present list. My dining table is a pile of homemade chutney, ribbon, truffle ingredients and wine.  My friends and family may not be getting snazzy personalised presents but they will be getting something handmade, something to eat or something to drink and I think my mental health will be in much better spirits for it.

This trifle is a little classier than the sponge cake, tinned fruit and raspberry jelly variety but it’s just as simple to make.


½ bottle sparkling wine
20g gelatine mixed with 2 tbsp boiling water
2 tbsp sugar (optional, depending on how sweet your wine is)

500g frozen raspberries
2 tbsp icing sugar

250g mascarpone
500g fresh cream

To assemble
2 packets of lady finger biscuits
Fresh or frozen berries to top the trifle


1. Add the boiling water to the gelatine powder and sugar and stir to dissolve.
2. Add this gelatine/water/sugar mixture to the sparkling wine. Whisk gently.
3. Pour the champagne jelly mixture into a dish lined with plastic wrap (I used a large shallow Tupperware dish but you could use a slice pan or roasting tray). Refrigerate.
4. Add half the berries and 2 tbsp icing sugar to a saucepan and heat for 5 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to break down the berries and produce a sauce.
5. Put the other half of the berries into a bowl to defrost.
6. Whisk the fresh cream with the mascarpone. You want a thick consistency but be careful not to over mix.
7. Once the jelly has set, cut it into cubes, about 2cm x 2cm.
8. To assemble the trifle, first add a couple of scoops of the cream mixture to your trifle bowl.
9. Then soak a couple of ladyfinger biscuits in the berry sauce. Soak just for a minute as you do not want the ladyfingers to be soggy. Layer these on the cream.
10. Spoon a few of the defrosted berries on top of the lady fingers.
11. Next add a couple of the jelly squares to the bowl.
12. Repeat until your trifle bowl is full! You will need more lady fingers each time if your bowl is graduated.
13. Garnish with the defrosted berries or fresh berries and serve. 14. Alternatively you can cover with plastic wrap and garnish and serve the next day.