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Robert Irvine’s Raspberry Porter Trifle with Chocolate Ganache and Whipped Cream


British Chef  Robert Irvine says “The British Christmas traditions and US traditions are fairly similar in a lot of ways, besides the fact that we Brits say "Happy Christmas" instead of "Merry" and we refer to St. Nick as "Father Christmas." There are some big differences with regard to the food we serve on Christmas Day. One of my favorites that you do not see much in the States is the English Trifle, comprised of differing layers of various sweet flavors such as: fruit, whipped cream, chocolate, and Crème anglaise. This dish has a bit of everything for your "sweet tooth."


For the raspberry gelatin

  • 1 (3-ounce) package raspberry gelatin
  • 1-2 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 Cup boiling water
  • 1/4 Cup ice water
  • 1/2 Cup porter

For the crème anglaise

  • 1/2 Cup milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, or vanilla extract, to taste (approximately 3 tablespoons)
  • 2 bananas, sliced and tossed with lemon juice
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 (12-ounce) pound cake, thawed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 (29 to 32-ounce) can fruit cocktail, drained
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream

Ganache and Topping

  • 4 Ounces semisweet chocolate pieces or chocolate squares, finely chopped
  • 1/2 Cup heavy cream whipped until light and fluffy with an electric beater, for topping
  • 2/3 Cups heavy cream


For the raspberry gelatin

Dissolve gelatin and sugar in boiling water. Add cold water and porter. Cover and set aside at room temperature.

For the crème anglaise

Take out 4 (16-ounce) or larger wine glasses or snifters (note that the idea of a trifle is to see the layers).

Pour the milk and heavy cream into a heavy bottomed saucepot and scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pot (or add vanilla extract). (If using a vanilla bean, put the vanilla pod in the pot as well.) Add half the sugar to the pot and bring to a simmer (just below a boil). In a small bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the rest of the sugar and temper it by adding a small amount of the heated milk mixture to the bowl while whisking constantly (known as a liaison). Now pour the liaison (egg mixture) into the milk pot, stirring constantly. You are only heating it. Do not boil. Do not cook. The idea of a liaison is to incorporate the eggs and avoid making them into scrambled eggs! You want the mixture to begin to thicken so it will coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool, then remove vanilla pod and discard, and refrigerate until chilled.

Spoon fruit cocktail into each glass as a base layer. Follow with a layer of cubed pound cake, then a layer of sliced bananas. Spoon about 1/3 cup gelatin/porter mixture on top of the fruit and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours until the gelatin is set.

A few minutes before serving, make the ganache, place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to just under a boil in a small saucepan. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let sit for about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir gently with a rubber spatula until the chocolate is melted and smooth. If the chocolate is not melting readily, nest the bowl in another bowl of very hot tap water.

Spoon crème anglaise over the chilled trifle and drizzle with ganache. Spoon whipped cream on top to finish.

Serve immediately. 

Ganache and Topping

Nutritional Facts
Calories Per Serving966
Total Fat56g87%
Vitamin A519µg58%
Vitamin B120.9µg14.4%
Vitamin B60.2mg10.8%
Vitamin C14mg23%
Vitamin D2µg1%
Vitamin E2mg10%
Vitamin K6µg7%
Folate (food)67µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)88µg22%
Folic acid12µgN/A
Niacin (B3)3mg13%
Riboflavin (B2)0.5mg31.2%
Sugars, added33gN/A
Thiamin (B1)0.3mg17.4%