The traditional English trifle is easy to make, but loaded with calories; however there are ways to lighten the calorie and fat count, including replacing alcohol (which makes it kid friendly) with the juice from mashed or frozen berries. By replacing sponge with angel food cake we can reduce the fat count and finally, a lower fat custard will provide contentment without guilt.
The joy of the recipe is that the kids can help assemble it and best made ahead of time. It is a great dessert for the summer. The custard takes the longest time to prepare, but unlike pre-packaged foods, you know exactly what is in it.
Heavenly Light Low Fat English Trifle
- 1 small angel food cake (buy or make your own)
- 4 cups fresh seasonal and/or frozen fruit, halfed strawberries or any other berries, sliced bananas, kiwi,
- 1/4 cup sugar free berry preserves (optional if you are using fresh fruit)
- 4 cups Guilt Free Custard (recipe follows)
- Additional fresh fruit, and slivered almonds for garnish
- Cut cake into 2-inch-thick slices and cut slices into rectangles or strips.
- If you are using fresh fruit, you can either mash up a cup to generate some juices and spread that or some jam on your cake strips. Frozen fruit will generate lots of juice as they melt.
- Arrange half the cake, jam-side up, in the bottom of a 12-cup serving bowl. If you use a glass bowl or trifle bowl you get extra points for presentation. I have used square glass vases in the past.
- Arrange half the fruit over the cake layer and spoon half the custard over the fruit.
- Repeat with remaining cake, fruit and custard. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. You can make this ahead and let it sit in the fridge overnight or until you are ready to surprise mom.
- Just before serving, arrange fresh fruit decoratively in the center and sprinkle with the almonds.
Never Fail Angel Food Cake
- 1-2/3 cups 12-13 egg whites fresh is best (if you use liquid whites or frozen your cake won't raise as high)
- 3-1/2 oz. (1 cup) cake flour sift three times
- 5 oz. (1-1/3 cups) confectioners’ (icing) sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1-1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 cup Granulated sugar (or sugar substitute)
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp. lemon zest finely grated
- Heat the oven to 325°F. This is the optimum temperature for Angel Food cake. Put the egg whites in the super clean bowl of a heavy-duty electric mixer. Set aside until the whites are slightly below room temperature, 60°F, about 1 hour.
- Sift the cake flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside. Cake flour gives you the best rise.
- Once the whites reach room temperature, whip the whites on medium-low speed until frothy . Add the cream of tartar; turn the speed to medium. Continue whipping only until soft peaks form. Do not overbeat as your cake will not reach optimum volume.
- In a slow, continuous stream, add the granulated sugar, whipping until the whites thicken and form soft, droopy peaks. In the final moments of whipping, add the vanilla and lemon zest. The mixture should be fluffy but fluid enough to pour.
- Sprinkle one-quarter of the flour mixture over the whites and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the whites. Continue folding in the flour mixture, one-quarter at a time, until it has all been added.
- Gently pour the batter into an ungreased 10-inch tube pan. You can also pour into 2 loaf pans or muffin tins. Use a knife to gently work cut through the batter to remove excess air bubbles.
- Bake in the bottom third of the oven until the top is light golden and the cake feels spongy and springs back when touched, 45 to 50 minutes.
- Immediately invert the pan onto the neck of a bottle or a funnel and let cool completely (at least an hour) before removing from the pan.
- To remove the cake from the pan, tilt the pan on its side and gently tap the bottom against the counter to loosen the cake. Rotate the pan, tapping a few more times as you turn it, until the cake comes free from the sides of the pan. Lift the cake from the pan. Ideally it should come out cleanly, leaving most of the crust on the sides of the pan.
- To serve, use a serrated knife and cut with a gentle sawing motion.
Luscious Low Fat Custard Sauce
- 3 cups skim milk divided
- 2 large eggs separated
- 1/3 cup cornstarch
- 1 1/2 tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup sugar substitute Stevia
- 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar or white vinegar
- 3 tbsp. water
- Whisk together 1/4 cup milk, egg yolks and cornstarch in a large bowl. Heat remaining milk in a heavy saucepan until steaming.
- Gradually whisk milk into the egg mixture. Return to the saucepan; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard boils and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla.
- Combine egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and water in a heatproof mixing bowl large enough to fit over the saucepan of simmering hot water.
- Set the bowl over the water and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, moving the beaters around the bowl constantly, until an instant-read thermometer registers 140°F (this will take 3 to 5 minutes).
- Increase the mixer speed to high and continue beating over the heat for a full 3 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the meringue until cool, about 4 minutes.
- Fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture.
- Transfer to a clean bowl and place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool slightly.