The big difference is the quality of the ingredients. I made some vanilla cupcakes for the sponge which were made with proper vanilla and even with all of the other flavours, that vanilla came through. I used Pedro Ximenez sherry which is the ultimate desert sherry, although it's strongly flavoured, the vanilla still stood out proud. I didn't make my own custard but I used a really good quality fresh custard with fresh vanilla. I also missed out jams and jellies and used fresh raspberries. The last change I made was not leaving it for long steeping times, I went from assembly to eating in pretty quick succession so that everything retains a bit of texture rather than becoming an amorphous mass of sludge.
Is this an expensive dish? Well it can be but most of my ingredients were from a discount supermarket at a fraction of the price you'd pay elsewhere.
Sherry Trifle - Serves 1
1-2 Vanilla cupcakes
1 tbsp Pedro Ximenez Sherry
A handful of fresh raspberries
4 tbsp Fresh real custard
2 tbsp Softly whipped cream
1 tsp flaked almonds
Make the cupcakes if you are making and allow to cool. I really recommend using real vanilla or vanilla extract (not essence) or buy some good quality vanilla sponges.
Toast the almonds in a dry, non stick frying pan (keep stirring, they burn easily.)
Break up the cupcake into the bottom of a glass dish or large wine glass, if you have small cupcakes you may want to use two. Sprinkle with the sherry then top with the raspberries, then custard finishing with the cream.
Add the almonds onto the top or a few extra raspberries if liked and serve immediately.
Has it converted me? Yes I think it has.