Most people in the US have never had English Trifle. It's an interesting dessert involving cake, jello, fruit, and whipped cream. If you want to go to the effort of making it all from scratch, be my guest. If you want to use a bakery pound cake or cream cake and instant pudding mix, go ahead. This is a make-ahead dessert great for summer treats or dinner parties when you want to wow people.
Basic Trifle (my version, I don't claim to be authentic, but I do claim to be tasty. That didn't come out right. I'm not offering myself as the main dish. My trifle isn't authentic, but it is tasty. How about that?)
1 pound cake (bread loaf size)
1 6 oz box raspberry gelatin
1 8 oz tub whipped topping
1 lb fresh strawberries, sliced
1 6 serving size box of instant vanilla pudding
2 c. milk
Mix the gelatin according to package directions. Set aside. Cut cake into squares. Arrange cake in bottom of large glass bowl. (This is a fancy dessert, you want to show off the layers. If you don't have a large glass bowl (4 qt size), use a 9x13 glass baking dish.) Carefully pour gelatin over the cake. Refrigerate until gelatin is mostly set, about an hour. Hint: if you freeze the cake, the gelatin will set faster and won't soak clear through the cake pieces.
Mix pudding with milk, whisk until smooth. Remove cake/gelatin from refrigerator. Layer on 1/2 the strawberries, top with 1/2 the pudding and 1/2 the whipped topping. Repeat the layering with the second half of everything. Return to refrigerator for at least one hour to let everything set up.
Serve and enjoy.
Now for the fun part. You want pound cake and pudding from scratch? Here you go:
Pound Cake (based on an old Betty Crocker recipe)
2 c. flour
1 c. sugar
3 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/4 c. shortening
1/4 c. softened butter
1/2 c. milk
1 t. vanilla
Heat oven to 350°. Grease and flour 2 8x4 loaf pans or one bundt pan. Measure everything into a mixing bowl. Beat 30 seconds on low, scrape bowl. Beat 3 minutes on high speed. Pour batter into pan, it should be thick. Bake 65-70 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Invert pan onto a baking rack and remove pan. Let cake cool completely before slicing.
Pudding from scratch
1/3 c. sugar
2 T. cornstarch
1/8 t. salt
2 c. milk
2 t. vanilla
Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a 2 qt saucepan. Stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture thickens and boils. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. To keep it from forming a skin while it cools, take a large piece of plastic wrap and press it on top of the pudding inside the pan. Remove and discard the plastic when the pudding is cool. Whisk the pudding until smooth. Put in a tightly covered container and refrigerate until ready to use or serve.
Variation: Use 2 c. of canned coconut milk instead of regular milk. Dairy free and just as tasty!