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Scots Trifle

Trifle remains a year-round Scottish favouite and is regularly served at Christmas, New Year, parties, lunchtime and Burns Suppers. There is nothing to equal a home-made trifle!


600ml (1 pint) milk
25g (1oz) caster sugar
4 egg yolks
2 egg whites


6 sponge cakes
3 tablespoons of home-made jam
6 small macaroons
6 small ratafia biscuits (see recipe below)
150ml (1/4 pint) sherry
2-3 tablespoons whisky or brandy
300ml (1/2 pint) double cream
Glace cherries, angelica, fruit etc to decorate as required.


Bring the milk and sugar to the boil in a saucepan or double boiler. Whisk the egg yolks and whites together thoroughly and pour the hot milk over them, stirring well. Continue to stir over a gentle heat until the mixture runs in ribbons down the back of a wooden spoon. Strain into a bowl and cover to prevent a skin forming.
Next, split the sponge cakes and spread them well with jam. Cut into cubes and place them in the serving bowl, alternating each layer with crumbled macaroons and whole ratafias. Then pour the sherry and whisky or brandy into the bowl and leave to let the liquid soak in. Pour the custard over the top, whip the cream until stiff and then spread over the trifle. Garnish and chill well before serving.

Ratafia Biscuits

Ratafia is a flavouring made from bitter almonds or from the kernels of peaches or apricots. These biscuits have a deliciously different flavour.


2 egg whites
150g (6oz) caster sugar
25g (1oz) butter
1 tablespoon flour
125g (4oz) ground almonds
4 drops of ratafia essence


Beat the egg whites until they are stiff and standing in peaks, then cream the butter and sugar together. Add the flour and the ground almonds and mix well. Fold into the egg whites and beat thoroughly. When stiff, put mixture in an icing paper and pipe drops on to a greased baking tray. Bake at 350 degrees F, 180 degrees C, gas mark 4 for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes about 2 dozen.

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