Butterscotch and Banana Trifle with Madeira

There are endless variations on the trifle theme, and this is the latest Delia version.

It's wickedly rich and quite wonderful – not for an everyday event, but perfect sometimes for those really special days. This is best made the day you want to serve it. I used to scatter the nuts on just before serving, but forgot them so many times that I now put them on directly after the cream.

The best way to measure the syrup is to first weigh the saucepan, keep it on the scales, then add a 5 oz (150 g) weight, and pour the syrup straight in.

Delia Online Cookery School: You can also watch how to make Traditional English Trifle in our Custard, Meringues and Pavlova video. Just click the recipe image to play.

A picture of Delia's Complete How to Cook

This recipe is from Delia's Complete How to Cook. Serves 6-8

  • method
  • Ingredients


First of all make the butterscotch sauce, and to do this place the golden syrup, butter and sugars in a small saucepan.

Then place over a gentle heat and allow to slowly melt and dissolve, giving it a stir from time to time, which will take 5-7 minutes. Let it continue to cook for about 5 minutes, then gradually stir in the double cream and vanilla extract until well combined. After that, let it cool. While it's cooling, make the custard. To assemble the trifle, begin by first of all splitting the trifle sponges in half lengthways, spread each half with butterscotch sauce, then re-form them into sandwiches. Cut each one across into three and arrange the pieces in the base of the glass bowl. Now make a few stabs in the sponges with a sharp knife and carefully pour the Madeira all over them, distributing it as evenly as you can. Then set aside to allow the sponges to soak it all up – about 20 minutes.

Now peel and slice the bananas into chunks about ¼ inch (5 mm) thick, scatter these all around the sponges, then pour the remaining butterscotch sauce as evenly as possible all over. Pour the custard in next, then cover the bowl with clingfilm and let the whole lot chill in the fridge to firm up. Meanwhile, pre-heat the grill, line the grill pan with foil and toast the pecan nuts carefully for about 4 minutes, watching them all the time, as they burn easily. After that, whip the double cream to the floppy stage, spread it all over the trifle, scatter the toasted nuts on top, re-cover and chill till needed. You can also watch how to toast nuts here.


5 fl oz (150 ml) Madeira
8 trifle sponges
For the topping:
1 quantity Traditional English Custard (see Related Recipe below)


You will also need a 3 pint (1.75 litre) glass trifle bowl

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