Trifle with Strawberries and
Caramel-Coated Bananas



  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 10 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plus 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, lukewarm


  • 1 1/2 cups milk (do not use low-fat or nonfat)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chilled whipping cream

Caramel Syrup

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup plus 5 tablespoons water


  • Confectioners' sugar
  • 2/3 cup raspberry jam
  • 8 tablespoons dark rum
  • 2 (1 pound) baskets fresh strawberries, hulled, sliced, or three 10 ounce package sliced frozen strawberries in syrup, thawed, drained well
  • 8 medium bananas, peeled, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • Additional fresh strawberries
  • Additional bananas
  • Whipped cream
  • Fresh mint sprigs (optional)


  1. Cake: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jellyroll pan with vegetable oil spray. Line bottom of pan with wax paper, extending paper slightly at short ends; spray paper.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat 5 eggs, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl until mixture triples in volume and is thick enough to fall in heavy ribbon when beaters are lifted, about 12 minutes.
  3. Sift 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour over batter in 2 additions, gently folding just to combine after each addition. Drizzle 2 1/2 tablespoons butter over and fold in gently (do not over-mix or batter will deflate). Pour batter evenly into prepared pan.
  4. Bake cake until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Transfer pan to rack; cool cake. Repeat with remaining ingredients and another pan to make second cake. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover cakes with foil and store at room temperature.)
  5. Custard: Place milk in medium saucepan. Scrape in seeds from vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to boil. Whisk yolks, sugar and flour in medium bowl until smooth. Gradually whisk in hot milk mixture. Return mixture to pan; whisk over medium heat until custard thickens and boils, about 4 minutes. Strain into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface. Chill until cold, about 3 hours. Using electric mixture, beat cream in medium bowl to stiff peaks. Fold cream into cold custard. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
  6. Caramel Syrup: Stir sugar and 1/3 cup water in heavy small saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber, brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan occasionally. Remove from heat. Add 3 tablespoons water (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until caramel is smooth. Pour caramel into medium bowl; mix in remaining 2 tablespoons water. Cool. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; let stand at room temperature.)
  7. Assembly: Sift generous amounts of confectioners' sugar over 2 kitchen towels. Cut around pan sides to loosen cakes. Turn cakes out onto prepared towels. Peel off paper.
  8. Stir jam and 2 tablespoons rum in small bowl to blend. Cut each cake crosswise in half. Spread half of jam mixture over 1 piece of each cake. Gently press second piece of each cake onto jam.
  9. Cut cake sandwiches crosswise into 3/4-inch-wide strips. Arrange enough cake strips in 3 1/2- to 4-quart glass trifle dish or bowl to cover bottom, trimming strips to fit and allowing jam layer to show at sides. Brush cake layer with 2 tablespoons rum. Top with half of sliced berries, arranging some to show at sides of dish.
  10. Add banana slices to caramel syrup; gently stir to coat. Using slotted soon, remove banana slices, a few at a time, draining all excess caramel back into bowl. Layer half of banana slices atop berries, arranging some to show at sides of dish.
  11. Spoon half of custard over bananas, spreading to side of dish. Repeat layering with cake, rum, berries, banana slices and custard. Arrange remaining cake strips atop custard; press gently to compact. Brush with 2 tablespoons rum. Cover trifle. Chill at least 4 hours and up to 10 hours. Cover remaining caramel syrup; store at room temperature.
  12. Halve additional berries. Slice additional bananas. Arrange fruit atop trifle, leaving 1-inch plain border at edge. Brush fruit with enough caramel syrup to glaze. Spoon cream into pastry bag fitted with medium star tip. Pipe cream around fruit.
  13. Garnish with mint, if desired.

16 servings

Source: Bon Appetit, December 1997

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