Rosewater trifle


A delicately strawberry and rose flavoured dessert, designed to impress. Perfect for a special occasion.

For this recipe you will need two 20cm/8in cake tins.


For the strawberry jelly

For the crème pâtissière

For the sponge

For the rose cream

For the garnish

To serve

  • 1 punnet strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 1–2 pink roses, preferably organic


  1. For the jelly, put the strawberries in a large metal bowl with the sugar and 100ml/3½fl oz water. Cover with foil to seal well, then place over a pan of simmering water for 40 minutes. Strain off the liquid into a large jug or bowl and reserve the solids.

  2. Soak the gelatine in cold water for 5 minutes to soften. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, then add to the liquid strawberry mixture, stirring to dissolve. Add the rosewater and stir to combine. Pour into a tray. Cool, then chill in the fridge for 4 hours or until set. Cut half of the jelly into cubes for garnish and then set aside the other half.

  3. For the crème pâtissière, using a balloon whisk, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, flour and cornflour together in a large bowl. Combine the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over medium-low heat until almost boiling, then, whisking constantly, add to the egg mixture. Pour into a clean pan, place over a low heat and cook, stirring, until mixture is very thick. Strain through a sieve into a bowl and cover the surface closely with cling film to prevent a skin forming. Cool for 10 minutes, then chill until ready to use.

  4. For the sponge, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Lightly grease two 20cm/8in cake tins and line with baking parchment.

  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs a little at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition. Add the orange extract, mix in half the flour, then fold in the rest.

  6. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins and bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

  7. For the rose cream, whisk the cream, adding the rosewater as you go, until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Fold in the jam, being careful not to over-mix.

  8. For the garnish, reduce the oven to 110C/90C Fan/Gas ¼. Line a baking tray with parchment.

  9. In a large clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed. Whisk in the sugar a spoon at a time and continue to whisk into you have a glossy mixture. Spread on the baking tray in a circle the right size to sit on top of the finished trifle. Bake for 15 minutes.

  10. To serve, spread one of the sponges with the reserved strawberry juice pulp, and a little of the crème pâtissière. Sandwich the sponges together and cut into cubes.

  11. Place half the cubed sponge in a large serving bowl. Sprinkle with the halved strawberries, reserve a few for garnish. Melt half the remaining jelly with a little hot water. Pour over the sponge and leave to cool and set in the fridge for 2 hours.

  12. Add a small layer of crème pâtissière, some of the rose cream and the remaining the cubed sponge. Melt the rest of the jelly, pour it over, and leave to set again.

  13. Smooth the top with the rose cream. Top with the meringue and garnish with strawberry jelly cubes, strawberries and rose petals.