Let Them Eat: Bananas Foster Trifle


This is hands-down one of the most wicked desserts I've ever put together: Cake. Booze. Custard. Meringue. Bananas foster.

This multi-layered trifle is anything but what its moniker implies it to be: it's not trivial, minor, or inconsequential. Trifles are easy enough to assemble and a great way to use up any stale cake that's in your pantry (not that cake ever gets a chance to dry up 'round these parts). Just toss it in, top with custard, fruit or jam, layer, and scoop out. Somehow all these bits and plops of stuff that on their own can provide a small treat meld together into a sublime dessert. It's a big old muddle, really, but what an exquisite, luscious mess it is.

This trifle is a compilation of recipes whose ingredients list reads like a Victorian three-volume novel. Don't worry—some of the components can be prepared in advance, then you just whip up the rest and assemble the edible puzzle.

The cake portion is brown sugar-walnut: dense, melting, studded with meaty walnuts. Once baked and cut into cubes, it's glazed with a heady, dark rum syrup. In the dish, blankets of vanilla custard and soft meringue are spread on the cake. Bananas foster— sticky and sweet with melted butter and brown sugar then set ablaze with liquor—sneak in between.

Do try it, it's much too good to pass up.