… “trifle”.

As if my poor dinner guests did not have enough to contend with at the old Palazzo Ben’Ambro, I recently concocted a quick, easy and utterly cheaty pud.  It can only by the most athletic stretch of terminology be described as a trifle, but what it lacks in authenticity and sophistication it makes up for on the ease and temporal economy fronts.  If you would know the secret of this dish, you need but read on. 

First, take as many slices of (moderately) stale brioche (you may cut off the crusts if you affect gentility) as you have mouths to feed, and either toast them till light brown or (if you care even less about your cholesterol intake than I do) fry them in a pan with butter till equivalently hued.  Next spread the slices with a thick layer of good fruity jam (I used an excellent Scottish bramble jam, but if you prefer lychee and guava, well… ).  Finally, scoop some pre-softened fine vanilla ice-cream (check for the speckling of vanilla seeds) onto each serving and garnish liberally with ripe soft fruit (brambles and raspberries do the trick nicely).

What else you choose to do in elaboration or adaptation of this simple receipt is your own affair.  I served mine in bowls laid on a table with spoons (and, I confess, forks) provided for ease of conveyance from dish to lip and with a passable Brown Brothers muscat: eating it out of last night’s pizza carton with disposable chopsticks and washing the lot down with Vimto, whilst not entirely lacking in post-Bohemian chic, will win you no style points in my book.

I have foreborne posting a photograph of the dish in question here: Fr E, if he is reading, will know why…