Trifles, a timeless English dessert, usually consist of cake cubes soaked with brandy, rum, or liqueur and layered with jam and custard. This 1974 version has crushed fresh fruit for the jam and a rich vanilla pudding for the custard. Assemble and refrigerate the trifle a day before serving so the pudding, berries, and liqueur have time to flavor the cake.
In a medium bowl combine the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small saucepan heat the milk and butter or margarine until butter or margarine melts; keep hot. In a large mixing bowl beat whole eggs with electric mixer on high speed for 3 to 4 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add the 1 cup granulated sugar, beating constantly at medium speed for 4 to 5 minutes. Add dry mixture to egg mixture; stir just until combined. Stir in hot milk mixture and vanilla. Turn batter into prepared pans. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes or until wooden toothpicks inserted near the centers of cakes come out clean. Cool on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove from pans. Cool completely on racks.
Set aside a few strawberries for garnish; crush enough remaining berries to make 2 cups. Stir the 3 tablespoons sugar into crushed berries.
To assemble, split cake layers in half horizontally to make 4 layers. Fit 1 layer into bottom of a 2-quart souffle dish (8 inches in diameter); spread 1 cup of the crushed strawberries over the top. Top with second cake layer; sprinkle with half of the liqueur or orange juice. Spread with Fluffy Filling. Place third cake layer on top; spread remaining crushed berries over. Sprinkle cut side of fourth cake layer with remaining liqueur or orange juice; place cake, cut side down, over berries in dish. Cover; refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, sift powdered sugar over trifle. Top with whipped cream, reserved berries, and mint. Makes 12 servings.
In a saucepan combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium-high heat until bubbly. Slowly stir 1/2 cup of the hot mixture into beaten egg yolks. Return mixture to pan. Cook and stir 2 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in butter or margarine and vanilla. Cover surface with plastic wrap; refrigerate until completely chilled. Just before assembling trifle, in a small bowl beat whipping cream until soft peaks form; fold into chilled mixture.