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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Making an Old-Fashioned Trifle

Trifle is certainly not a fashionable dessert any longer, yet it remains one of my firm favorites. Every Christmas, without fail, my maternal grandmother would make a huge trifle and the whole extended family would gather at their home for Christmas. The kids would sleep in the lounge on a huge Christmas bed and the adults would try and fit into the bedrooms. Those are some of my fondest childhood memories and no doubt is a primary reason for my nostalgia about trifle. When I was in high school, I tried my first attempt at making trifle. How difficult could it be? My gran said that you prepared the different parts separately and then simply mixed them together. I did just that! What I got was a gooey mess that resembled something associated with castor oil, which does not belong on a food blog! Yet, I learned from my mistakes and am happy to walk you through the pitfalls of trifle in today's blog.

The day before the trifle is needed:
Normally when making a trifle, you would start by baking a sponge cake. Any sponge cake recipe would do just fine. Seeing as we have a birthday in the family three days prior to Christmas, we always have cake leftover, and this is what I use in my trifles of late. It has taught me that just about any cake tastes good in a trifle - and it keeps things interesting.

You will also need to prepare 2 or 3 flavours of jelly. Try to keep the colors varied and interesting.

Normally, you would simply let the jelly set and then scoop it out when mixing the trifle. As I was looking for ways to occupy the kids, I supervised while they mixed the jelly and poured it into moulds to set in interesting shapes.

On the day the trifle is needed
Layer the cake in the bottom of the dish you will be serving the trifle in. You can also use a complete sponge cake, or smaller individual cakes.

Lay a layer of any fruit you like on top of the cake. We had a brilliant season for peaches and managed to preserve a number in jars. This is what I choose to use.

Loosen the jelly from the sides of the moulds with a knife and pop the jelly out. Or, simply scoop chunks of jelly onto the fruit.

These pretty shapes will not be seen in the end, but the kids still had great fun making it.

Make a thin custard and layer it on top of the jelly.

The dish will show some of its layers when viewed from the side.

Whip up 250 ml fresh cream. Add 5 ml vanilla essence.

Add a heaped tablespoon of icing sugar (or sweeten to taste).

The cream can be spread on, piped on, or dolloped onto the pudding. This is your choice!

I added a couple of moulded jellies, nuts and cherries to decorate the top.

A side view shows your guests what delicacies await them when they dish up.

A top view pleases the eye.

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Remember to keep nurturing your TALENT for making PRETTY things.
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