TO MAKE TRIFLE
on Ray . . . what a nice day for eating trifle, eating
trifles . . .
how do I make trifle?"
the song from the great English rock band 'The Jam'
said something like that anyway!
of the backlog requests I thought I would reply to via
this column, is a request that kind of sums up what
I discovered while on my trip to the UK. I found this
time around that the availability of produce in the
local supermarkets like Tesco's and Sainsbury's is amazing!
I was blown away by what the average person can now
pick up at the local supermarket . . . but what saddened
me was the lack of understanding with the product and
even less about how to cook it. The availability of
fresh produce might be second to none, but then so is
the availability of ready made products, like frozen
pre-made Yorkshire puddings, pre-roasted frozen potatoes
and more frozen ready to eat meals than you can shake
a stick at . . . where will it all end?
is no wonder then, that here at
Hub-UK we get inundated
with requests for recipes and cooking tips, with so
many of those requests for very basic recipes. No-one
seems to be teaching a whole generation how to cook
anymore . . . it is all heat and eat. A whole generation
is growing up where food is either bought at a local
takeaway or other fast food outlet or the upper cover
is peeled back and the container is popped into the
oven or nuked in the microwave.
help to start getting the culinary world back on its
feet, let's get back to cooking REAL food again, to
feeding ourselves, our friends and our kids dishes that
are made from scratch . . . just like they used to be
in 'the good old days'!
don't have to be an award winning chef, forget about
those ever smiling, arm waving, salt throwing, garlic
smashing, wise cracking TV chefs . . . just enjoy food,
enjoy spending time in the kitchen preparing what you
will undoubtably be so proud to serve up. Can't cook,
wont cook? Don't you believe it and, trust me gentlemen,
a woman finds a guy that can really cook a very sexy
prospect . . . trust me I know!
to this week's recipe - Bob C emailed asking for a recipe
for that most humble of English desserts trifle but
he wanted one that uses the Italian cake pannetonne.
Pannetonne is an Italian food that is like a cross between
a bread and a cake with various fruits in it, therefore
it makes a perfect substitute for the traditional sponge
in English trifle. Interestingly enough the Italians
call trifle Zuppe Inglaise which translates as
just what is trifle? Historically it has gone through
many changes, but essentially it is a dessert that is
made up of or utilises left overs. So do not be put
off by these fanciful recipes, use some common sense,
sprinkled with your own ideas and finish with some of
the ideas I give you here.
is nothing more than old cake sponge that has been softened
with fruit juices or alcohol, topped with fruits and
custard and finished with whipped cream - nothing could
be easier! That is basically the recipe in a nutshell
but from here however we need to look at it in more
depth and apply that all important 'common sense' and
some individual flare.
very dessert that is trifle was designed so as to
use up, stale, left over sponge cake that is then
softened back to an edible state with either fruit
juices or a sweet alcohol like sherry, port, cointreau,
not use fresh sponge as it just goes very soggy and
you have some left over sponge trimmings in the freezer
then use them for trifle they will be ideal and there
is no need to defrost it!
plain sponge is normally used, there is nothing wrong
with using a chocolate sponge, a coffee sponge or
if you have excess Xmas fruit cake laying around going
hard and crusty use that!
have made a great trifle using the English/Devo
nshire dough or saffron cake or as Bob from California
asked about, used your imagination and use some pannetonne.
But always, always use it stale!
versus fruit juices
personally hate trifles that use a layer of fruit
jelly to encase the sponge, it defeats the purpose
of a trifle and more often than not takes away from
the luxuriousness of this dish. The idea of a layer
of jelly in a trifle as far as I know comes from packaged,
pre mixes for trifle
you really want to add jelly to a trifle, make the
jelly separate, let it set and chop it up before adding
(see constructing the trifle)
is handy, takes your fancy or suits your taste buds
may be used, including:
juices: orange, apple, pineapple etc
juice: still or sparkling
tea or coffee (no milk)
chocolate, cocoa or milo
white wine: noble riesling etc
Grand Marnier, Kahlua, tequila, whisky, rum etc
. . . although these are all best added as an extra
to boost the non alcoholic fruit juices, or you
may find the trifle to over powering in taste
these in amounts just enough to moisten the cake and
add some flavour, do not drown it.
fresh uncooked berries or soft fruits like kiwifruit
fruits in a light syrup or pure fruit juice
hard fruits (pears, apples etc) or semi-hard fruits
(peaches, plums, necterines etc) that have been cooked
until softened in a stock syrup
cup of water, one cup of sugar, a squeeze of lemon
or lime juice, a cinnamon stick and a few cloves
(or a star anise may also be added). Bring to a
boil and simmer until it thickens slightly
some rhubarb or I love cutting it into lengths, sprinkling
it with honey and a little balsamic vinegar and roasting
it until soft at 160°C
some of granny's fresh fruit jam in the cupboard?
Use that in place of fruits or as an addition to (don't
use the mass produced store bought jams though)
can be made very easily fresh <click
here for recipe> or made from the packet,
custard powder or for an even easier version the pre-made
from the packet etc as is? Why be so boring? Flavour
it with an essence: coffee, chocolate, orange etc
or replace some of the milk / cream with a shot of
espresso or add some cocoa powder etc.
thick should it be? That is up to individual taste;
it can be thick and gluggy or a nice smooth, velvety,
to make it even richer? Replace some of the milk (milk
is normally called for in custard recipes) with cream
a custard with a little crunch? Add some of your favourite
nut roughly chopped into it
it all together
of all must come the choice of container: why go for
a big bowl when smaller individual ones are far more
your best wine goblets or champagne flutes if its
for a dinner party
using some cappuccino bowls
its for the normal family meal use some water glasses
its for kiddies use those Thomas the Tank, Bob the
Builder see through plastic beakers
its to take with you in a chilly bin for a picnic
why not use those plastic wine glasses or champagne
it is really a case of thinking outside the box
and using your imagination. Think of all those glorious
layers of colours you will be creating . . . why
would you not want to show them off in a see through
combination to use? I have given many variations of
ingredients to use and the best combination is what
suits your tastes best. Experiment and have fun, taste
as you go.
for actually putting it all together in the glasses:
a spoonful of the chopped fruit into the bottom
of the glass or a little clotted cream, creme fraiche,
plain sweetened yoghurt or for a real nice surprise
finish to the dish a little broken up Italian almond
macaroon soaked in a liqueur!
the sponge up and place it in nice and rough
with the liquor / juice of your choice: press it
down just gently to lightly compress.
do not squash it
you want to use jelly, make it separate, chop it
up and sprinkle some in now
in some of the custard
with alternate layers of the ingredients until almost
with a 'healthy' ( ? ) dollop of lightly
whipped cream, some creme fraiche or try slightly
freezing skimmed milk, then whip it up like a light
cream if you have one of those high powered 'magic
your Trifle and bon appetit . . . . .
quantity (add to taste)
meaning a whole one of
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