Before normal life started to shut down, I tried to stay away from having anything food-related as one of my new things. As someone who already actively looked for new foods to eat and make, it felt a little too easy. That’s changed over the past four months. My new adventures had to be limited to home, and food started to play a bigger part. Almost everything I’ve made has been delicious so I’m not complaining, I just want to acknowledge that I’ve noticed the slow increase in food-related posts, and actually want to tell you that there’s going to be more over the next few weeks. I’ve joined an online course at Puff the Bakery, making a few different recipes a week, so I’m just giving fair warning that the blog might be a little more food heavy for the next few weeks. Don’t worry, there will also be random exercise classes and strange crafts happening!
My first online class was for a trifle, something that is synonymous with Christmas for me. I don’t know who made them, but at every family gathering around Christmas time there a trifle would appear: one whipped up using jelly cubes, custard powder, and squirty cream. I’m not being snobby – it was delicious – it’s just this was my only experience of trifle, and so learning to make one entirely from scratch seemed like a challenging prospect as I had no idea what to expect.
The first part was the genoese sponge, an extremely light and fluffy sponge to use as the bottom layer. After watching the video and seeing how quickly the example one came together, I wasn’t expecting to be whisking the eggs and sugar quite so much, but it was ultimately worth it to see how good the final sponge turned out. First step done!
I’ve made cakes before so making the sponge wasn’t entirely out of my wheelhouse, but the next step – the creme diplomat a.k.a. the thick custard was something entirely new for me. I read the instructions, watched the video, and then reread the instructions before even starting. First, we had to make a creme patisserie, and then after a period of chilling, add whipped cream. This is really where the class became valuable for me, as without the video I would have been lost. Seeing exactly how the mixture should look at each stage really gave me the confidence that I was doing the right thing, and actually, it turned out incredible. I always stayed away from anything like this as it seemed too far out of my comfort zone, so it was really satisfying to see it turn out successfully.
The last part was the jelly, which I decided would be rhubarb and prosecco flavoured. After poaching the rhubarb in syrup, I added a bit of prosecco and realised I couldn’t find the bottle stopper. Oh well, prosecco for lunch it was! The rest of the trifle making went very smoothly after that…
As you can tell, I still need to work on my presentation skills, but I’ve got to tell you, this tasted fantastic – way better than I’d anticipated. The rhubarb jelly could have tasted stronger, but the dessert was really nicely balanced and so light I could have eaten the whole thing. I’m so, so happy with the results from this, it’s definitely given me the confidence and skills to make this again, and I think when Christmas comes, I’ll be the one providing the trifle this year.