Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer Trifle

This is a recipe born out of disaster.  The cake I baked for Vegan Daughter's birthday simply would not come out of the blasted Barbie shaped pan she wanted so badly.  I mangled it pretty badly and had to start again, but I tucked the disaster cake into the freezer rather than letting it go to waste.  So then I came up with this recipe.  Everything here is a rough guideline--put together whatever flavours and textures you want.  I included an easy pastry cream recipe, but if you want to use a vanilla bean then follow the method in this recipe. I like the combination of strawberries and raspberries in the sauce, but you can use whatever fruit is seasonal.  Or vanilla cake. As much as this is a "throw everything into a bowl" kind of recipe, it does take some planning unless you just happen to have extra cake lying around.  Finally, make sure everything is cold before you assemble the trifle.

- 3 cups cubed chocolate cake (a 1/2 recipe will do you with cake to spare)
- 2 cups sliced fresh strawberries (or more), tossed in 1 tbsp sugar
- pastry cream (recipe follows)
- whipped coconut cream (recipe follows)
- fruit sauce (recipe follows)

Easy Pastry Cream
- 3/4 tsp agar powder 
- 3/4 cup sugar 
- 1/4 cup cornstarch 
- 1/8 tsp turmeric (optional)

- 3 cups plain soy milk (or other non dairy milk)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp margarine 


1. Whisk together agar, sugar, cornstarch, and turmeric in a saucepan until well blended.  Slowly whisk in soy milk until well bended.
2. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to bubbling, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon.  Once bubbling, cook for two mins, stirring constantly.
3. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and margarine.  Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap with holes poked into it.  Refrigerate until completely cold.
4. Whisk the cold pastry cream until smooth before putting it into the trifle.

Whipped Coconut Cream
Either this recipe, or this recipe (I used the second one).

Fruit Sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1.5 tsp corn starch
- 1.5 cups sliced strawberries (or strawberries and raspberries mixed)

1. Whisk sugar and cornstarch together in a sauce pan.  Add berries and bring the whole mixture to bubbling over medium heat.  Add a splash of water if necessary.  Gently mash the berries once cooked, if needed, to smooth out the sauce.
2. Place in fridge to completely cool down.

ASSEMBLY (in a glass bowl):
Basically, the idea is to layer pastry cream, fruit sauce, fresh fruit, cake, and whipped coconut cream.  There really is no wrong way to do it. I only have the coconut cream in the middle layer and on the top.  Remember to reserve some of the fruit to make a design on the top, and some of the fruit sauce to ring the bowl if so desired.  

Cover and place in the fridge to set for a few hours before serving.