Opulent Orange Trifle

The Twelve Recipes of Christmas continues with our aptly named Opulent Orange Trifle.


Dawn: (Still singing in tune with the birds and doves of peace along with all small animals that like to hum along!) On the tenth day of Christmas my true Love Food gave to me…

Andrew: Something nearly as perfect as the pavlova.

Dawn: A trifle?

Andrew: Nothing short and sweet about this trifle, Dawn!

Dawn: No jelly and jam, I hope!

Andrew: Not a sign! Orange trifle. So luscious a creation that I’ve called it Opulent Orange Trifle.

Dawn: Which can be easily converted to a lemon version. See the end of the recipe for how, fellow festive foodies.


Serves 6 to 8

200g Traditional trifle sponges (or alternatively, a stale sponge cake can be used instead)

100ml Orange liqueur (or an equivalent volume of orange juice)

100g Amaretti biscuits

50g Meringue nests

300ml Fresh custard

300ml Double cream

1tbsp Icing sugar

¼tsp Vanilla extract

2tbsp Orange curd


  • Slice the trifle sponges in half and arrange at the bottom and sides of a trifle bowl. Alternatively split the ingredients evenly and serve in individual glass bowls or glasses like we have here.
  • Crush half the amaretti biscuits in your hands and scatter to fill any gaps.
  • Drizzle the orange liqueur (or juice) evenly over the slices, then spread the orange curd evenly on top.
  • Break the meringue into pieces and scatter on top of the curd.
  • Spoon the custard evenly over the meringue.

Dawn: You can make your own custard by using the recipe within a traditional fruit trifle – Truly Scrumptious Trifle.


Alternatively, buy ready made custard if time is restrictive.

Andrew: And the meringue nests can be made by using our Magical Meringues recipe.


  • Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract and icing sugar until it makes soft peaks.
  • Spread evenly onto the custard.
  • Dress with trifle dressings of your choice. Grated chocolate, almonds, candied lemon or orange zest. We used mini chocolate drops and the remaining amaretti biscuits.
  • Chill until ready to serve.

Andrew: Do make a lemon version is relatively simple, too.

Dawn: And we give you the recipe here.

Alternate Ingredients For The Lemon Trifle

Replace the orange curd with lemon curd.

Instead of orange liqueur, use lemon liqueur. For the non-alcoholic version lemon juice diluted and sweetened with sugar or honey is fine.

Andrew: A worthy addition to the festive season’s dinner table?

Dawn: Indeed it is. A delicious, indulgent and opulent treat at this very special time of year! Enjoy!


For more in this series of festively inspired food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find us on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!

Bejewelled Pavlova

The Twelve Recipes of Christmas series continues and this delightful pudding would look great at a New Year’s Eve celebration as well as welcoming guests on Christmas Day and throughout the festive season.

Drum roll…Bejewelled Pavlova

20151228_165818Dawn: (Still singing as if her life depended upon it…or singing for her supper…er, pud treat) On the fourth day of Christmas, my true Love Food gave to me…

Andrew: A delight of a desert; the perfection of pudding; the aficionado of afters; the doyen of desserts…

Dawn: Enough of the alliteration Andrew!

Andrew: Definitely Dawn!!

Dawn: And what do we have here?!?

Andrew: Pavlova! This is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. Like a meringue cake with a crisp crust and silky interior usually topped with fruit and whipped cream.

Dawn: Oh joy, oh joy! Perfect for the Christmas table! However, it requires a great deal of patience.


Serves 6 to 8

For the meringue

4-5 large free-range egg whites

225g/8oz caster sugar

½ tsp vanilla essence

1 tbsp cornflour

For the filling

400ml/14fl oz double cream

Fruit of your choice, fresh or tinned

A sprinkling of icing sugar, to decorate


  • Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
  • Draw a guide circle on a sheet of baking parchment (paper) using a plate as a template. Turn the paper over, and set to one side.
  • Whisk the egg whites in a large, clean bowl with a hand or electric whisk until they are stiff but not dry.

Andrew: This can be tested by holding the bowl over the head of a friend.

Dawn: I’ll just retreat to the other end of the kitchen while you do that!

  • Whisk in the sugar, a spoonful at a time, for a few seconds between each spoonful. The slow addition builds up volume in the meringue and make it stiff yet silky and shiny. Finally, whisk in the vanilla essence and cornflour until well combined.
  • Position the baking parchment, drawn side down, on the baking sheet, held in place by a dab of meringue mix in each corner.
  • Spoon the meringue into the still-visible circle. Shape with a rubber spatula to create a large meringue nest, with soft peaks rising on all sides and a well so that the whole construction resembles a very large “nest”. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour until very lightly coloured and crisp on the outside. (If the meringue seems to be becoming too brown, reduce the temperature of the oven). After 1 hour, turn the oven off and leave the meringue for a further hour.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

Dawn: We did this one evening and returned to it the next day to complete the dish.

  • Carefully remove the meringue from the baking parchment, using a spatula if necessary, and place onto a large serving plate.
  • Whip the cream into soft peaks and spoon into the centre of the meringue.
  • Top with the fruit of your choice.
  • Decorate and dust with sifted icing sugar to serve.

Andrew: We used redcurrants, nectarines and kiwi for a bejewelled effect.

Dawn: Anything to hand or in season will be fine. Passion fruit, pomegranates, summer fruits…the list is endless and we suggest you use what fruits you have in or seasonal produce.

Andrew: Peaches, apricots: there is no limit to your imagination.

Dawn: A delight to behold and looks very pretty! It’s very reminiscent of a Christmas “Welcome” door wreath! Simply gorgeous and oh, so more-ish to eat!


For more in this series of festively inspired food ideas, then follow this blog here and keep up-to-date on Twitter. Facebook and Mumsnet are websites you’ll find us on, too – so keep looking for tasty recipes coming!

Date, Brazil Nut and Banana Loaf

This tasty and filling loaf is a cake in disguise! Made with banana as its base and succulently delicious dates and brazil nuts added to boost the sheer yumminess of this edible delight, it makes for a scrumptious addition to any afternoon tea cake stand display.



8-10 slices

175g plain flour

50g polyunsaturated margarine

50g sugar (granulated or castor)

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 egg, beaten

3 very ripe bananas, peeled and smashed together

75g dried and pitted dates, chopped


  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, 200°C electric.
  • Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
  • Put the margarine and sugar in a bowl and cream together.

Dawn: With a spoon, start to mix the margarine and sugar together so that they begin to form a thick ‘paste’ and continue to mix until the two ingredients have formed a light and fluffy looking consistency. 

  • Next, beat the egg into the margarine and sugar mixture until all three ingredients are combined. Then add the bananas, a little at a time until they are incorporated into the mixture.
  • Add the chopped dates and mix.
  • Add the bicarbonate of soda and the flour, sifted together.
  • Pour the mixture into the lined loaf tin and place in the centre of the oven to bake for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown in colour.

Dawn: To test to see if the loaf is baked, simply push a knife blade into the centre and if it emerges clean, the loaf is baked. If there’s googey mixture on the blade, the loaf needs baking a little longer. I’ve recently started using an old, sterilised knitting needle to start testing whether or not a cake is cooked and I simply pierce the cake with the needle – if it comes out clean, it’s cooked. Simple!

  • Serve warm or cold.

Dawn: Adding fruit to a recipe is a natural way of increasing its sweetness factor and it’s worth pointing out that the riper the bananas are, the sweeter they will be so you may wish to compensate for any extra sweet taste by reducing the actual amount of sugar used in the recipe. 

Slices of this delicious fruity concoction taste even more divine with lashings of a delicious preserve spread liberally on them.


Fit for a King – or a Duchess! As in the case of Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford who born the idea of afternoon tea as a bridge between breakfast and dinner in the nineteenth century. Back then, it was the norm for only two meals to be consumed during the day with dinner being served in the evening so many people found the late afternoon a time of hunger. The Duchess thought of the idea of having a pot of tea, bread and butter and a slice of cake served to help her ward off hunger until her dinner which was served at the fashionably late time of 8pm. And hence, the birth of afternoon tea, whereby the upper classes would take a “low” or “afternoon” tea at 4pm with the “middle” and “lower” classes taking a more substantial “high” tea later at 5pm or 6pm as substitute for dinner. It soon became a traditional which was adopted across the British Empire with its colonies spreading far and wide from India to the West Indies. 

The Cooking Dynamo’s recipe for Banana Loaf can be found here http://wp.me/p3lk3r-qX


For more delicious treats, tasty meal ideas and food tips, follow this blog – www.forfoodlovers.wordpress.com – Twitter @Love_Food_UK and we’re also on MumsNet Bloggers Network. See you over there!