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!


Marvellous Mocktails

The Twelve Recipes of Christmas continues with nine ladies dancing…merrily with their mocktails infusing their evening.

We give you: Marvellous Mocktails

Dawn: (Singing away) On the ninth day of Christmas my true Love Food gave to me…

COUGH COUGH CROAK!!! Something tasty to drink after all this merry melody-making and fun-filled dancing!

Andrew: I have just the thing or three!

Dawn: I could empty a Cinderella slipper of more-ish delicious liquid! I’m that parched!

Andrew: How about some alcohol-free cocktails?

Dawn: Ideal! Refreshing and just the thing for our readers who are looking for a healthier option after the indulgences of the season.

Andrew: Something more interesting for our designated drivers, too!

Dawn: So have you had your inventing hat on?

Andrew: Indeed I have! Three varieties for you to sample!

Dawn: Excellent! Can’t wait (perches in a ladylike fashion on a high-backed cocktail bar stool after all the merry dancing and watches Andrew start to mix his magic).

20160102_210233(1)Mango and Ginger Fizz


Stem ginger, peeled and diced into small cubes

Mango juice

Drop of lime cordial


Ice cubes


  • Place a teaspoonful of stem ginger at the bottom of a glass.
  • Half fill the glass with mango juice. Stir well.
  • Add a ‘finger’ of lime cordial. Continue to stir.
  • Add ice if desired. Top with lemonade.
  • Garnish with a sprig of mint and a sliver of lime.

20160103_182509Cranberry and Elderflower with a Pomegranate Punch


Elderflower cordial

Cranberry juice

Pomegranate seeds

Sprig of mint

Ice cubes


  • Half fill a glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour in elderflower cordial to about one third of the way up the glass.
  • Add cranberry juice to a little below the top of the glass. Stir well, as the cranberry will sit on top of the elderflower.
  • Sprinkle on 2-3 teaspoons of pomegranate seeds. Some will sink and others will sit on the ice cubes.
  • Serve with a sprig of mint.

20160103_191849Strawberry and Rhubarb with a Rosemary Twist


2 Sticks of rhubarb

12 Strawberries, ripe and juicy

Elderflower cordial

Sparkling water OR lemonade

Sprig of rosemary

Pomegranate seeds

Ice cubes


  • Stew two sticks of rhubarb, cut into 2cm pieces, in a little water and sugar in a pan until tender. Drain, cool then press through a sieve, collecting the juice in a glass below.
  • Press half a dozen very ripe strawberries though a clean sieve, collecting the juice in the same glass.
  • Half fill the glass with crushed ice. Top up with dilute elderflower cordial (1:1 with sparkling water or lemonade).
  • Add a sprig of rosemary, and a few pomegranate seeds for an extra sparkle.

Dawn: Beautiful colours and wonderful textures, too.

Andrew: Refreshing and vibrant; a tasty homemade alternative soft drink combination for the festive season.

Dawn: Congratulations, Andrew! You’ve given Tom Cruise a run for his money, that’s for certain! They are absolutely delicious! More, please, Sir!

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!

Smoked Mackerel Pate

The Twelve Recipes of Christmas

Dawn: (Singing) On the eighth day of Christmas,

My true Love Food sent to me

Eight maids a-milking…

Andrew: I’m getting quite used to this now!

Dawn: Excellent! I’d hate for you not to be getting into the swing of things!

Andrew: So, eight maids a-milking and what of the Twelve Recipes of Christmas are they bringing, do tell?

Dawn: All will be revealed!

Drum roll, curtains lift to reveal…

Dawn: A deliciously simple smoked mackerel pate recipe…so simple…it’s utterly delish!



Serves 4

400g Smoked mackerel fillets (boneless)

200g soft cheese (low fat version)

1 and a half lemons, freshly squeezed (or bottled juice)

1 anchovy fillet

Salt and pepper to season


  • Remove the skin from the smoked mackerel fillets and any bones that you can see.
  • Put the smoked mackerel, soft cheese, anchovy fillet and lemon juice into a food processor and blitz until the ingreiients are combined.
  • Taste and season. Blitz quickly to mix the seasonings into the mixture.
  • Pot up into four ramekins and serve either with crispbreads, toast or a salad.

IMG_3735Andrew: That is simple – and mmm…delicious (reaches for a second pot of smoked mackerel pate)

Dawn: Thanks. It was a concoction I created wanting something different than turkey at this special time of year.

Andrew: This certainly tastes very special, indeed.

Dawn: And mackerel is packed full of those lovely omega-3 oils that are so good for our metabolism, wellbeing and general health. 

Andrew: Here’s to celebrating this Christmas season with deliciously simple food and drinks that are good for us.

Dawn: I’ll drink to that (clinks glasses of tasty treats yet to come on this blog!)

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!