Truly Scrumptious Trifle

DSCI1211 “You’re truly, truly scrumptious…it’s no coincidence that you’re truly, truly scrumptious!”

And as the classic all-time favourite movie is airing, the one and only, majestic Ian Fleming’s  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, we’re celebrating all that’s delicious, delightful and deliriously decadent with our Truly Scrumptious Trifle! One for festive frolics and a super indulgent pudding for Christmas time and special occasions.

Ingredients

Serves 6 – 8

For the awesome base:

4 trifle sponges

A little raspberry, strawberry or blackberry jam

250g frozen mixed berries, defrosted

2 bananas

150ml sherry or Madeira

For the dreamy custard:

3 large egg yolks

50g castor sugar

1 tsp of cornflour

275ml of whipping or double cream

1 vanilla pod or 1 tsp of vanilla essence

For the fluffy topping:

325ml of whipping or double cream

50g flaked almonds, toasted

Dawn: This is one of my all-time favourites that makes me really think it’s Christmas! 

Andrew: The ingredients alone are very decadent…how do we start?

Method

  • Taking the trifle sponges, cut each in half, lengthways and spread one side of each with the jam preserve of your choice. Position in the base of a large glass bowl and prick the top of each sponge with a fork.
  • Pour the sherry or Madeira over the sponges, making sure each is covered in the golden looking liquid. Set aside in the fridge while you make the custard to allow the trifle sponges to absorb the liquor. You may wish to prepare these the night before you use to serve the trifle, if you wish.

Dawn: While we’re waiting for the sponges to do their job, we’ll start to make real custard. A wonderful treat and tastes like pure silk on the tongue. So here’s how we start: 

  • Put the egg yolks, cornflour and castor sugar in a bowl and mix together until they are combined to become a bright, yellow jewel.
  • Put the custard whipping or double cream in a saucepan adding either the vanilla pod which is first cut its length and the seeds scraped out along with the outer pod put into the cream, too or add the tsp of vanilla essence.
  • Gently heat the cream and vanilla mixture on a hob until hot then add to the egg mixture, stirring as you do to combine the ingredients.
  • Now pour the custard ingredients back into the saucepan that you’ve used for heating up the cream and return to the hob.
  • Heat gently, stirring constantly.

Dawn: You must stir the mixture constantly to avoid any lumps forming if it’s left alone. 

  • The custard will start to thicken and when it does, take the saucepan off the hob, remove the vanilla pod if you’re used one and set the custard aside to allow it to go completely cold.
  • Remove the trifle sponges from the fridge which will have absorbed the liquor by now.
  • Peel the bananas, slice and scatter across the trifle sponges. Add the defrosted mixed berries, too.

Andrew: Can I use fresh fruit, Dawn? 

Dawn: Yes, Andrew. I’d look at using any ripe soft berries such as strawberries, raspberries and/or blackberries. If you have them, you can also add red and blackcurrants. 

Andrew: Mmm…fruit! Now what? 

  • With the cream set aside for the fluffy topping, whisk it to a thick consistency with an electric hand mix.

Dawn: You’ll know the cream is ready when you can make upright peeks in it. 

  • Make sure the custard is cold and pour this over the trifle sponges and berries base.
  • Next, scoop out all the delicious, fluffy cream topping and make sure all the custard is covered.
  • Finish the trifle off by scattering the toasted flaked almonds all over the fluffy topping.

Dawn: And hey, presto! Truly Scrumptious Trifle! My favourite!

Andrew: It looks too wonderful to tuck into! Did I tell you a man was found in a doorway covered in sponge, fruit, custard and cream! Police are warning that his attackers are not to be trifled with!

Dawn: Hilarious, I’m sure!

Andrew: It is! Do carry on!

Dawn: Carrying on…it’s a really lovely treat recipe and one I make once, possibly twice a year because it’s so high in sugar! But every mouthwateringly delicious bite is to be savoured and it really, really is Truly Scrumptious!

For more delicious delicacies, follow the Cooking Duo’s tips and recipes on this blog and at Twitter @Love_Food_UK.

Advertisements

Traditional Roast Turkey

IMG-20131225-00800

Dawn: Christmas Dinner! Don’t you just love it!?!

Andrew: Absolutely! The most important meal of the year, isn’t it Dawn?

Dawn: It is, but there are so many horror stories about the whole thing,

Andrew: What a shame that is. However, I believe that there is too much panic about Christmas Dinner. Turkey is delicious, low in fat, wonderful in flavour and equally tasty hot or cold.

Dawn: Do you prefer fresh or frozen, Andrew?

Andrew: I do prefer fresh. I go to the same butcher each year. He buys the entire stock from a farm in Norfolk, and has done since 1972! I know that my turkey this year has been organically fed and running around happily until a couple of weeks ago. I do know that some people will buy a frozen one. My parents do. Frozen turkeys can be just as tasty and flavoursome as a fresh one. It’s just a matter of following a few simple steps and having a bit of patience.

Dawn: Sage advice! If you have a frozen turkey, you must defrost it thoroughly for at least 24 hours before you cook it. You must make sure you have no ice crystals left at all, otherwise you are asking for a dose of food poisoning.

Andrew: And equally, don’t keep a turkey, fresh or defrosted, in a warm environment before it is cooked. It’s best to place it in a shed, or an unheated room before cooking. 

Dawn: Away from prowling felines! There are a lot of suggestions about turkey. What do you think?

Andrew: There are suggestions you should soak it in brine, in cola, in water. I have done this for years, and it has never let me down.

Dawn: Fire away!

Ingredients

1 x 14lb (6.5kg) turkey

6oz (175g) of butter

8oz (225g) of streaky bacon

Salt and frshly milled black pepper

Stuffing as required

1 red onion

1 orange or clementine

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 7/220º C.
  • Arrange two large sheets of foil in a roasting pan. One lengthways, the other widthways. Ensure these are long enough to make a ‘tent’ over the turkey.
  • Stuff the turkey breast with stuffing of your choice, if using. Fold over the neck skin underneath,
  • Rub the butter generously into the turkey, paying particular attention to the legs and thighs. It seems very fatty, but this is essential to stop the turkey drying out.
  • Lay overlapping layers of streaky bacon over the turkey breast and season with salt and pepper.
  • If you wish, for extra flavour, place a red onion, or a clementine, or an orange, possible studded with cloves, into the body cavity. I never stuff the cavity – it adds to the cooking time.
  • Fold the foil over the bird, allowing an air space around the bird.
  • Place the turkey in the oven and cook on this high temperature for 40 minutes.
  • After this time, turn the oven down to gas mark 3/170°C electric.

Dawn: And now I can relax, can I?

Andrew: Indeed you can! Aside from preparing your vegetables, but we cover that elsewhere!

Dawn: For this weight of turkey, wait about 3 and a half hours more.

  • Remove the turkey from oven, and turn the heat up to gas mark 6/200ºC electric. Fold back the foil from the top of the turkey, take off the bacon slices, and start to baste the turkey, with a long handled spoon or turkey baster.
  • Place the bacon on an ovenproof plate or dish, returning it back to the oven placing it in the bottom. It will crisp up and is delicious as ‘bacon bits’ with the finished dish.
  • Return the turkey to the oven and continue to baste it with the juices over the next half hour or so.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven. Test the juices! Skewer the breast, thighs and lower body. This is ABSOLUTELY essential. The juices should run clear.
  • For each 1lb/500g greater or less than the amount in this recipe, add/subtract 15-20 minutes to the cooking time. If the juices are not clear, return the turkey to the oven.

Dawn: Test to see if the juices are clear by sticking a fork into a plump thigh of the turkey and this with ensure the juices run easily from the bird. If they are clear, pop the turkey back into the oven until they are.

  • When the turkey is fully cooked, remove from the oven, fold the double foil layers over the top, and leave to sit under the foil to settle for 45-60 minutes.

Dawn: This allows the turkey meat to set and solidify. It is much easier to carve at this point.

Andrew: Carving! Now there is a trick! I have a couple of easy options here. Slice off the entire breast. It is easy once the meat has settled.

Dawn: I like some of the leg meat too! This can be cut using a good sharp knife, too. Serve with some of the other amazing recipes on our food blog and remember to follow us on Twitter @Love_Food_UK and here, on the blog, too. 

Fabulous Frittata

IMG-20131219-00775

Frittata is one of those incredibly versatile Italian dishes which in this rather Anglicised version is a fantastic way of using up leftover ingredients, or whatever is growing in your garden at the time.

Dawn: Brilliant! This is just what we want from this blog! Affordable, in season, available and not at all wasteful!

Andrew: And also extremely easy, with a little patience and care.

Dawn: So Maestro! What is the difference between a frittata and a Spanish Omelette?

Andrew: No that isn’t a cue for one of my corny jokes! Not much really. A Spanish Omelette is basically a combination of potato, onion and egg, and is quite thick when served. You may have seen this as tortilla. Fritatta is also a form of omelette. It tends to be thinner, but is also served sliced.

Ingredients

Serves 6

Any combination of vegetables, meats, seafood  and herbs: see below for suggestions

1 tbsp of olive oil

Four eggs

Method

  • Heat a heavy bottomed 8 inch/20 cm frying pan on a gentle heat.
  • Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, and fry your chosen filling until tender, or until your meat or seafood is cooked through thoroughly.
  • Mix your eggs together in a bowl or mug, then pour into the pan, cooking on a low-medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  • The top of the frittata will start to set at this point. Here you have two options: either heat the pan under a grill until browned on top, or flip the frittata over, placing a plate on top of the pan, turning it over so it drops onto the plate, then slide it back into the pan to finish cooking for 2-3 minutes.
  • Turn out onto a plate or chopping board, allow to cool and then cut into 6- 8 slices.

Dawn: Great with a salad, new potatoes and some runner beans I would guess.

Andrew: I have just done three of these for my colleagues for our Christmas buffet lunch.

Dawn: Three! What was the price?

Andrew: Value range eggs, about £2.50 for a dozen, and vegetables I had in. I estimate about £5 for the lot!

Dawn: Tremendous value! Budget eggs outside of the City are often cheaper, starting at about £1.50 per 12 plus eggs so worth knowing, Now tell me about these fillings

Andrew: There are no rules, but I did these:

  1. Mixed coloured vegetables- red onion, yellow pepper, red chilli and a few frozen peas.
  2. Courgette, mushroom and thyme.
  3. Sausage, red pepper and chilli powder.

Dawn: I have some prawns and spring onion in my fridge. Chorizo and red pepper might work too. And shoudl these be cooked before adding? 

Andrew: The beauty of this dish is that ‘anything goes’!

Dawn: Or ‘anything goes in’!! Amazing! When do we add the vegetables or whatever we have in at the time, Andrew?

Andrew: I pre-cook the additional ingredients as it speeds up the overall cooking time and add them pre-adding the eggs. And what makes this another firm favourite is that this is just the kind of good value an oh, so easy to do recipes we want to promote. Keep an eye out for @Love_Food_UK on Twitter for our other fantastic recipes.