Monday, July 1, 2013

Not A Trifling Matter... This Matter Of Trifles.

Recently, I made a savory cornbread salad trifle,
a rather unconventional combination,
since traditionally,
a trifle is considered to be layered dessert
made with cake, custard, whipped cream, and fruit.

And for the life of me,
I can't figger out why somebody would call this a trifle.
By definition, trifle means
something insubstantial or of little consequence
and in culinary terms, a trifle is anything but.

Today, I'm making a dessert trifle.
For the cake part of my trifle,
I'm going with a Lemon Sponge Cake,
an incredibly light and moist cake with a lemon syrup.
For my fruits,
I have strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
I'm making a Crème Anglaise to pair with the strawberries.
I love the flavors of lime and blueberry together,
so I'm making a Lemon Lime Curd and
I'm tying it all together with a satiny whipped cream.

Let's start on the Lemon Sponge Cake.
Lemon Sponge Cake

5 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar
1 cup cake flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup unsalted butter, melted

Beat yolks and sugar several minutes until light and creamy. 
Sift dry ingredients and gradually add to batter.
Mix in vanilla and lemon zest.
Beat egg whites until stiff. 
 Stir a few spoonfuls of egg whites 
into the batter to lighten it,
 then gently fold the rest of the whites in.
Pour batter evenly into buttered and floured 9 x 13 inch pan.
Spoon melted butter over top.
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes.
Spoon cooled syrup over hot cake.

1 ½ cups sugar
1 ¼ cups water
Juice of one lemon
Combine all ingredients and gently simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Cool and pour over cake.

Gently fold in the whites.

Pour into prepared 9 x 13-inch pan.

Spoon melted butter over top.

Ready for the oven.

Pour the cooled lemon syrup over the cake.
Let the sponge soak up all the syrup.

When cool, cover and refrigerate.

Now, I'm making Crème Anglaise.
Crème Anglaise
1 ½ cups heavy cream
½ cup skim milk
1 vanilla bean
½ cup sugar
4 egg yolks

Slice the vanilla bean and scrape out the seeds.
Combine the milk, cream, seeds, and bean
in a small saucepan.
The addition of the bean
imparts more vanilla flavor to your sauce.
Cook over medium low heat
until bubbles form around the rim.
About 5-6 minutes.
Beat yolks and sugar until light.
Slowly, whisk ½ of the hot mixture
into the egg mixture to temper the eggs.
Pour egg mixture back into pan.
Cook over moderate heat until slightly thickened.
About 4-5 minutes.
Mixture will be the consistency of thick cream.
Pour mixture through a sieve to remove the bean.
Cool, then cover and refrigerate.

Crème Anglaise, with a vanilla bean
to let you know what the flavor is here.

Next, I'm making the Lemon Lime Curd.
Lemon Lime Curd
zest of two limes
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 2 limes and 1 lemon (½ cup)
2 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 stick butter, diced, at room temperature
pinch salt

In a processor, process zest and sugar until finely mixed.
Cream butter.
Beat in sugar and zest.
Add eggs and yolks, one at a time,
beating after each addition.
Beat in salt and juice.
The mixture will look curdled when the juice goes in.
Do not be alarmed.
This is normal.
Pour mixture into a medium sauce pan
and cook over low heat,
whisking constantly, until smooth and thickened.
Within a minute or so,
the mixture has un-curdled.
Do not let it boil.
Mixture will thicken at 170°.
Let cool.
Cover and refrigerate at least four hours before using.

Finely process zest and sugar.

Beat in eggs and yolks.

Strain juice through a sieve
to catch any seeds.

Don't worry about the curdling when you pour
the lemon and lime juice in.

After a minute or two on the heat,
it smooths right out.

Lovely creamy curd.

Whipped Cream
1 pint heavy whipping cream
¼ cup sugar
1 TB vanilla

For best results, 
I always chill my bowl and beaters
 in the freezer for about 5-10 minutes. 
 This gives you a better volume when beating the cream.
Beat cream, gradually increasing speed, 
until soft peaks form. 
 Slowly add sugar, beating, then add vanilla. 
 Increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form.

Now, I'm ready to assemble my trifle.

Slice the Lemon Sponge Cake into large cubes.
Try not to eat this.
Just try.

Whipped cream, Crème Anglaise, and Lemon Lime Curd.




Assembly time.
Place a cake layer on the bottom of your trifle bowl.

Spoon in a layer of whipped cream to cover.

Tuck in strawberry slices around sides
and in middle.

Pour some of the Crème Anglaise over the strawberries.
Add in another layer of cake.
Pour on some blueberries.

Spoon over Lemon Lime Curd.
Keep layering.

Top with whipped cream
and more strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries.

There are no words to describe this.

No words.

It is indescribable.

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Good point about the name 'Trifle'. I find that curious too...hmmm well I've got nothing. It sure beats me as to why they settled calling a dessert as classic and scrumptious as this a trifle...maybe due to all the complex flavors and components?!
But I would say it is worth every bit of work!

This looks fantastic, Rosie...I've been waiting for this recipe since you told me. I definitely want to try it :D

Have yourself a fun and safe July 4th...although I'm sure I'll be back before then ;)