Sunday, August 19, 2012

Strawberry and Vanilla Trifle

I started this blog about a year ago, with the intention of documenting my recipes (so I stop forgetting them), and to be able to easily pass them along. The past year has probably been the biggest whirlwind of change in my life, but at the very least it's kept things interesting. From a slew of jobs and opportunities, friends and family moving about, and with my own move approaching, life looks quite different than it did a mere 12 months ago.

I haven't been doing much recipe testing lately, or posting about it (clearly) because, quite frankly, working in a kitchen all day doesn't leave much time to....cook. Not that I've stopped baking and cooking at home, but it certainly has slowed quite a bit. However, my last day of work has come and gone with the weekend, and though I won't be posting many recipes these next couple weeks, I do want to get in the habit of writing again. My plan is to shift the focus of this blog from recipes and food to a way to keep my nearest and dearest updated on what my life is like in cheery ol' England. Perhaps that will have a lot to do with recipes and food. I have no clue.

I literally have no idea what my days will be like in two weeks. With how intimidating and weird that is, it's also one of the most exciting aspects of this move. Either way, it's comforting to know I can share all my experiences and discoveries with you along the way.

We had a little get-together over the weekend to send me off, full of all sorts of British goodies. One of the things I contributed was a strawberry and vanilla trifle. I've had a few requests for this recipe, so here it is! I apologize for the unorganized and last minute picture!

Strawberry and Vanilla Trifle


2 Tbsp butter, softened
1/6 cup oil
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease/flour a 9" cake pan. Cream butter and sugar, slowly adding oil. Mix well, occasionally scraping sides of the bowl. Add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. Mix on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, and half of the flour. Mix in buttermilk, then add the rest of the flour. Mix until combined and most lumps have dissolved. Pour batter in pan and bake for 25-30 min, until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost completely clean. Cool cake completely.

2 cups milk
1 cup half and half or heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
5 egg yolks
2/3 cup sugar

In a medium-sized saucepan, heat milk, half and half, and vanilla over medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until they're thickened, lighter in color, and sugar is dissolved. When milk mixture comes to a simmer, take off heat. While continuously whisking egg yolk mixture, slowly add 1 cup of the milk to the eggs to temper. Whisk well to combine. Add one more cup of milk mixture to eggs while whisking. Place sieve over saucepan and strain egg mixture back into the remaining milk. Place saucepan over medium heat and continuously stir mixture until custard is slightly thickened, about 5-7 minutes (it should be able to coat the back of a wooden spoon and leave a trail when running a finger over the spoon). Pour into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and press onto the surface of the custard, and chill completely in the refrigerator, 3-4 hours. Note: Custard will be slightly looser than a typical custard, ideal for the cake to absorb.

Cut cooled cake into 1/2" cubes. In a trifle dish or a large, deep bowl (preferably clear), layer cake, custard, and sliced strawberries (or any desired fruit), repeating the layers until dish is full, finishing the dessert with fruit on top. Refrigerate for a few hours (overnight is best) to set.

This weekend was surely a reminder of how much love and support I have all around me. I'm so blessed to have such kind and caring people in my life. Thanks to all who helped my family and I every step of the way, whether in person or in spirit. If you couldn't tell, I appreciated it with every ounce I have in me! Much love to you all :)