Category Archives: Parfaits and Trifles

Chocolate Strawberry Trifle with Almond Sherry Whipped Cream, Plus a Blogging Breakthrough

Chocolate & Strawberry Trifle with Almond Sherry Whipped Cream, displayed with a chocolate bar and a bottle of Almond Sherry.
Creamily delicious!

I didn’t grow up eating trifles. In fact, I don’t think I even knew what they were until I read about them in British novels as a young adult. Are you familiar with them? They’re usually elaborate looking concoctions of whipped cream and alcohol-soaked cake, sometimes with fruit, sometimes with chocolate, and always very rich. But when I was rummaging through my freezer recently, and came across some chocolate cake rounds from a few months ago, I knew just what to make: Chocolate Strawberry Trifle with Almond Sherry Whipped Cream! Trifle always looks fancy, but it’s really just a mish-mash of ingredients layered together! Looks fancy, easy to put together, no preservatives, and yummy? Bring it on!

I had some whipping cream in my fridge, so I whipped that up with some icing sugar, and poked around in my bar stand and pulled out a bottle of almond sherry that I use for baking. I decided to put the alcohol in the whipped cream as opposed to soaking the cake in it, simply because I’d need to use more sherry if I wanted to soak the cake, and I can’t have alcohol since I’m a nursing mum. But a tablespoon or two just to flavour the whipped cream? Totally doable!

So now I had the cake rounds, I had the almond sherry whipped cream, but…I felt it needed a bit more oomph. I looked around my kitchen and came across a jar of strawberry preserves that the DH had bought for his mum when she visited us last month. Perfect! I melted it in the microwave and spread it on the cake layers. The preserves served a double duty — it moistened the cake layers, plus it added a bit of strawberry flavour.

Now, I have quite a few kitchen gadgets in the condo, but I simply don’t have space for All The Baking Things. One of those things is a trifle glass. Hmm, what to do, what to do…I pulled out a vase and layered it up all purdy like! (Don’t have a trifle glass? Eh, use any old glass container! I won’t tell if you don’t!)

Want a bit more of the specifics so you can make your own? Read on!

Yield: 10 servings

Chocolate & Strawberry Trifle with Almond Sherry Whipped Cream

Chocolate & Strawberry Trifle with Almond Sherry Whipped Cream
This lusciously layered Chocolate & Strawberry Trifle looks fancy but is super-easy to put together! Almond Sherry Whipped Cream? Yes, please!

Ingredients

  • 2 chocolate cake rounds
  • 1 c. whipping cream
  • 1/3 c. strawberry jam
  • 1/3 c. icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp. almond sherry
  • chocolate chunks or cocoa powder for dusting

Instructions

  1. 1.Bake the cake rounds. I suggest using this recipe, as it creates perfectly fluffy and delicious chocolate cake. Cool, then slice the layers in half lengthwise.
  2. 2. While the cake is cooling, make the whipping cream. In a cold bowl (put the bowl and whisk in the freezer for 20 minutes prior to using), mix the whipping cream, icing sugar, and almond sherry. Whip until stiff peaks form.
  3. 3. Heat the jam in the microwave for 30 seconds until completely melted.
  4. 4. Now, the fun part: layering the trifle! In a see-through glass container, place a few scoops of the flavoured whipped cream. Place a cake layer on top and press down until the whipped cream is flattened. Brush some strawberry jam on top of the cake layer.
  5. 5. Repeat until the last cake layer is used. Then top with the remaining whipped cream. If there is any strawberry jam left, drizzle that on top.
  6. 6. Dust with cocoa powder, or chocolate shavings. Chill, spoon out big scoops for each servings, and enjoy!

Notes

This recipe is easily adaptable! Prefer vanilla cake over chocolate? Go right ahead! And while you're at it, why not switch up jam flavours? Or toss in some macerated strawberries too? This trifle is as customizeable as you want it to be!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

10

Serving Size:

1/10

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 228 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 6g Cholesterol: 32mg Sodium: 113mg Carbohydrates: 25g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 19g Protein: 2g

By the way, I wrote in the title of this post about blogging breakthroughs. Well, I’m taking an online blogging course, and as part of that, I’m a member in several fb blogging groups. One of those had a super-successful blogger pop in to help out, and she was able to give me some critiques on how to up my blogging game. One of those things was to be more specific about what exactly I write recipes about. In other words, I need to niche down on my avatar.

This is something I’ve been thinking about and puzzling about for a while now. But I’ve decided! I’m big on encouraging people to get in the kitchen make good food and not to worry about being all perfect, so I’ve decided to focus on preservative-free recipes plus kitchen encouragement. Because, when it comes to healthy, delicious, homemade food, we all start somewhere! To that end, I’ve changed my tagline (click on the title of the blog to see it) and have added a page to my blog called Kitchen Encouragement. Let me know what you think; I’m all about the feedback!

And, if you like this or any other recipe, can you share it on social media? Much appreciated! As I’ve said before, I might be aiming at the moon, but one of these days I’ll hit the stars!

Next Post: Likely a super-delish ramen soup dish I came up with. Not entiiiiirely preservative-free if you use store-bought ramen, but like I wrote above, isn’t it all about progress, not perfection?

Poundcake Smackdown: The winner is…

Last night after work I came home and started on the second of the pound cake recipes, the one that I found on the back of a notecard. I followed the recipe pretty closely, although I was a bit surprised at the amount of sugar it asked for,  2 1/4 cups.

I did make one “mistake” though, and that was to microwave the butter to make it soft. I forgot that about 15 seconds is all the butter from the fridge needs in order to make it room temperature (sometimes 20 seconds) and left it in there for 30 seconds. Well. Puddle o’ butter! I know that once butter is melted, it doesn’t solidify back into butter, it’s sort of more like ghee, but I thought, eh, good enough, and dumped it in the mixer.

 Land o' buttery lakes!


Land o’ buttery lakes!

The recipe called for “the grated zest of 1 orange, 1 lemon, and 1 lime”. I zested a lime and a giant clementine, after thoroughly washing them (ideally, zested fruit should be organic. Who wants zested pesticides?) and then juiced them and saved the juice for the glaze. I dumped the zest in with the rest of the ingredients and mixed it all up! I tasted the batter…so good! The clementine zest was a great idea, making it more citrusy and less all.about.the.lemon. I ignored the recipe calling for 1 teaspoon of lemon extract, because I don’t have any, so whatevs.

Still Life in Citrus

Still Life in Citrus

Before I tell you how the recipe turned out, let me give you the recipe! This recipe is adapted from one from the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts (which one, I don’t know, am copying that right off the notecard).  The recipe, m’dears:

Sour Cream Lemon & Clementine Pound Cake with Glaze

  • 1 cup butter (the recipe called for unsalted butter, but eh. I don’t care.)
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt, baking powder, and baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • grated zest of 2-3 citrus fruits (you use what you have!)

Cream the butter and sugar together, and when all fluffy and yellow looking, add the eggs one at a time. Mix the wet ingredients together in one bowl and the dry ingredients together in another and add them to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, alternating between the two. Pour into a greased 6-cup Bundt cake pan and bake for about 50 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

When cool, glaze.

Glaze

  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 c citrus juice (from your zested fruit)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix it all up. Pour over top of cooled cake.

You know how the recipe said to use a Bundt cake pan? Well, I wanted to make this for the DH to take to work but I needed to taste-test it myself and I can’t exactly take a slice out of a Bundt cake and then send the rest in with the hubby (“Here’s a cake. Minus a slice. Enjoy!”) so I used a loaf pan and a half-pan of mini Bundt cake shapes, thinking I’ll eat the mini Bundts and the DH’s office can have a nice, big loaf.

Well. Do NOT do that. The recipe really makes at least two loaves, so when I poured most of the batter into one loaf pan, it baked up. And over. And onto the oven grating. And piled up in a crispy baked pile of dripped  batter on the bottom of the oven. (Which reminds me, I should clean that up. Eh. Tomorrow!) And to make it worse, the centre didn’t set! I don’t think it was the just that I put too much batter in the loaf pan, I really think the recipe was not the best to start with. So I had a loaf that was liquid in the centre, crispy on the edges, and stuck in the pan everywhere.

But did I fret? Did I despair? No! (Actually, I kind of did fret.) I let it sit in the pan to cool, thinking it would firm up a bit. And it did, although I still had to spoon out the uncooked batter from the centre! Then I couldn’t get it out of the pan. Until I sort of sawed off the edges and ran a plastic knife around the loaf before turning it out onto a cooling rack. I looked at it. I asked myself, can this cake be saved? I thought…trifle! So I tore up the cake into small chunks, stuck in the fridge and went to bed. I was tired. It was midnight. And this baker needs her beauty sleep.

Today after work, I bounced home and started to make the trifle. Or at least, a version of it, using whatever I had lying around in the kitchen. Which is sort of how I cook. (What’s on sale? What do I have in my kitchen? Let’s get cooking!) I don’t have a glass trifle container so I used chunky wine glasses, parfait-style, used some of the strawberry-peach jam that I wrote about in my previous post, some berries, and some whipping cream, and voila! Fresh Fruit Poundcake Parfait!

So deliciously chilled!

So deliciously chilled!

The DH thoroughly enjoyed his, which made me happy, and I was glad that the cake didn’t go to waste. I hate wasting food. There’s still some pound cake left and I shall probably freeze that to make cake pops sometime.  Waste not, want not! Also cake pops = delicious. And easy to stick in the freezer to pull out for company. Bonus!

The verdict: So. Who was the winner? I didn’t expect this (you all probably did), but…Martha! I loved the flavour and the moistness and although it seemed like a bit more work to add in the syrup step, it was definitely worth it for the added moistness. The candied lemon slices I’d skip, though. The recipe that I tried today was too egg-y for my taste and just…not the best, despite appearing light and fluffy. I also think the glaze recipe makes too much. So if you want to make a lemon pound cake, definitely use Martha’s recipe! Don’t expect it to last long, though, as people will gobble it up!

Next Post: In search of the perfect pie crust! Or, meaty adventures.