Friday 16 January 2015

Summer Berry Trifle

  Have you ever seen a grown woman swoon over a spoonful of trifle. Well yes, I have! Because this recipe is a real 'doozey'.
  Trifles can be a little boring - think the old days when money was a little tight and your lovely Mum had to compromise by using raspberry jam and fruit salad when making the family trifle (it also had to go a long way). And that was the way I thought you should make a trifle until I 'saw the light' and made this one. Yes, raspberries can be a little pricey at Christmas time but that only adds to the luxury of the dish. It gives us a good reason to grow our own raspberries don't you think.
  There is no jam or fruit salad in this delicious bowl of loveliness! Just lots of gorgeous fresh summer berries, custard, (slightly) sherry drenched sponge and cream. And it is so simple to make!
  I thought with the additional sugar the dish may be a bit sickly sweet, but it isn't. 
  It looks pretty and tastes divine, a definite winner. Having made two over the holidays it is now in my Christmas repertoire.
   Like me, the other recipients of the trifle were also in raptures - which is fine with me - I like to make people happy and it means another empty bowl to take home!

Summer Berry Trifle – Fiona Smith - Cuisine magazine Issue # 149
Sponge cake – make your own or use a large square Ernest Adams plain sponge - it is perfect for this
For the fruit
125g sugar
60ml water
2 sheets leaf gelatine (or 1 ½ tsp powdered)
3 cups raspberries
3 cups of strawberries hulled and halved (or quartered if large)
Place the sugar and water in a saucepan. Heat for a few minutes until the sugar dissolves.
Remove from the heat.
Place the gelatine in cold water for 5 mins to soften. If using sheets squeeze out the excess water then stir into the sugar liquid. If using powdered gelatine, sprinkle it over the liquid and wait for it to soften then stir in. Stir in the berries then allow mixture to cool.
To assemble
Sherry to taste
300ml cream, whipped
500ml of custard
Cut the sponge into large cubes. Arrange half the cubes in a large glass bowl then sprinkle with sherry. Top with half the fruit mix and some syrup, then half the custard. Repeat in layers then top with cream.
Serves about 6 - 10 people depending on serve size.
P.S Because I love blueberries I thought I might use blueberries instead of raspberries next time. They might bleed a bit, but worth a try I think.
My layers were not so perfect but still look pretty good
I made the mistake of adding a layer of cream on top of the custard, but it seemed to add to the gorgeousness
Tossed flaked almonds as a garnish on top

Thursday 8 January 2015

Multi-grain salad

   Feeding vegetarians always poses the problem 'what should I cook?' as I am always looking for something to surprise and satisfy the recipient. This time I also wanted a recipe that looked a little 'Christmassy' and 'summery' for them. And this recipe was a winner. I just love the way it looks and tastes. Pomegranates are available for a such a short period over summer, it is a perfect way to use them. I just love the colour they introduce to dishes.
   The dish serves about 4 - 6 but I found you can add extra to bulk it up and serve more. It comes with a carrot and harissa puree but I did not make it for our Christmas table.
   I made it again to take to a post wedding lunch, held on a really lovely sunny day (the pohutukawa was out and the gods were smiling). The great thing is the salad ingredients can be organised the day before and just assembled when needed.
The Pohutukawa is stunning this summer

Multi-grain Salad - Albion Canteen, Napier - as in Cuisine Issue #166 (p.50)
For the Salad (slightly adapted by me)
3 cups of cooked mixed grains (barley, farro, freekeh or quinoa or brown rice)
1 cup mixed toasted nuts and seeds (almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
1/3 cup chia seeds
4 tbsp preserved lemon finely chopped
4 tbsp cranberries (or chopped dates, apricots or currants - a mixture of all is lovely)
1 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley ( only used a small amount as my parsley had gone to seed)
2 cups broccoli florets, blanched and refreshed in cold water - well drained
Gently mix altogether - add the following dressing until salad is well covered (I found I didn't need it all)
For a garnish I also added the seeds of 1/2 pomegranate - looks really nice with the green of the broccoli
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
zest and juice of one orange
200ml mild olive oil
Mix in a sealed jar