Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Midnight Blue Trifle

It has been almost 5 months since I last time updated my blog.  I have been too busy to translate my Japanese recipes into English.

In May this year, my mother had a cerebral hemorrhage and hospitalised.  I had to go back to Japan to look after her, as well as looking after my father who is 91 years old and left at home by himself.  Ironically, on the day I left Seattle, I was going to demonstrate how to cook my Lobster Macaroni & Cheese on KCTS's cooking show.  Sadly, I had to cancel my appearance. :-(

Anyway, miraculously, my mother has recovered steadily and has recently been told by her doctor that she would be discharged from the hospital hopefully early next month!  This means that - after we bring her home - that I will not have to go back to Japan every month.

I therefore would like to restart my project to translate my recipes into English and share them with my non-Japanese speaking readers.

As the first recipe after reopening this blog, I would like to introduce this delicious trifle.

Trifle is one of the British traditional deserts and it used to be a jumble of left-over sweets and deserts.  The one I am introducing is not a recreation of left-overs but instead is based around its original roots. I made the recipe as simple as possible by using purchased lady fingers and custard mix powder.

The only one thing in this recipe cooked from a scratch is the jelly.   I made this jelly with the blackberries that my husband and I picked in our garden.

The colour of jelly reminds me of the deep dark Autumn night,  Thus, I decided call it Midnight Blue Trifle.

It is very tasty and if you serve it to your family, friends or even important guests, no one can tell that most of the ingredients are ready-made or instant.   

Ingredients for 6 - 8 people
11oz frozen blackberries - no need to thaw
1+1/3 cup water
5 oz sugar
2 tablespoons cherry brandy (optional)
2 envelopes Knox gelatine

2 tablespoons Bird's custard powder
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1 UK pint (20 fl oz) milk

(sponge base)
10-12 lady fingers
some blackberry or blueberry jam
3-4 tablespoons dry sherry

1/2 US pint of heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
some grated white chocolate
some blackberries to garnish

To make the jelly, place the blackberries, water, sugar and cherry brandy (if you are using) in a pan and cook on a medium heat.  When it starts boiling, reduce the heat and cook uncovered for 15 - 20 minutes until the blackberries are nice and soft. 

Using a masher, crush the cooked blackberries, then transfer the blackberries and juice to a strainer.  Using a wooden spoon, press down firmly the blackberries to extract the juice and discard the seeds. Dissolve the gelatine into the strained juice while it is still hot, transfer to a shallow dish and chill for several hours or overnight until it completely sets.

To make the custard, combine the custard powder, sugar and a couple of tablespoons of the milk and mix well until it becomes a paste.  Place the remaining milk in a sauce pan and heat until it reaches almost boiling point, then pour onto the custard paste and stir well.

Return the custard mixture to the sauce pan and bring to the boil over a low heat stirring continuously.  Transfer the custard to a mixing bowl, cover the surface of the custard with cling film to prevent a skin forming and leave to cool completely.

With a knife, cut each lady finger into 2, spread the jam over the bottom side of one of the half and sandwich with another half.  Lay the sandwiched lady fingers on the bottom of a trifle bowl and pour the dry sherry all over.

Pour the custard over the lady fingers, then scoop the jelly with a tablespoon and place evenly over the custard.

Spread the whipped cream evenly over the jelly, sprinkle the white chocolate and garnish with some thawed blackberries.

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If you would like to read this recipe in Japanese with pictures covering every step, please click HERE.

Bon appetit!