The Tree and Trifle day has been a success.
Firstly, the tree.
As you know, we do excess with regard to the tree. There is no tasteful colour scheme. There is no plan. There is no real tree. There is just an explosion of decorations bedecking plastic foliage.
That is all.
I feel that this is acceptable as we do not do decking the halls of any other kind. No wreaths, no poinsettias, no cards out on display.
One tree. Everything on it. All at once. Forever. Fin.
I did put my one glass bauble on it this year, that someone very kindly bought me a few years back. it is black with a silver moustache on it. I have hung it in the office year round, and this year thought that the children might just be old enough to not break it if I let it loose on the tree.
It smashed to smithereens within thirty seconds of being hung on the bough.
That will teach me.
As far as the trifles go, here are the results.
Firstly, I only have one glass dish. It is vast. It is not really suitable for trifles, but needs must when the devil is holding your handbag, as a friend of mine used to say.
I decided to do the fruit trifle in it.
I assembled the sponge, jam, fruit and custard as Sasha instructed, leaving out the layer of cooked apple, because I’m not thrilled about cooked apple. I didn’t make my own blackberry jam, because now is not the season, but I did get some good Wilkin & Co blackberry jelly, which worked a treat.
The bit I stole from Nigel was the cream layer. He instructs you to whip up double cream and add mascarpone, egg yolk, vanilla essence and sugar, which I did. I doubled the quantity, because my huge bowl made everything look so sad and small.
I should not have doubled the quantity. It drowned the rest of the trifle. Also I think I should have whipped the cream for longer. It was slightly too runny.
It does not look beautiful
Having said that, it all tasted gorgeous, but there was too much cream. I am generally of the school of thought that believes that there can never be enough cream, so you will know that I am not lying when I say it.
My second trifle was Sasha’s individual chocolate trifles from her book, which I made as one, huge trifle. The only thing I changed here was to put hazelnuts in the brownies instead of walnuts, because my dad is allergic to walnuts.
As I didn’t have another glass bowl, and I wanted to see all the bits of trifle poking through, I made a deconstructed trifle on a cake plate. I heaped the brownies in a kind of pyramid, dolloped the chocolate mousse on top, added a bit of custard (which is also a slight deviation from Sasha’s instructions, but I had a little to spare), and then added whipped cream and chocolate buttons.
We had cold meats and a cheese board, salad and crusty bread for our main course, and then all ate far too much trifle.
It tasted magnificent, all of it, but we now have a trifle hangover.
Next time, which will be boxing day, I am going slightly less over the top, and making slightly less of everything, as we still have acres of trifle left and we are all too full to eat it.
I shall also attempt to make things look prettier. I would say though, that for my first attempt, and for prototypes, they were pretty damn good, and they may not look like much the way I have put them together, but they taste sublime, and that’s what counts.