Last night was book club night, and I spent several days thinking about what kind of dessert would echo the theme of the book.  Since the book was about the decline of a marriage after a mountain-climbing incident, the task wasn’t easy.

BUT–at one point in the story, a character mentioned that another character always served trifles.  Ta da! Easy.

Now–I don’t know about you, but a trifle has always seemed insultingly easy.  Don’t you just throw some store-bought sponge cake, vanilla pudding, and strawberries into a bowl?

So I decided to use my new cookbook–BAKING AND PASTRY, the textbook from the Culinary Institute of America, and I found that making a trifle wasn’t so simple.  But oh, it was delicious.

(BTW, if you have to feed an army or a large group, this is the cookbook for you!)

Step one: red currant jelly into bowl

First, I had to make the spongecake, so I made that on Saturday night.  Actually, I made FOUR huge spongecakes, because these recipes don’t come in small batches.  🙂   But I didn’t mind, because I knew I could freeze the cakes for later.

Sunday night I had to make the pastry cream, and since that recipe would only keep for three days, I did make a a small, one-pound batch.

2: Bake a lovely sponge cake. (or buy one.) 

And finally, last night I had to assemble the trifle.  I began by coating the bottom of the trifle bowl with currant jam.  Yum.  Then I blended sherry with simple syrup, reserved that in a bowl.  Cubed the spongecake, then poured the sherry/syrup mixture over the cake to moisten the lot.

Then I had to whip 16 oz. of heavy cream; easy enough, and into that I blended the pound of pastry cream from the fridge.

Finally, I cut up some lovely strawberries and mixed with a package of fresh raspberries.  Then into the bowl they went–jam, cake, fruit, cream, more cake, more fruit, more cream.  Finally, I piped rosettes around the top, and made a mini-mountain in the center, to honor our book. 🙂

And then–ooo la la.  It was delicious, if I do say so myself.  I have a feeling I’m going to like this new cookbook.  🙂

Cut said cake into cubes, then cover with syrup mixture. 

Hope your baking adventures are delightful!

Cover with fresh fruit of your choosing. 

Cover with cream, then repeat. Smooth top, pipe on decorations. 


1 Comment

  1. Kay Day

    But you should try baking that at altitude. That’s a whole different story. I’ve never baked a cake that didn’t collapse in the middle.


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