Christmas Trifle

Each and every single year I make a trifle – we could have 10 guests, we could have none, but the trifle is always made. It usually gets eaten.

I realised last week that I make it in exactly the same way as my Mum did, back in the 80’s, when you know, trifle was actually cool. I can somehow increase its credibility slightly if I refer to it as retro, but the fact is, its outdated. It’s a basic recipe, and I am more than capable of adapting it, bringing into the current day. But I never will.

It’s not about the trifle, it’s about the memories it brings with it. I’ll still be making the trifle in 20 years time, even if no one wants to eat it (this Christmas, as always, it went down a storm!). It takes me right back to my childhood, to happy days. To times when Mum seemed happy. I wonder if Sophie will make it too? In years to come when she has a family of her own, will it bring the same comfort to her?

And it’s not just trifle either. One of my favourite things to make at Christmas is Jam and Lemon Curd tarts. I don’t eat either of those things at any other time of the year, but I have to make them at christmas, with Sophie. It’s a special time for us, a time for us to forget about the other 100’s of jobs that still need to be done before the big day and concentrate on spending time together, just us.

And it’s no different from when I was a child, making the same jam tarts. I can’t remember if my Mum made her own pastry – I assume she did? I can’t even remember a specific time. But I remember the feelings. The memories come flooding back.

It’s funny how food can conjure up such strong memories. As I sit writing this, I can’t even begin to explain how much I miss my Mum, how sad I am that we will never make jam tarts again. I can’t remember the last time, no more than I remember the first. I’m sad that she will never see me carrying on the traditions we made together, with my own daughter. That she may never realise how precious those moments were to me, how comforting they are to me now.

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Pistachio and Caramel Biscotti

Can you believe its week 2 already? I am pretty sure the Bake Off is going to fly by this time! Anyway, this week the lovely Jenny from Mummy Mishaps has asked me to host. It seems that this year there are more bloggers than ever joining in which is great, but it also means the competition for star baker each week is fierce!

And now we are onto biscuit week. This week’s challenges were:

  • Signature Challenge – 24 Biscotti
  • Technical Challenge – Arlettes
  • Showstopper Challenge – An edible biscuit box with 36 biscuits of a different flavour

I decided on biscotti and came up with these pistachio and caramel biscotti, which were delicious. They were however incredibly sweet. By dipping them in dark chocolate, the sweetness of the biscotti and bitterness of the chocolate makes them just perfect.

Pistachio and Caramel Biscotti

pistachio and caramel biscotti

Ingredients

  • 280g plain flour
  • 200g golden caster sugar
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 100g pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 100g hard caramel sweets, broken up (I used Werthers)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl mix together the eggs, vanilla and oil before adding to flour mixture and mixing until combined.
  4. Add in the pistachios and caramel pieces and mix together thoroughly, before emptying out onto a floured surface
  5. Roll the biscotti mix into a log and then flatten
  6. Bake on a baking sheet lined with baking paper in your preheated oven for around 30 minutes, turning it half way through
  7. Remove from the oven and put the biscotti log onto a wire rack for 15 minutes to cool
  8. Slice the biscotti to around 1cm and put them back on the lined baking tray. Reduce the oven temperature to 120 degrees. Place them back in the oven for around 15 minutes until crisp
  9. Cool on a wire rack
  10. When cooled melt 100g dark chocolate and dip half of the biscuits to coat them. Scrape any excess chocolate off with a knife and put on baking paper to dry completely

Great Bloggers Bake Off

Fancy a go yourself? Check Nargis Uzbek Restaurant in New York and check their tasty food.