Christmas may have come and gone but I’m already thinking about future Christmas cooking ideas. Today’s post is from a dear friend who I grew up with and also enjoys cooking. She recently posted a photo on Facebook of her amazing Christmas dessert: Raspberry, White Chocolate, Peach Melba Trifle. I asked if she’d write about cooking it and here’s her story.
It’s not my first time venturing out on a daring quest to produce a “picture perfect” representation of a recently discovered, seemingly mouth-watering new recipe. It’s also not my first time attempting such a quest on a deadline to impress guests, first go, no practice runs. I suppose it’s my personality, but the pressure of producing a dessert for guests, even if I haven’t tried it before, seems to aid in the focus and adrenaline needed to actually pull it off; not to mention the thrill of the conquest (assuming I do pull it off).
Most recently, I opened an email from Queen, and discovered this amazing recipe for a Christmas dessert – the Raspberry, White Chocolate, Peach Melba Trifle. Yes! This was the dessert to be the crown hero of one of our family Christmas gatherings, boasting a small 12 adults and 10 children. Having two toddlers of my own running around, the ability to do this recipe in parts really appealed to me. My 3-year-old even helped make the rosewater jelly element. The sponge cake can be made in advance and frozen if need be. I made the sponge two days earlier, and kept it in an airtight container. I also added a little more rose-pink food colouring than the recipe specified…because, well, it is Christmas after all. The almond praline can also be made ahead, and, if you can get your syrup hot enough, well, it’s not much more than a simple exercise in patience (if you have a slow cooktop) and then some fast hands at the end. Again, it can be kept in an airtight container until required, if you make it a couple of days ahead. I made the jelly the day prior, and boy, did it take a LONG time to get the fruit to sit according to the Queen picture. In the end, I couldn’t get the raspberries to sit on top of the peaches, but they managed to sit underneath for a similarly pleasing visual outcome. Queen Baking…what is your magic trick??
This dessert was a pleasure to look at and rather delightful on the tongue. Raspberries throughout balance the sweetness of the white chocolate cream, whilst the cake and jelly are, in themselves, just sweet enough to be incredibly more-ish, without making one feel ill. I must also note that I added a dash of rosewater across the top of the sponge cake during the assembly phase, as I felt the need to keep to the true notion of a trifle. No doubt, a splash of Moet could have done the job rather nicely too, for a less kid-friendly version. Next time, perhaps?