Monday, May 01, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me in Advance

It was my birthday on Sunday, and I had planned a mega huge super special feast to end all feasts, which included, naturally, 3 desserts. But being the planning and social-function addict that I am, I had also planned a big night out drinking on Saturday night. So naturally, I had to do some things in advance.

347. Proper English Trifle (Cooking in Advance)
348. Hazelnut cake (Dinner)

I thought that these were good desserts to prepare together, because the trifle requires 8 egg yolks, and the cake needs 8 egg whites. I made the trifle first.

Trifle is a dessert made up of layers, which is served from a bowl. The first layer was made of challah... AKA Jewish bread.


So you start by slicing the challah and cutting off the crusts, then making little sandwiches with the challah slices and raspberry jam. Then you soak them in a Grand Marnier/Marsala/orange juice mixture, and layer them in the bottle of a glass bowl.

The next layer is raspberries. Nigella stipulates fresh, but they're extraordinarily expensive, so I used frozen.

trifle layers - raspberry

The next layer is a custard, made with the 8 egg yolks, sugar, and cream which you infuse with orange zest.

custard layer

At this point, it can go into the fridge and wait overnight. The next day, you put the final touches on the trifle and eat it! I stashed it in the fridge and got on with the hazelnut cake.

The hazelnut cake is, as Nigella might put it, hysterically easy. Simply whisk 8 egg whites until stiff, then fold in ground hazlenuts, castor sugar, lemon zest, and some flour. Spread into a springform cake tin, and bake for an hour. Ta-dah!

hazelnut cake, raw

Stay tuned for photos of the finished products...

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