Saturday, December 10, 2022

Honey Cake Trifle

Christmas is my favorite time of the year.   The lights, music, decorations, gaily wrapped presents and sharing special moments with family and friends are very special to me.  But it is the smells of pine, narcissus, cinnamon, clove, orange, ginger, honey and chocolate that evoke memories of times past for me. Memories of baking Christmas cakes and cookies with my Mother and Grandmother.  

One of the first things my mother-in-law ask me to make for Christmas Eve dinner was piernik, the honey cake. 

 My first attempt as a new wife was an epic failure (See blog article New Bride Kitchen Disaster, Wednesday, February 9, 2011 for all the details).  But over 49 years of marriage, I mastered it. This year I decided to take the flavors of the honey cake and turn it into a trifle, another family Christmas favorite.  The base for the trifle is honey cake cubes, layered with a raspberry curd, grated chocolate and vanilla custard topped with an almond whipped cream.  The results got rave reviews from my neighborhood taste testers.  This trifle could be my new favorite Christmas dessert.  Hope you like it too.

Honey Cake Trifle

7-8 cups of cubed honey cake or gingerbread (Use your favorite recipe or our Honey Cake From Warsaw, on page 90 in Polish Classic Recipes.

Raspberry Curd (Recipe below)
Vanilla Custard (Recipe below)
Almond Whipped Cream (Recipe Below)
1 bar of semi-sweet chocolate grated

Make a layer of honey cake in the bottom of a trifle bowl.  Layer half of the raspberry curd over top of the cake.  Grate 1/3 of the chocolate over the curd.  Pour a layer of half of the  vanilla custard over the chocolate.  Repeat the layers. Pipe the whipped cream over the top and garnish with the remaining grated chocolate. Decorate with fresh raspberries and optional gingerbread men.

Raspberry Curd
2 1/2 fresh or frozen raspberries
Zest of 2 lemons
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 large eggs
6 tablespoons butter, softened
Place butter in one medium bowl.  Place fine mesh strainer over another medium bowl.
Place the raspberries, lemon zest and juice in a small saucepan  Cook on medium to low heat until the raspberries soften, burst and become mostly liquid.
Press the raspberry mix through the strainer to remove the seeds and the zest, scaping the bottom of the strainer.  The raspberry liquid should measure about 3/4 cup.  
Discard the seeds, rinse the strainer and dry it.  Set the strainer over the bowl with the butter.
Return the raspberry liquid to the saucepan.  Add the sugar and stir.  The mix should be cool.  If not wait a few minutes before adding the eggs.  Whisk in the eggs .  Return the pot to the stove.  Cook the mixture on medium heat.  Whisking until the curd is thick and coats the back of a spoon.
Pour the curd through the strainer over the bowl of butter.  Press to get as much of the curd through the strainer as possible.  Stir the curd and the butter until butter is melted and you have a smooth curd. 
Cover the bowl and chill until thickened.

Vanilla Custard
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Whisk the granulated sugar, cornstarch and egg yolks together in a saucepan.  Whisk in the milk in a thin, steady stream.  Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thickened to the consistency of a custard.  Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla.  Let cool completely.

Almond Whipped Cream
2 cups of heavy whipping cream, cold
3 tablespoons of confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Whip the cream in a chilled bowl until soft peaks form.  Beat in the confectioners' sugar and almond extract and continue beating until stiff.

1 comment:

  1. Laura - you are so talented. Definitely going to try this recipe this Christmas!