Christmas is a more serious affair once you have children. Before the arrival of Hospobaby our Christmas lunch was a barbecue in the backyard with friends and family. Zoya is now at an age where she likes to feel part of the preparations for celebrations. We had to put up our tree in mid-November just in case Santa decides to come early. Sometimes, it is better to start a new tradition than to argue with a three-year-old. Another new tradition this year will be a trifle for pudding. Hospobaby is eager to help with cooking for our Christmas lunch and we decided that a trifle would be safer than letting her man the barbecue. We have eliminated sherry from the recipe to make it child-friendly, but feel free to add it if you wish. You can make the sponges, jelly and custard a day or two in advance. Let the little hands help, have fun and get messy. Wishing you all a stress free and merry Christmas.
*”Hospo”, short for hospitality, is a term used regularly in the hospitality industry. Chand and Sid own the restaurants Sidart and Cassia, so Zoya has been part of the hospitality industry from day one, hence the term “hospobaby”.
|250 g||Unsalted butter, softened|
|250 g||Caster sugar|
|175 g||Self raising flour|
|30 g||Cocoa powder|
Orange jelly, syrup and vanilla custard
|300 ml||Orange juice (Main)|
|25 g||Caster sugar|
|3 sheets||Gelatine leaves|
|200 ml||Orange juice (Main)|
|125 g||Muscovado sugar|
|1 Tbsp||Plain flour|
Assembling the trifle
|6||Oranges, peeled and sliced (Main)|
|1 punnet||Strawberries, hulled and sliced|
|1 handful||Fresh mint|
For the sponge cakes
- Heat the oven to 190C (170C fan forced). Grease and line 3 x 20cm cake tins.
- Put the butter and sugar into a bowl and mix until pale and creamy, using a spoon, hand-held mixer or free standing mixer.
- Sieve the flour and salt into a bowl. Crack the eggs and whisk in another bowl.
- Stirring all the time, add a third of the eggs and a third of the flour mixture into the butter and sugar. Then add another third of each, and another, until you have a smooth thick batter.
- Divide a third of the mix into a bowl and add the cocoa for the chocolate sponge. Put this mix into one of the prepared cake tins. Divide the remaining plain mixture equally into the other two prepared cake tins.
- Bake for 25 minutes until springy to touch. Take out of the oven at leave the cakes in their tins for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the orange jelly
- Gently heat the orange juice with the sugar in a pan until the sugar dissolves (but do not boil, as the gelatine will be less effective).
- Soak all the gelatine leaves in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes, or until they are soft and pliable. Remove from the soaking water and squeeze out any excess water with your hands. Stir into the warm orange juice.
- Pour through a sieve into a jug and then into a glass bowl. Place in the fridge to set.
For the orange syrup
- Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Take off the heat and add the orange juice.
For the vanilla custard
- Slowly heat milk until small bubbles form around the edge. Remove from heat. Beat egg yolks with sugar and flour until smooth. Whisk in hot milk.
- our this mix into a saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until it to comes to a simmer. Reduce heat and cook for another minute until custard thickens. Remove from heat.
- Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod using a paring knife and stir the seeds into the custard.
Assembling the trifle
- Cut the sponges to fit the trifle bowl, then press 1 plain sponge into the bowl. Pour some of the orange syrup all over.
- Either using a piping bag or a spoon, layer some of the custard over the sponge then spread some orange slices to cover the custard layer. Spoon the jelly and a few of the berries on top of the oranges.
- Press in the chocolate sponge and pour some more of the orange syrup over the sponge. Follow this layer with another layer of custard then a layer of oranges. If you have some jelly left you can add another layer of jelly with some berries next.
- Push in the last plain sponge and pour over orange syrup. Finally pipe the custard evenly on the top. Your trifle bowl should be almost full.
- Garnish with remaining berries and mint. Best to let the trifle sit in the fridge for a few hours to let the syrup soak into the sponge.