Tag Archives: Cake!

No mere trifle

5 June ’13

The Lovely Man and I were just chillin’, watching Food TV a few nights ago. A TV celebrity was cooking his grandmother’s recipe for trifle, complete with a real egg custard.  It occurred to me that I’ve never actually made a trifle.  It’s the kind of dish that only gets made for special occasions, and someone’s Nana or Aunty ‘always makes the trifle’.  So “why don’t you make one,” says the Lovely Man (his Mum ‘always made the trifle’, it had a reputation for getting more and more Sherry-logged each year).  Challenge accepted!

I wasn’t willing to take on the home made egg custard, so my version has Edmond’s Custard Powder custard.  I had the general idea of what goes in to a trifle.  I know that there’s a debate over whether a trifle should contain jelly, I’m in the ‘yes,please’ camp.  Traditionally trifles also contain sherry, but as the kids were going to be eating this one I went with the fruit-juice-only option.

I keep most of the ingredients in my store cupboard.

Jelly, Peaches and custard

Store cupboard staples

I bought a bottle of cream for whipping, and had to get Mum to bring out a sponge cake from town as there were none to be had in Ashhurst.  I layered up the sponge, fruit, jelly and custard in a heavy glass bowl, then left if to set in the fridge.  It has to be a glass bowl so you can see all the lovely layers.


Jelly and Fruit Trifle

Just before serving I topped the dessert off with lashings of whipped cream, then dusted with… Milo!  Only because I didn’t have any chocolate.


Trifle with cream

It was so good, we polished off the whole lot.  And I still have half the sponge cake in freezer for next time.

Lisa’s Jelly Trifle

Unfilled plain sponge cake
2 cans of sliced peaches
Tropical flavoured jelly
600ml custard
Whipped cream and sprinkles
Large glass serving bowl

Make up the pack of jelly to two cups.  Allow to cool and just start to set.  Make up the custard (I use 2 generous tablespoons of custard powder, 6 tspn sugar with 600ml of milk) and allow to cool.  Cut in to pieces  sufficient sponge to make two layers in your bowl.  Line the bottom of the bowl with one layer of sponge then arrange the slices of peach from one can on top of the sponge. Drizzle with a small amount of syrup from the can.  Pour half (1 cup) of the jelly over the peaches, carefully spoon half the custard over this.  Repeat the layers.  Place the bowl of trifle in the fridge to set.   When ready to serve, top off with whipped cream and decorate with sprinkles (Milo, or shaved chocolate).

Week 42 – A Teen Birthday

15-21 Oct ’11

While we were away, Jake turned thirteen.  We’d planned his party for a couple of days after we returned home.

Cake and candles

The request was for a Brooklyn Blackout cake to celebrate this important milestone.

Birthday cake and candles

Jacob's 13th Brithday

F-stop                     f/4.5
Exposure time      1/100sec
ISO speed              ISO-500
Focal length         50mm


The boys were in a hurry to get to the eating, so I didn’t have much time to set up this shot.  I haven’t quite managed to get sufficient depth of field to have Jake’s face completely in focus. Dang!

The Youth of Today

Our country’s future.  Is there any hope?  LOL

Birthday cake

Party boys

Settings all the same as the shot above.

And again insufficient depth to get everyone in focus.  Something I need to work on, but not with a group of hungry boys as subjects.

So now I am the mother of two teenagers.  Yikes.

Week27 – Cat Cooks

2- 8 July ’11

Catherine decided she wanted to do some of the cooking this weekend.  So I decided I try my hand at a bit of food photography.

And I’m still using the nifty-fifty as my zoom hasn’t returned from the shop. 

Saturday Lunch

Our gas hot plate BBQ is the perfect place to cook up a whole stack of toasted sandwiches.  Cat buttered and sliced, chopped and arranged.  Then she enlisted Dad’s help for the ‘turning over’ bit.

BBQ sandwiches

The production line

And here they are in all their melty-cheese glory –

Barbequed sandwiches

BBQ grilled sammies

Brooklyn Blackout Cake 

Gran had recently given the kids a cook book to share.  It’s the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook, full of delicious cakes, brownies, muffins and cupcakes. Cat liked the look of the Brooklyn Blackout Cake – rich, dark chocolate cake oozing an even richer chocolate custard icing.  It’s called blackout cake because the almost-whole-tin of cocoa powder that goes in to it makes for a very dark result. And did I mention rich?  Continue reading

Week7 – Nana’s Ninetieth

12 – 18 Feb ’11

Joyce Blanchard, my Nana, turns 90 years old on 22 Feb 2011.  She was born in 1921 and has seen the world change an enormous amount in her lifetime.  My dad organised a family get-together to mark the milestone on Saturday. The kidlets and I also got to meet my cousin  Cindy’s baby,  Nana’s newest great-grandson Daniel, just one month old.  Sadly my Grandad Norm passed away seven years ago.  But all the rest of Joyce’s family were on hand to  celebrate with food, cake and flowers.  And an orgy of photography.  It seems there’s a photography gene in our family.  I think Nana was a little overwhelmed by all the cameras.

Happy Birthday Nana

The weather was glorious, which meant we could all be outside on the deck at Dad’s place.   Nana was seated in an easy chair and everyone gathered around her.  Baby Daniel was the star of the show, a sweet-natured little boy who just lapped up all the attention.

Nana Joyce and Baby Daniel

Zoe helped Nana blow out the candles, then we all sang a rousing round of  “Happy Birthday to You, Nana/Mum/Joyce”.  The cake was rich, chocolatey and delish – even if the heat made the icing melt.

Nana and Zoe blow out the candles

And then there’s the Weirdy Weirdo from Weirdsville…. Continue reading

Week3 – Billy Boy’s Birthday

15 – 21 Jan ’11

Our youngest hits double figures.

“I’ll huff, and I’ll puff…”

Billy invited a bunch of mates over for a water fight and cake to celebrate the milestone of his tenth birthday. Mother Nature played along and provided a gorgeous, sunny, warm day. After lots of squealing and running around the yard the boys came inside for cake. I managed to get the candles lit without burning my fingers (three or four matches later) then we all sung a  round of Happy Birthday to You. The huffing and puffing required to blow out ten candles was almost too much for the boy, but he got there in the end.


I was pretty happy with this shot SOOC (that’s Straight Out Of Camera for the uninitiated). Just a minor adjustment on the levels and the tiniest bit of sharpening on his eyes.


F-stop f/4
Exp time 1/160 sec
ISO speed ISO-250
Focal length 50mm

I love the warm light thrown by the candles up in to his face. Also, I had the curtains (cream coloured) drawn over the window to keep the fierce afternoon sun off the dining table, which helped with the gentle warm lighting.       Continue reading