Sunday 25 December 2011

christmas trifle

Merry Christmas!

When waif-model Kate Moss said “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, she clearly hadn’t eaten Bloodwood’s trifle.

Moist, dense pound cake soaked in eggnog custard, topped with cinnamon poached cherries and luscious port wine jelly. It doesn’t get better than that.

Jonas hates jelly. All Swedes seem to.

Once I made some for his little sister, who was 6 at the time, and she wrinkled up her nose in disgust and looked at me as if I was trying to poison her.

How can an entire people hate such a wonderful thing?

I digress, but my point is that this trifle is so good that, after one mouthful, Jonas declared that this ought to be the dessert our family ate at Christmas this year

Thus, my quest to master the components began.

After some kindly tweets between me and the Bloodwood crew, I was merrily on my way to Christmas Trifle heaven.

Clove Pound Cake, Port Wine Jelly
Cinnamon Poached Cherries, Eggnog Custard

So here’s my festive recipe for you. I’ll be enjoying the trifle this afternoon, and I hope your Christmas is filled with equally delicious food too!

Christmas Trifle

Anna’s homage to the Bloodwood Trifle. Serves 12-16.

1 clove pound cake (see recipe below)
1 batch of port wine jelly (see recipe below)
1 batch of eggnog custard (see recipe below)
1 batch of cinnamon poached cherries (see recipe below)


1. Prepare all ingredients the day before. Wrap the cake but refrigerate everything else.

2. When ready to assemble, cut cake into cubes.

3. Layer bottom of a large bowl or individual serving glasses with half the pound cake.

4. Scatter with half the cherries, two thirds of the custard then top with half the jelly broken up into pieces.

5.  Top with remaining pound cake, custard, jelly and cherries then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cinnamon Poached Cherries

Anna’s very own recipe.

1kg cherries
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cinnamon quills


1. Pit cherries over a large saucepan, catching juices and keeping both flesh and stones.

2. In a saucepan, combine water, cinnamon quills, cherries and their pits then bring to the boil.

3. Simmer for 2 minutes.

4. Add sugar, stir to dissolve. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes.

5. Cool and strain. Keep cherry flesh, discard stones. Use syrup for drinks or other desserts.

Clove Pound Cake

Based on an Australian Gourmet Traveller Recipe.

250g softened butter
250g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
250g eggs (approx 4-5 eggs), at room temperature
250g plain flour, sieved
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 teaspoons baking powder


1. Preheat oven to 170C.

2. Beat butter, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer until pale and fluffy (5-6 minutes).

3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, then stir in cloves, flour and baking powder.

4. Spoon into loaf tin buttered and lined with baking paper, smooth top.

5. Bake until golden and cooked through (45 minutes-1 hour), cool in tin for 5 minutes then turn onto a wire rack.

Eggnog Custard

Based on an Australian Gourmet Traveller Recipe.

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
600ml pouring cream
300ml milk
6 egg yolks
150g caster sugar
125ml brandy


1. Combine vanilla, nutmeg, cream and milk in a saucepan and over medium heat bring almost to boiling point.

2. Beat/whisk egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale and thick.

3. With the beaters or whisk continuously moving, pour in a cup of the hot cream and beat vigorously to combine hot liquid and avoid eggs scrambling. Gradually pour in remaining milk/cream mixture until completely combined.

4. Pour hot cream mixture over egg mixture, whisking continuously to combine, then transfer to a clean pan.

5. Cook, stirring continuously, over low-medium heat until mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.

6. Stir in brandy then strain into a bowl. Cool completely and refrigerate until ready to use.

Port Wine Jelly

Based on an Australian Gourmet Traveller Recipe.

750ml good-quality port
295g caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla bean paste
7 titanium-strength gelatine leaves, softened in cold water for 5 minutes


1. Bring port, sugar, vanilla and 400ml water to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar.

2. Squeeze excess liquid from gelatine, add to pan and stir to dissolve, then transfer to a 20cm x 30cm deep tray.

3. Refrigerate until set (4 hours-overnight).


  1. Even though I'm not much of a trifle fan, I love all the flavours in this. Hope you had a fabulous Christmas! :)

  2. thanks Y! it's an absolutely amazing trifle because it tasted just like bloodwood's - which is always superb.
    turns out to be a great boxing day brekkie too :)

  3. for me this Christmas is dessert-less...but i am feeling to have some from last night..hope i can make today..thanks for recipe..

  4. Merry Xmas Anna! I love trifles, especially boozy versions like yours.


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