Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gingerbread Trifle

This year at my family Christmas, I was in charge of making the dessert.  I wanted to make a cheesecake, however when I came across this recipe it looked to good to pass up.  The best thing about trifles is that they look difficult to make, but they really are quite simple.  This is a great dessert to make when you have a large crowd to feed because it makes quite a bit.  There are three parts to creating this trifle, so it is quite time consuming, but well worth it!

Gingerbread Ingredients

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup dark molasses
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk

Making the Gingerbread:

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, ginger,cinnamon, and salt   

2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter until it's soft and creamy

3. Add the sugar and molasses to the butter and beat again until the mixture is well blended and fluffy, about 2 minutes more
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each addition
5. Slowly pour in the buttermilk and beat well
6. Reduce the mixer's speed to low and slowly add half the flour mixture to the bowl and beat until blended
7. Repeat with the other half
8. Pour the batter into a greased 9 in round cake pan and bake for about 45 minutes
9. Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack, and then cover it tightly with plastic wrap until ready to use

Vanilla Custard Ingredients
9 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
3 cups whole milk
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Making the Custard:
1. Divide the egg yolks and whites by carefully tipping each yolk back and forth between the shell halves, letting the whites spill into a bowl
2. Place the yolks in a separate bowl
3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer set on medium-high speed, beat the yolks and sugar until the mixture is pale yellow and thick, about 2 to 3 minutes
4. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the flour
5. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil
6. Slowly pour half the milk into the egg mixture and beat until blended. Then pour the mixture into the remaining milk in the pan
7. Over medium heat, bring the ingredients to a boil while whisking constantly. Allow the custard to boil for 1 minute as you continue to whisk
8. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla
9. Let the custard cool slightly, then cover its surface with a piece of plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming
10. Let the custard cool completely, then refrigerate it until ready to use (up to three days)

Filling and Garnish Ingredients
3 (12-ounce) packages frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed and drained
1 cup chilled heavy cream
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar
1/2 pint fresh raspberries

Assembling the Trifle:
1. In a medium bowl, toss the thawed raspberries and white sugar
2. Remove the gingerbread from the pan and use a serrated knife to slice it into four equal wedges
3. Turn each wedge on its side and slice it into three equal pieces
4. Stack them, slice the pile in half, and cut off 1 1/2 inches from the tips, reserving the pieces
5. Arrange a layer of six cake wedges over the bottom of a 2 1/2-quart bowl or trifle dish
6. Fill the center with a few of the trimmings
7. Spoon and spread 3/4 cup of the raspberry mixture over the cake, then top the fruit with 1 cup of custard
8. Repeat the layering three more times with the remaining ingredients
9. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours to let the flavors meld (the dessert can be stored overnight)
10. Before serving, make the whipped cream
11. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip the cream with the confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes
12. Use a spatula to spread the whipped cream on top of the trifle, and garnish it with fresh raspberries

Recipe from Family Fun Magazine

Cornflake Christmas Wreaths

This is one of my favorite treats that my dad makes every Christmas time.  This was my second year making them myself and they are simply delicious.  

1/2 cup of butter
30 large marshmallows
1/4 tsp of green food coloring
1/2 tsp of vanilla
4 1/2 to 5 1/2 cups of corn flakes
Red Hot candy

1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan
2. Add marshmallows to butter and stir constantly until melted
3. Remove from heat
4.  Stir in vanilla and food coloring
5.  Add corn flakes to the marshmallow mixture
6. Grease fingers, and form the corn flake mixture into wreaths
7.  Place wreaths on wax paper to cool, and immediately decorate with red hot candy