Boom shakka shakka. Beach Cottage trifle bokeh.
If you are a foodie, gasp at shop-bought cake, do not like packet jelly (and I don’t blame you – you might call that Jello) and prefer not to add any further jiggle to your upper arms, step away from the computer right now.
If you however, are a busy mum, need a Christmas dessert that is more of a building than a making, want to pretend you worked hard on a dessert when really you didn’t, then bob is your uncle, you came to the right place and I am so your girl.
Now I really cannot tell you any long, interesting and fancy stories about travelling to some Continental country and eating this in a French cafe overlooking the sea…
….what would be more fitting is that I made this deep in the heart of the Kent countryside one day in a cheap B&Q kitchen, when I was newly married and rubbish at making dessert….as you know that part hasn’t improved too much, me and baking / desserts aren’t the perfect partners, but I do have a few things up my sleeve when and if I need them… this is one of those.
I have been thinking about food and recipes a whole lot recently…I read quite a few food blogs…mostly for the styling, for the being nosey into someone else’s life (that is the main reason I ever started to read blogs)…plus I love the inspiration on photography and ideas to try and improve mine…some food blogs I have been reading for years, many of them have books out too now and I have enjoyed riding along on their journey with them…or should I say lurking along on their journey with them
….and in addition to all that new media stuff, I have a TONNE of cookery books…
Recently I pulled one of these books down from the shelves, it hadn’t seen the light of day for a while, I settled down opened it up and the first few words were along the lines of ‘when I am in my house in the South of France or my apartment in Manhattan I make sure that before I arrive it is stocked with *insert expensive French saucepan brand* and fresh produce and the best handmade pasta’…hmmm I put the book down, looked out the window of the tattiest old cottage on the beaches, picked it up again and then read a bit further, about only buying ‘the best’ olive oil, hand something or othered (yes I know this is not a word, I like to make up words on my blog, I don’t care on here about grammar, so shoot me) and truffles..
I looked up at all these celebrity chefs looking down at me from my bookshelves talking about designer salt and truffles that cost more than my handbag and never make it into my kitchen, and it made me wonder how much these people are anything like me at all…
That same evening one of them came on the tv with his $13,000 fridge and it all just, I dunno, felt odd…I looked over at my fridge who just about every day I dream of replacing with a fancy schmancy retro Italian one and if not quite that very much fantasise about making it over with bright pink paint…
…I do not own any special equipment either, no pasta making machine, no chefs professional knives, I have two saucepans, and two stockpots from IKEA and I waited YEARS for my beloved-I-worship-and-stroke-her-very-single-day mixer and I don’t as a rule spend more on olive oil than I do on yet another pair of school shoes, ahem quilt or piece of sport uniform.
But these people on my bookshelves do…and it seems that since I chose to be a mum who stayed at home all those years ago I have journeyed along it all with them – while they bought apartments in Manhattan and order the best oil, I have been here with 3 hungry kiddos and a real girl life – experimenting, cooking a dinner day in day out, trying their ideas, trying to keep it all a bit healthy, cutting recipes from magazines, trying this and that from basic ingredients and making it all up as I go along..
And that’s where the things I cook have come from…from my real life…and a husband who uses 65 saucepans to make baked beans on toast…I’ve adapted things to suit us, to suit the sport commitments which it seems get more not less and when I’ve come home and there is nothing to eat I’ve rustled up things with cornflakes and tins of tuna, pasta and jars of olives and cheated with curry paste….
Which, in the midst of this rambling (I could go on for ever here) is why I like and make this recipe…and what I am trying to say is, sometimes I buy shop Swiss Roll and ready-made custard, it works for me, it’s not trendy and Italian deli, but anything that means I can get home ‘made’ works for me and I like it like that
1 x chocolate Swiss Roll (or equivalent sponge/cake)
1 x carton custard
1 x packet jelly (you might call this jello)
1 x carton double cream whipped
1 x punnet strawberries
1 x Flake chocolate bar (or chocolate grated)
1. make up jelly as to packet instructions
2. slice Swiss Roll and layer in dish
3. add jelly on top of Swiss Roll
4. slice and add layer of strawberries
5. add layer of custard
6. whip cream and spread on top
7. sprinkle with crushed Flake
*BC Recipe Notes : any chocolate grated will do *if you can’t get Swiss Roll make or buy choc cake *use ice when you make up the jelly it’s much quicker *invest in a trifle bowl if you can (you can get them cheaply in dollar stores), they make your layering look impressive *you can use frozen fruit and I do but not in the Summer when it is in season **add some liqueur if you like, I mostly don’t b/c the BC Crew do not partake
If you have a little Christmas event to turn up to and don’t know what to take, there is one thing with this I can guarantee : this looks impressive and gets much ooohing and ahhing even though you are the one who knows that all it really involved was opening, slicing and layering…
See you next time….