TLH and I don't tend to give dinner parties, or even have friends over to eat very often. In fact, I can count on the fingers of one hand the times we've done it living in this house - and we've been here very nearly 16 years! I'm not too sure why this is but it doesn't help that our kitchen is so teeny tiny that it will only comfortably fit one human and one furry overlord at a time, and the dining area bit of our living space can barely fit a table that will seat four people, and one of them has to sit uncomfortably close to a wall. There's just not enough space for properly comfortable entertaining.
But even though good friends of ours moved into a house literally opposite us in the close last November, we've seen nothing of them since about June this year so we figured it was time to get them over and food is always a good reason to socialise!
I decided that I would make Butternut Squash and Coconut milk soup to start with, using one of my last remaining homegrown Butternet Squashes; main course would be Pan Fried Chicken in a Cream and Oyster Mushroom sauce with mashed potates, broccoli, green beans and carrots; dessert to be White Chocolate and Raspberry Trifle.
The trifle is awesome and is so rich and substantial that I only make it when there are more than 2 people to eat it. This means it's a brilliant thing to make for Christmas, so if you fancy something other than traditional Christmas pudding or a bog-standard Sherry Trifle, then I can absolutely recommend this. There's no cooking, it's all just assembly and it's best to make it a day before you need to eat it so the flavours can sink into the sponge. It's up to you how much you want to spend on ingredients but I've made this with the cheapest swiss roll and white chocolate and ready made custard I could fine, and it still tastes fabulous.
So, here we go then, with pictures and everything:
WHITE CHOCOLATE AND RASPBERRY TRIFLE
(Serves at least 6, depending on portion size)
300g Raspberries (frozen is fine)
juice of 1/2 lime
1 tablespoon of kirsch or vodka
2 tablespoons of icing sugar
1 vanilla swiss roll (not chocolate). Get a big one, or 2 smaller ones.
120g white chocolate
150g double cream or whipping cream (this is actually optional but you need at least a tablespoon)
2 x 500ml ready made custard
1. Place 1/3 (i.e., 100g) of the raspberries in a sieve over a bowl. Push through with a spoon until only the pips remain. I'll be honest, this is a bit of a pain in the bum to do as it takes quite a long time. Apparently you can now buy readymade raspberry coulis and if I'd known about it, I would definitely have used that instead.
2. To the puree, add the icing sugar:
And the juice of 1/2 a lime and the tablespoon of kirsch or vodka:
3. Slice the swiss roll(s) into 1cm slices and use most of them to cover the sides and base of a bowl in a single layer:
4. Moisten the slices with most of the raspberry puree, and scatter in another 1/3 (100g) of the raspberries:
5. Set aside a few squares of the chocolate for grating later, and break up the rest of the choc into small pieces.
6. Place the chocolate in a bowl and melt over a pan of boiling water, ensuring the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Do not overheat or the chocolate will start to go gritty. Stir until melted:
7. When melted, take off heat and stir into it one tablespoon of the double/whipping cream, then stir in both cartons of custard:
8. Pour/ladle half the custard over the swiss roll in the bowl and lay over it the remaining swiss roll slices, like some fabulous lasagne:
9. Dribble the remaining raspberry sauce over the slices and scatter over most of the remaining raspberries:
10. Completely cover with the rest of the custard:
View from the side.
There are now a few options. You can whip the cream until stiff and spread over the top of the custard, or you can pipe it on decoratively. I hadn't decided what I was going to do and feared that if I did this now, the raspberries on top might leak colour into the cream. So I left mine unadorned and popped it into the fridge overnight.
The next morning I decided that, actually, there was enough risk of cardiac failure from eating this without adding more cream so just grated the set aside squares of chocolate over the top and added the rest of the raspberries.
Inexpensive, easy and your family will think it's one of the best things EVER. I guarantee it.