I’ve started thinking about our Christmas food – I admit it. I like to be organised and want to feel positive and excited about Christmas. Every year, we always have pretty much exactly the same food – very traditional and delicious. My Mum was a great one for tradition. This year, however, I can’t face making/eating a Christmas Cake and a Christmas Pudding that I know my Mum and my My Brother (who is abroad) won’t be able to share. They were/are the biggest fans of the “dried fruits held together with a teaspoon of flour” delicacies. So I’ve been thinking about “still traditional” alternatives – that my kids might even like.
I have decided to make Stollen instead of a Christmas Cake as I just adore it and the kids like it too. The desert for the main event is proving more problematic.
I suggested a lemon cheesecake or something similar but the kids said it wasn’t Christmasssy enough – even though they hate Christmas pudding. They reckoned something chocolatey would be good (but I’m not a huge chocolate fan). A friend suggested a trifle. My Mum made the best trifle and I did make one last year for my brother – so that was the best idea so far. On the Great British Bake Off this year they made a kind off upside down trifle called a Charlotte Royale. When we watched the episode, my kids thought it looked good and that we should make one – so I thought I had my solution – some sort of upside down trifle.
I googled “upside down trifle” and found this - a chocolate upside down trifle with black cherries.
Number one son – the Apprentice – loves black cherries and all the kids love chocolate Swiss roll. I tried making a Swiss roll when I was a kid and I over-baked it and it turned out like a giant cookie. Today is Ballet Girl’s 15th Birthday and she had requested I make her profiteroles for her “cake.” This morning I dutifully made her profiteroles using this recipe and then thought I’d make a practice Swiss roll while I was in the baking mood – the more Birthday cakes the merrier! I had chocolate sauce left over from the profiteroles too.
As you can see my practice came out well. My Swiss roll tin was a bit small so my cake was a bit thick – but hey it’s art not science. I didn’t have any cream left after I filled the profiteroles so I improvised with half a carton of left over custard. I painted the ganache sauce on with my silicon pastry brush. The decorations are left-over butterscotch chips from the Father’s Day Oreo Tart I made back in June. So, Ballet Girl came home from school to two cakes – a pile of profiteroles and a giant Swiss roll! Mechanic man just came in from the cold and is pretty pleased too – time to order the Chinese take-away Ballet Girl requested for her Birthday tea. Not sure how we’ll manage to do the deserts justice but we’ll try.