Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Epic Fail Trifle - Making Something Wonderful Out of an Uh-Oh

Unbeknownst to her, Julia Child was my childhood mentor.  I spent hours watching her cook in grainy black and white while all the other children were playing outside after school.  I admired her aplomb, when after dropping a steak on the floor, she blithely picked it up, rinsed it off and proceeded to finish the dish.

See that photo above?  Epic failure.  It started with a great idea.  Mix up a chocolate fudge bundt cake, add a can of raspberry pastry filling then pop it in the oven.  Later, people would swoon as they tasted the raspberry filling in the moist, chocolatey decadance of the cake.

Reality intervened when I turned said cake out of the pan while it was still a trifle too warm.  It tore at it's weakest part, that lovely filling.  Which now looks rather gruesome.  What to do?

Could I somehow scrape out the top and plop it on top?  Yeah, that would be appetizing.  Did I mention that I was baking the bundt cake for a couples Bible study dinner? Humiliation before 10 couples was imminent. I was out of eggs and running out of time. What would Julia do?

I made a trifle.  If you have never had a trifle, you must, must ruin a cake and make one.  It is truly decadent.  You take cake, chop it up and layer it in a clear bowl, with whipped cream mixed with pudding, and fruit or jam (or pastry filling).  Top it with more whipped cream and serve it by the spoonful.

This doesn't have it's final layer of snowy white whipped cream.
A quick search of coupons for ready-to-eat pudding and whipping cream, then off to the store.  I scooped the pudding into a bowl.  Whipped the cream and folded the pudding into two thirds of it.  Then made layers of chopped/torn cake and pudding/whipped cream in my clear bowl, covered it with plastic wrap and chilled it until it was time to leave.   I brought the rest of the whipped cream along and topped the trifle just before serving.  It looked pretty, tasted divine and disappeared fast.

Epic Fail Trifle
1 box chocolate fudge cake mix (2 layer size)
eggs, oil and water called for on mix
1 (7 - 10 ounce) can raspberry pastry filling (not pie filling)
2 packages pudding (each with 6 individual serving cups)
1 pint whipping cream
1/4 cup white sugar

Preheat the oven, prepare and bake the cake mix as directed on the package for a bundt cake, except add the pastry filling in spoonfuls on top of the batter.  Be careful to avoid sides or center post of pan.  The pastry filling will sink while the cake bakes, forming a ring of filling.
Bake 55 - 60 minutes, or until cake tests done.
Place on wire rack to cool at least 20 minutes.  NOTE: This resulted in my cake fracturing.  It may or may not for you, but since you're going to tear apart the cake anyway, it doesn't matter.
Run a thin bladed knife between the cake and pan, both the outside edge and the post.
Take a deep breath, place a cooling rack over the pan and flip it over.  It should plop out.  If it doesn't, give the rack and couple sharp whacks on the counter to dislodge it.
If your cake fractured and you have partial unmolding - good for you, less to chop.
Allow the cake to cool to room temperature.
Whip the cream, adding only enough sugar to sweeten it slightly.
Scoop the pudding cups into a large bowl.  Fold two thirds of the whipped cream into it.  Cover and refrigerate the remaining whipped cream.
Chop up or tear the cake into bite sized pieces. 
Put one third of the cake pieces into the bowl.  Spoon one third of the pudding mixture on top and spread.  Repeat until all is used up, ending with pudding mixture.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve, top with remaining whipped cream and spoon into bowls. 
Be ready for silence as people mmm and yum themselves through their serving.  Smile understandingly as they ask for "just a tad more".

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I made some bracelets for door prizes for our Women's Ministry Retreat last Saturday.  Memory wire, glass beads, acrylic beads, crystals and gemstone chips made some very pretty gifts:

Handmade copper wire components added texture. I love the colors of these glass pearls together.

Looks very sophisticated on.  Hard to it give away...

This is my favorite.  Denim lapis chips, lapis oval gemstones, crystals.
Pretty in Pink