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Saturday, September 24, 2016

Green Tea Poundcake Trifle with Lychees and Tangerines

Trifle is a dessert dish made from thick (or often solidified) custard, fruit, pound or sponge cake, fruit juice or gelatin, and whipped cream. These ingredients are usually arranged in layers with fruit and cake on the bottom, and custard and cream on top. The earliest known use of the name trifle was for a thick cream flavored with sugar, ginger and rosewater, the recipe for which was published in England, 1596, in a book called "The good houswife's Jewell" by Thomas Dawson. It wasn't until sixty years later when milk was added and the custard was poured over alcohol soaked bread.
Research indicates it evolved from a similar dessert known as a fool or foole, and originally the two names were used interchangeably.
While some people consider the inclusion of gelatin to be a recent variation, the earliest known recipe to include jelly dates from 1747, and the poet Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote of trifles containing jelly in 1861.
Some trifles contain a small amount of alcohol such as port, or, most commonly, sweet sherry or Madeira wine. Non-alcoholic versions may use sweet juices or soft drinks such as ginger ale instead, as the liquid is necessary to moisten the cake layers.
One popular trifle variant has the sponge soaked in jelly (liquid-gelatin dessert) when the trifle is made, which sets when refrigerated. The egg and jelly bind together and produce a pleasant texture if made in the correct proportions.
Traditional trifles do not contain jelly. The Scots have a similar dish to trifle, Tipsy Laird, made with Drambuie or whiskey. In the Southern US, a variant of trifle is known as tipsy cake.
A trifle is often used for decoration as well as taste, incorporating the bright, layered colors of the fruit, jelly, egg custard, and the contrast of the cream.
Trifles are often served at Christmas time, sometimes as a lighter alternative to the much denser Christmas pudding.
In Italy, a dessert similar to trifle is known as zuppa inglese, meaning English Soup. Cadbury also produce a chocolate flavored trifle. Although this contains no fruit, the layering of sponge, (chocolate) custard and cream would indicate a trifle style dessert.
This recipe yields 16 servings.
This is very quick recipe if you have store bought pound cake or sponge cake. However I decided to bake Green Tea Pound Cake for this recipe so took a little longer.  First I will give you recipe for green tea pound cake and then recipe for creamy layers and lastly will show you how to put it all together. If you are not interested in making green tea  pound cake you can skip the first part.
A lychee (pronounced LEE-ji) is a tropical fruit in the  genus  Litchi. It comes from southern China. Since it is tropical, it will only grow in a warm, wet climate.
The inside of a lychee is a clear, pinkish-white colour. The outside of the fruit is a hard spiky shell. Its seed/pit is brown in colour and very hard. The seeds are poisonous and should not be eaten. The lychee has a sweet taste, and may be frozen, made into sauces, jam, puree, or preserves. When frozen, the lychee tastes similar to sorbet. Here I buy lychees in can from oriental stores.
Ingredient for green Tea Pound Cake: 
  • 1 package of ready made yellow or white cake mix
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 pack of instant vanilla pudding mix (you can use pistachio pudding mix if you like)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Juice from one fresh lime (you can use 1 teaspoon lemon extract instead)
  • 2/3 cup of water
  • 1 cup (8 oz) of sour cream 
  • 2 Tbls  of Match green tea powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking power

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees 
  • Spray the two 9 x 4 x 3 inch loaf pans with oil spray can.
  • In the mixer bowl cream together butter, sugar and pudding mix until light and fluffy.

  • Beat in the eggs one at a time. 
  • Stir in the vanilla extract and lemon juice
  • Beat in water and sour cream. 
  • Add cake mix,  flour, green tea and baking powder.
  • Beat everything until smooth.
  • Pour the batter into prepared pans
  • Bake for 50 min or until the toothpick inserted in center of the cake come out clean.
  • I used silicone pans, if you use dark metal or glass pans, the time may vary 5 min here and there.
  • Let the cake cool in pan for 10 min.
  • Turn it over on a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While cakes are cooling you may start with prep for creamy layers.

Ingredients for creamy layers:
2 and a half packs of cream cheese softened at room temp.
2 8 oz  tubs of cool whip
1 16 oz container of sour cream
1 can of condensed milk
1 cup of  vanilla yogurt (optional)
Juice from one fresh lime (optional)
2 packs of your favorite instant pudding mix (I used caramel)
4 cups of milk to prepare instant pudding.
I used layer of cream that I prepared with following recipe and used caramel flavored instant pudding but you may use any other flavor or not use pudding at all. You may use jello if you like, but I did not because I did not want to have too many flavors.
Method to make creamy layer:
  • Mix softened cream cheese, condense milk, sour cream, one tub of cool whip (save the other one for layer), lime juice and yogurt until creamy.
  • Set aside.
  • Make the pudding according to instructions on the box, set aside.
Ingredients for fruit layers:
  • 2 cans of lychees
  • 2 cans of tangerines
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/2 cup of lychees syrup from the can
  • 2-3 tables spoon of dark rum (I did not use it this time)
  • 1 cup of sliced toasted almonds

  • Drain the lychees from can, save 1/2 cup of syrup, rest you can discard.
  • Cut the lychees in to half slices.
  • Drain the tangerines from can. Discard the syrup or juice.
  • Mix 1/2 cup of lychee syrup from can and orange juice and set aside. (you may add 2-3 tablespoon of  dark rum to this juice, but I did not)

Method to put it all together: 
  • Get all the things together that you are going to layer the trifle with.
  • Cut the cooled green tea pound cakes in to 1 inch squares.
  • Take trifle bowl.
  • Place a layer of cubes in bottom of trifle bowl
  • Brush with lychee and orange juice and rum mix.
  • Gently spread the creamy layer.  
  • Top with pudding layer and spread gently.
  • Layer with lychees, tangerine segments and then almonds.
  • You may include layer or one tub of cool whip that you save from before, however be sure to save enough cool whip for the last topping.
  • Repeat the process and layers until everything is consumed Save some almonds slices, lychees and tangerine segments for garnishing
  • Last topping should be for cool whip, spread evenly and garnish with tangerine segments, lychees halves and almonds.
  • You may spinkle litte bit of Matcha greeen tea powder on top. I simply forgot to do this part.
  • Refrigerate the  trifle for 3-4 hours or overnight.
  • Let it stand at room temp for 30-40 min before serving.
This recipe yields 16 servings.
Trifle description source:
Lychee description source:

Trifle recipe by Surekha with adaption of pound cake recipe from Nick Malgieri green tea pound cake recipe.
Photographs by Surekha

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