Let’s be honest. I only got Sweeter off the Vine for Yossy Arefi’s photographs. I follow her on instagram and love all her pictures. So I kind of already knew I would like this book.
I love baking with fruits and if you do too, this book is a gem. The book is categorized into different seasons and baking with fruits available during these seasons. Of course the fruit available will depend on the place you stay and these days some fruits are available throughout the year but the book focuses on seasonal fruits and baking with them, which I love.
The Spring section has herbs, rhubarb, strawberries and cherries based recipes. Summer uses apricots, mixed berries, melons, stone fruits, raspberries and figs. Grapes, permissons, pomegranates, apples, pears, quince, squash and pumpkins feature in fall recipes. And winter has recipes using cranberries, citrus and dates.
So this Banana Trifle Pudding is like my go-to, easy, no-fail recipe for a dessert that is a sure shot way to impress company or just yourself. You know, because sometimes you need that reinforcement that you are just awesome.
Its basically a vanilla cake, slathered with a generous serving of spiked up custard, a little jam, toasted walnuts and a layer of bananas, followed by the layers being repeated and then the whole thing topped with whipped cream. Delicious and no frills whipped cream.
The beauty of this dessert is the variations that could follow. You could play with the jam used. Raspberry pairs well with banana, but I have used blueberry crush as well and had amazing results. I have also used the cheap, ration brand of jam which is overtly sweet with an awful texture and I would otherwise not go near but mix it with some orange juice to add a little tang to the jam and its sweetness is reduced and the taste very much acceptable. And in the dessert a welcome ingredient.
Custard is a must, but you could make the pudding more of a banoffee by also using a little dulce de leche or a butterscotch sauce (the dulce de leche, I speak from experience, tastes heavenly). I used the powdered custard, since thats easy and less complicated. In India, there’s a brand Brown & Polson that makes it. I used the package instructions to make a free flowing custard. It was a vanilla flavored custard powder but I added some banana flavoring to it as well, for good measure. But, for true gastro-geeks go ahead make the real thing. But do add some cognac, or rum, or brandy. Because, spiked up is always better. You could also use Baileys. I have done that too. And I have not been disappointed. But then its Baileys, how can anybody be disappointed??
You could add caramelized walnuts, or just plain toasted walnuts, or just plain walnuts for an extra crunch to the dessert. Or if walnuts are not your thing, then I suggest chocolate chips, or chocolate shavings, or forget putting the chocolate in the dessert and eat it instead. I know the last option speaks to you the most. It speaks to me too.
One of the most requested recipes by my family is the triple layer chocolate mousse cake I have posted before on the blog. And seriously, what’s there not to love about this cake. Its every chocolate lover’s dream dessert. Three different layers of chocolate in different forms- a dark chocolate mousse sandwiched between a rich flourless chocolate cake at the bottom, and white chocolate mousse for the top.
So its not a biggie that every time I have made it, it has been appreciated a lot and thats why whenever I am at my parents, and we have company over that’s the first thing my mom suggests me to make.
A week back we had some guests over, so my mom wanted me to make the triple layer mousse cake again. I did not have access to white chocolate, but for long I have been toying with the idea of a mocha flavored mousse layer for a long time, so thought it would be the perfect occasion to finally try it out.
Since my dad is retiring and my parents are permanently moving to Punjab, my mom asked me to make use of ingredients in the refrigerator in an attempt to clean the fridge before packing it up. She had a bit of cream cheese left and I thought instead of a mascarpone mocha mousse (which was what I had initially planned) I should try a cream cheese based mousse recipe. I found a recipe on the Taste of Home website, and thought it was perfect. Only change I made to the recipe was increase the amount of instant coffee called for in the recipe and adding gelatin to the mixture, since the original recipe called for it and I wasn’t sure whether the mousse would hold up in a cake form without the gelatin.
I had a little apprehensions about how the cake would turn out, since it was the first time I was making this version. The cake turned out perfect. My sister-in-law who has had both versions commented that she actually liked this one more. Well, who doesn’t love coffee and chocolate together!
This is a great dessert, and being fairly easy to make, a perfect way to impress your guests with your baking abilities. One of my sister-in-law’s friend has also made a mango cake version of it, with excellent results, which you can read about in the comment section of the original post.
And since I am posting today, I will also throw it out there that two days back was my Blogiversary. I completed four years of blogging! Yay!! Something that started of as a way to just kill time in the beginning and not really with an intention to have it being read by anyone has grown up to mean something so much more for me. This blog has given me an independent identity, its my creative outlet, and made me discover so much about me that probably would have remain hidden had the blog not been there. I have learnt so much because of this blog and I know I will continue learning so much more. The blog has also introduced me to such inspiring talents out in the blogging community and even though the past few weeks I haven’t been able to catch up with the blogging community, these bloggers continue to be an inspiration to me everyday. And I know I have been slacking with responding to you comments, but I really am grateful to everyone who reads this blog, comments on my posts, or silently keeps a track of my posts, likes me on facebook, follows me on instagram or twitter. It truly means a lot. Thank You and hope you enjoy this recipe 🙂