I have been a very bad blogger, I apologize profusely. The end of school happened and then my back pain and then Europe and well, I have been a very bad blogger indeed. I am back at it though and hopefully will have lots to regale you with soon! It has been a bit too hot to do much baking recently (though there was quite a bit of experimenting with baguettes right after I got home from Europe), but I am hoping to jump back in for a BBQ I have next week. In the meantime, some catch-up!
Right before the end of the school year, my mother hosted her book group meeting. The book they read was Major Pettigrew's Last Stand, which is really quite a nice book if anyone's looking for anything to read. She asked me to make something for it and we determined that few things get much more English-y than a trifle, even if it is out of the ultimate American cookbook...
Brown chose a cherry trifle for D.C. in honor of the cherry trees that are so prevalent down there. I'm not sure how he decided on a trifle for their vehicle though. It was a pretty basic recipe, but with a few extra tricks thrown in. Brown called for his "Amazing Vanilla Cake" recipe for the cake layers, but I had some leftover vanilla cake in the freezer and used that (remember when I said I would never deviate from the exact recipes? HA!). Brown's trifle recipe calls for sugaring the cherries. This basically means to dump the pitted cherries in with some sugar and apple cider vinegar and let them hang out in the fridge for a few hours. When all that is done, he has you make a simple syrup and add the juices that have come out of the soaking cherries to that. Then you soak each layer of cake with the simple syrup before putting in the whipped cream and sugared cherries. Brown also required the whipped cream to be very loose, so it all kind of blends together. I think I understood his reasoning, but in the future, would probably whip it up more. I prefer a firmer texture over his aesthetic preference.
I discovered a cute trick for pitting cherries during this process. By gently pushing of the point of a corkscrew through the top of the cherry (where the stem was), the pit slipped right out the bottom of the cherry and didn't leave a very big hole. This was good because part of the appeal of the trifle was how the cherries looked with the layers of cake and cream.
It was very tasty, though with those ingredients, I can't imagine how it wouldn't have been!