Wednesday, 22 January 2014

A trifling display

Well, it's almost a month since Christmas and here I am still mentioning it. I have this one last thing to share and then it's time to move on, honest!

Having made a table centrepiece for Christmas last year, I really wanted to make something again. I'd already decided on a design, which I'd seen on Pinterest, and planned to use my cylinder vase. But then, I spotted a trifle bowl in the special buys at Aldi.

It's a really simple idea but so effective. Natural and glass pebbles in the bottom. Tendrils of ivy leaves winding up the sides. Fill with water and float cranberries and candles on the top.

So pretty when the candles are lit.

I loved how they glowed from underneath too.

One thing I would say about floating candles though, is that there's an awful lot of waste, so I now have a bag full of white wax to melt down to make more teacup candles.

It stayed looking lovely the whole of Christmas until New Year's Eve, when I dismantled it and made a smaller version in the cylinder vase. I needed the trifle bowl for my New Year's Day dinner.

As the now proud owner of a trifle bowl, it seemed a good idea to try it out with the dessert for which it was made. I grew up with the kind of trifle which has a layer of jelly at the bottom. Sometimes the jelly would include tinned fruit (peaches or fruit cocktail - very '70s) but never, ever, ever with sponge. Ughh! Jelly, yes. Sponge, yes. But the two together - no, no, no! *

In any case, for only my second ever trip into trifle-making, I wanted to make one of those posh, chef-y trifles which doesn't include jelly at all. **

As you'll know, trifles are made up of layers. The bottom layer was slices of raspberry swiss roll sprinkled with homemade blackberry liqueur. Next came a layer of raspberries and blueberries, cooked and strained to remove excess liquid. Then custard (supermarket to save time). Finally, a row of raspberries and blueberries around the edges before adding whipped double cream.

Ta-dah! I made up the decoration as I went along and wish I'd planned it a bit more. However, it tasted great and that's the main thing. One of my guests asked for a small piece as he isn't much of a dessert person and ended up having thirds! I call that a success.

So, having found two uses for my trifle bowl, I'm wondering what else? We're hosting another Burns Night supper on Saturday and I could use it for punch (non-alcoholic, unfortunately, with under-10s present). Any other ideas? Like courgettes, is there potential for a book, '101 ways with a trifle bowl'? An intriguing thought, I'm off to Pinterest to investigate :)

*I feel the same way about jam and butter.

**'Posh' is generally applied to anything which my family didn't do while I was growing up, as posh we most definitely are not. Another example would be cutting toast into triangles rather than squares.


  1. I love your creative candle display - great use of that bowl - and the trifle looks pretty good too!

  2. A great post - I had to laugh at "posh". The bowl is fabulous - so pretty as a centerpiece and then for dessert.

  3. OMG! They're both so beautiful!

  4. Wonderful holiday displays! I'm going to tuck both of them away for next year...but I'm thinking you could easily adapt that centerpiece for other seasons...lovely blog! Chrissie x

  5. Your trifle looks like the nicest, most perfect trifle ever! I really like your candle display too, it is so effective and a lovely idea.
    Marianne x

  6. Gorgeous on both counts- I love trifle- sometimes with jelly, sometimes without, sometimes with 1970s tinned fruit or anything else for that matter... One of my favourite trifles is pear and ginger- made with Ginger cake, pears, custard, cream and little bits of stem ginger.
    I don't know about a punch recipe, but a Scottish 'Cranachan' pudding would go well in there too:)

  7. Your centerpiece is gorgeous, and that trifle looks delicious! I don't have a trifle bowl, but I do have a glass punchbowl. I have used it for punch and for trifle. You could also do a layered salad in there.

  8. The candle decoration looks fabulous, as does your trifle. Jelly or no jelly is always a controversial subject in our house - I like sponge with sherry but the teenager insists on jelly as well.