Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saint-Honore' Trifle

Creating this trifle has long been anticipated by me. My hesitation was because of the room in my 4' x 8' kitchen, and concern for not having space to make the spun sugar. Finally, however, I decided to go ahead. These were my experiences:

Day 1: First I obtained gorgeous strawberries.
My friend remarked to me that it was interesting that these were California berries from the local market, and not from growers here in Poteet, Texas, the Strawberry Capitol, and known for the sweetest strawberries. Poteet celebrates, and is famous for their April festivals, held this year on April 10. In actuality, it is true this California variety at hand was not as sweet as those from Poteet. I helped them along by rinsing them in Champagne vinegar, tossing and draining them, cutting and then macerating them for a short time in superfine sugar. They were scrumptious.

Day 1: Baked the cake and cooled completely. Chilled before leveling and torting.
Cut to fit trifle bowl. Wrapped for the night.

Mixed apricot and marmalade with
Grand Marnier. Saved to spread the 4 layers with the mixture.

Prepared Grand Marnier syrup and saved for syruping the trifle layers as composing.

Day 1: Made up two other mis en places: Gathered and measured/weighed ingredients for chiboust cream. I needed 5 yolks instead of 4 to make the 74 grams; used vanilla paste for the little seeds and a Madagascar Bourbon bean.

--and measured/weighed out the whipping cream ingredients.
Time for bed.

Day 2:
First, I spread marmalade mixture on each of the 4 layers of cake that had been leveled and cut to fit trifle bowl.

Made the chiboust cream.

It seemed a little sweet, but maybe because I had used Castor sugar.

To begin the assembly of the trifle, I placed the first marmalade-bottom-layer in trifle bowl; moistened the top with Grand Marnier syrup; covered with chiboust cream and then strawberries. Continued until the top layer, which was syruped and creamed. Wrapped and refrigerated the trifle overnight.
Day 3: I Prepared the whipped cream with the intention of making large star drop-flowers all over the top of the trifle. However, after placing them around the perimeter, I ran out of whipped cream. So - strawberries in the center seemed like a good alternative. Then I finished and refrigerated the trifle.

Day 3: Now, I plastered an area of the kitchen with newspaper and taped down the oiled dowels. I brought in a little step stool, and readied the cut-up whisk and the Thermapen.

I boiled the sugar to amber at 360 degrees, and tested it until it quickly began to fall into strings. I waved it across the dowels, delighted to see the angel hair strings take shape. Hooray! It works!

This endeavor was made easy for me by examples such as Marie's and Monica's. Without those examples, I question whether I would have attempted the sugar-spinning adventure because I thought the space too small in the kitchen. But when I watched Monica and Marie, I realized that Monica really didn't use much space at all, and that for me it was a possibility after all.

Spinning completed, I gathered it into a loose round shape and sat it in its oiled glass bowl. Then brought out the trifle and placed it on a table with the spun sugar crowning it. SO pretty.

I have removed the crown several times and put it back into the freezer in it's oiled bowl, covered tightly. It seems as if it freezes well there, as Rose notes, and can be used again - if there is any left, of course.

The first portion was served to the terrified husband, for having survived his horror as his wife-gone-mad wielded a sharp object around in the air with burning strands emanating from it -

And, then to delighted friends and neighbors . . .

Of course, this divine confection is breathtaking, a vision - not to mention the fact that it is angelic with all of its elegant composition of flavours and textures. Indeed, glorious. And, I am happy to say that I was able to complete it. Now I shall go reward myself. Mmmmm!


  1. Spectacular. I wish I was one of your friends or neighbors!

    Great job and your spun sugar looks incredible.

  2. Beautiful! and you tackled the spun sugar; which turned out perfect too! Trying something new can be a huge accomplishment in itself =0)

  3. Thanks so much. Now I am eyeing the lacquer glaze for the Bernachon Palet D'or Gateau - whew! lol

  4. Your strawberries look so red and so beautiful! You perfected the spun sugar! Looks incredible on top of the trifle bowl! Love the mini tall glass trifle too! Very pretty!

  5. Thank you so much. Yes, it was nice to find these huge berries; they are really pretty and red. The spun sugar was not difficult. The idea of serving the last parts of the trifle in glasses with little pieces of the sugar on top was done by others here and I just thought it was a great thing because the trifle was so large - and you know who doesn't need to consume all these cakes - lol. Tomorrow eyeing the lacquer glaze - that is daunting to me ...

  6. Ohhh...I love the spun sugar--you did such a great job on it! I also loved the smaller servings in the glasses, very pretty! :)

  7. Thank you, Jill. Your awesome achievement is still singing in my mind. It does stand among some of the finest I have ever seen. I wish you the best successes.

  8. Oh my heavens, it is gorgeous!

  9. Oh my gosh, I missed your post when you first published it! I have so many things to say!

    First off, your trifle looks so gorgeous, and your spun sugar divine. Nice job! You presented it so professionally, wow.

    Secondly, I think you win the tiny kitchen award! Wow!!

    And finally, I laughed when I saw that you use the IKEA kid's bowls for your prep, because I do too! I LOVE them!

    Oh yes, and your copper pot? Almost steals the show.

    I hope you did reward yourself, you deserved it!

  10. Joan, that is one glorious trifle!!! Just gorgeous. I hope mine looks as nice as yours when I make this.

  11. That's high praise from you, Julie, such an artist - the lemon crown and the tres leches cake you did - Awesome. Trifle is a snap. But thanks, you are soooo sweet to drop by.
    And evil cake lady - sorry I haven't been by here to see your comments -Thanks for such high praisel Aren't the little bowls fun/ I love choosing what goes into which bowl each prep - small minds amuse easily. I dragged the copper pot back from France years [and years] ago and it sat on the shelf - I recently decided to use it. But it really gets hot and I just got a WmsS mit with silicone skin slip on so will see if that helps. I made the trifle again and it was fun. It's easy if done in increments. After Trifle 2, I posted on the Forum: don't spin the sugar in bare feet - for obvious reasons - ouch.