Friday, June 19, 2009

A passion (fruit) trifle

Portuguese version
Valentine's day in Brazil was June 12th and this reminded me of passion fruit trifle. An elegant dessert and just perfect for any special occasion, like Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Fourth of July, Christmas, New Year's, etc. I usually fix this dessert for big crowds.

Passion fruit is widely used here in juices and desserts. The actual name of this fruit in Portuguese has nothing to do with the translation into English, passion fruit is known here as maracuja.

This dessert is usually served as a passion fruit mousse and only the custard and the topping are arranged in a dish, but this time a friend of mine, Sheila, served it as a trifle and shared her mother's recipe.
For the custard
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can heavy cream (use the condensed milk can to measure)
1/2 cup concentrated passion fruit juice

Whisk the condensed milk, the heavy cream and the passion fruit juice until smooth.

For the whipped cream
2 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Whisk the cream with an electric mixer in a bowl until soft peaks form.

For the trifle
6 thick slices of sponge cake (you can also use graham crackers or cookies)
6 oz (180 g) milk or white chocolate, shaved or squares

For the passion fruit topping
1/2 cup concentrated passion fruit juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 passion fruit

1) Scrape the seeded pulp of the fruit into a saucepan, add water, sugar, cornstarch and passion fruit juice. Boil the mixture over medium heat until the sugar granules dissolve completely and the mixture is clear. Remove the pan from the heat.

2) Assemble the trifle. Arrange a layer of cake pieces in the bottom of a serving dish. Pour some of the custard evenly over the cake, sprinkle shaved chocolate and pour whipped cream. Repeat layering, ending with whipped cream.

3) Pour the passion fruit topping, sprinkle more shaved chocolate. Refrigerate.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Who let the bugs out

Breaking the ice... these fake ants can add some fun to any cookout or picnic.