I just got a new trifle bowl. That means I need to make a trifle, right?! I had this idea bobbing around in my head for a different kind of trifle, and then I found out that one of my co-worker is moving to a new office in a different building. I thought the farewell party was the perfect excuse to try my idea, and thus the Gingerbread trifle was born. There are a couple of things I would do differently next time. 1) Use more cake in the layering (I worried about running out-there was plenty). 2) Use only Red Pears. 3) Gingerbread cake, custard and pears are all the same color (pretty much). I didn’t color my custard (they suggest yellow) b/c I like the creamy color. However, without the raspberries maybe a little pink food coloring or something would help with the monochronistic appearance?? Otherwise, it was delish! Also, I begged and borrowed a lot from eatingwell.com–which means that this cake & custard are both low fat & low calories (but they don’t taste like it)!!
fills an 8 1/2 inch trifle bowl
an altered recipe from eatingwell.com and me
1 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons canola oil
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg into a bowl. Stir in granulated sugar. Whisk together egg whites, buttermilk, molasses and oil in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the egg white mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula just until blended. Pour into a 9×13 inch pan. Bake at 375 for 15-25 min., or until a cake tester comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
3 cups fat-free milk, divided
2 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
Yellow (or red) food coloring (optional)
2/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons water
1. Whisk together 1/4 cup milk, egg yolks and cornstarch in a large bowl. Heat remaining milk in a heavy saucepan until steaming. Gradually whisk milk into the egg mixture. Return to the saucepan; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the custard boils and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in vanilla and about 3 drops yellow food coloring, if using. Transfer to a clean bowl and place a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside to cool slightly.
2. Meanwhile, bring about 1 inch of water to a simmer in a saucepan. Combine egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and water in a heatproof mixing bowl large enough to fit over the saucepan. Set the bowl over the barely simmering water and beat with an electric mixer at low speed, moving the beaters around the bowl constantly, until an instant-read thermometer registers 140°F. (This will take 3 to 5 minutes.) Increase the mixer speed to high and continue beating over the heat for a full 3 1/2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat and beat the meringue until cool, about 4 minutes.
3. Whisk one-fourth of the meringue into the custard. Add the remaining whites and use a whisk to incorporate them with a folding motion.
Peel and de-seed 3 red pears. Cut into slices or chunks, and dip in citrus juice (like lemon) or fruit saver. (I also used some fresh raspberries in the trifle pictured, but I think it would be better with the just the pears.) Cut the cake into one inch by 2 inch strips. Place a layer of cake in the bottom of a bowl. Sprinkle the fruit on top. Add a layer of custard. Repeat until bowl is full, ending with custard and a little reserved fruit garnish. Chill before serving.