I am a recipe addict. I am one of those people with shelves full of recipe books that I love to look through. Some of them belonged to my granny and make interesting reading. I also hoard the free magazines from supermarkets and use them for recipe inspiration. I find them a great source of ideas for recipes to try and adapt in my own kitchen.
When this month's BBC Good Food magazine dropped through the door I was in my element. I settled down with a cup of tea and a notebook and flicked through the pages looking for inspiration. I found plenty of food that I wanted to eat, the pictures leapt out of the pages making me hungry
Starting with the amazing show stopper toffee apple cake on the front page and then continuing with lovely looking soups, great seasonal ideas and some healthy dishes too.
While I read my husband was also looking at the pictures and a section on James Martin’s Autumn dinners caught his eye. It was not so much the slow roast pork shoulder, although that looked lovely. No, the dish that had him drooling was a Yorkshire parkin and blackberry Trifle.
It looked gorgeous and he asked if I could make it. Could I make a recipe created by a celebrity chef? I was happy to give it a try.
The first step was to make the parkin, a lovely ginger tasting sticky sponge cake. This went without a hitch – the only problem was hiding the cake until I made the rest of the parts for the trifle! I knew if my son spotted the parkin it would be eaten.
I found a tin and put it away in a cupboard while I made the blackberry compote. This was nice and easy, I just whisked up blackberries, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor. The recipe also called for amaretto which I didn’t have so I substituted a teaspoon of almond essence and a little water
The hard part came when I went to make the custard. I always find making custard from scratch hit and miss. Sometimes it works perfectly, other times it is a disaster. This time it was a disaster. It tasted fine, it was just incredibly thick. Far too thick, it just was not going to work in a trifle. Luckily I had a tin of custard powder in the fridge so made custard with that. It tasted just as nice.
I then assembled the trifle, layering up the parkin, custard and blackberry compote, throwing in some blackberries as well. The result looked lovely and it tasted delicious. My husband was delighted with my attempt at recreating the recipe and using custard powder did not detract from the finished result. This is one I will definitely be making again. What do you think of my attempt?
James Martin’s Yorkshire parkin and blackberry trifle
For the parkin
100g golden syrup
225g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 large egg
For the blackberry compote
50g caster sugar
Juice ½ lemon
75 ml amaretto
For the custard
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
75g golden caster sugar
300ml full fat milk
300ml double cream
Seeds from a vanilla pod
2 tbsp crystallised ginger
Make the parkin
Preheat oven to 150oC (130oC fan, or Gas Mark 2). Line a 20cm cake tin with baking parchment and grease with butter Put the butter and syrup in a small pan and heat until melted Add the flour, sugar, ginger and bicarbonate of soda to a bowl and then pour in the syrup and butter mixture, stirring it as you go.
Beat the egg and add the milk then add this to the mixture, whisk until smooth Pour into the baking tray and bake for an hour, until a skewer comes out clean Make the compote Whisk the blackberries, lemon juice, and sugar in a food processor until smooth.
Pass through a sieve to remove seeds and then add the amaretto.
Place in fridge.
Make the custard
In a heatproof bowl mix eggs, egg yolk, sugar and cornflour until smooth.
Add the milk, cream and vanilla seeds into a pan and bring to the boil, stirring regularly.
When it is hot but not boiling add a little to the egg mixture and whisk, then pour the egg mixture into the pan.
Keep stirring until it becomes thick and glossy.
Pass through a sieve and leave to cool.
When the parkin is cool make the trifle by layering parkin, blackberry compote and custard until you reach the top of the bowl. Add a few blackberries in between the layers and use the rest to decorate the top with crumbled up parkin and the ginger.
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