After just finishing a photoshoot for Real magazine featuring Italian desserts, I a few bits and pieces left over – sponge cake and mascarpone cream. I scoured the Edmonds Cookery Book for a pudding that used sponge – the only one I found was the good old kiwi trifle! I remember my nana making trifle every Christmas and seeing it at many social gathering but it never really appealed to me. Tiramisu is the Italian equivalent, however it uses marscapone cheese and alcoholic infused coffee – more my cup of tea! I pondered how I could adapt the kiwi trifle. Custard is a key feature in a trifle, the Edmonds book however only has the recipe for their brand of custard powder that is of course the egg-free version. After googling why it was invented this is what I found on Wikipedia. Bird’s Custard was first formulated and first cooked by Alfred Bird in 1837, because his wife was allergic to eggs, the key ingredient used to thicken traditional custard.I decided however to make the egg variety but bump it up with chocolate and layer the dessert with coffee soaked sponge al la the Italian way.
Just a side note on custard. I applied for the first ever NZ masterchef show and got through to the first cull. I took a day off work and waited in the cold for hours to be interviewed by Ross Burden and his crew. They asked VERY NERVOUS me what dessert I would cook for him and I replied ” a rich saucy chocolate pudding with lots of thick vanilla custard” and then disaster – he asked me how to make the custard. I cant remember exactly what I said but his response was “luv, you have just made me scrambled eggs!” OH dear, needless to say I didn’t make the cut! I am now very au fait with making home made custard and cant believe we still use custard powder, its so easy, must be better for you and tastes great. If you have never made it – you really need to give it ago.
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 cups milk
- ½ cup white sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 2-3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons good quality vanilla essence
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Sponge cake or any other left over light cake
- Stronge coffee (cold)
- Cream, marcapone “tiramisu” cream, greek yoghurt or even cheese cake mixture
- Beat eggs and set aside.
- In a pot add milk, cornflour and sugar. Scald the mixture until you see small bubbles forming around the edges of the pot.
- Take off the heat and spoon a few tablespoons into the eggs and mix.
- Add the eggs back to the pot in a steady stream, stirring, the mixture should start to thicken.
- Add cocoa powder and vanilla and mix well.
- Put the pot back on the heat, keep stirring until you get the thickness you desire.
- Be careful it doesn’t catch and burn.
- Add butter and stir through, this gives the custard a shine
- Set aside to cool and chill covered.
- Assembly of mocha puddings
- Dip either a cookie cutter rounds of sponge or leftover pieces into the cold coffee and place into a glass jar or glass. (I used leftovers)
- lightly squash down.
- Add a layer of cream (I actually used ½ marcapone cream and ½ vanilla yoghurt)
- Add another coffee and sponge layer
- Add a generous layer of chocolate custard.
- (Feel free to layer up as many as you like or have ingredients for)
- Chill until ready to devour.
Notes + adaptations
The crumble on the top was a real winner. All I did was put a mixture of oats and seeds into a frying pan to toast until brown. Be careful not to burn. I then added a generous tablespoon of honey and put back on the element until the honey had melted. This can burn super quick so watch it. I then stirred all together and put the mixture onto another plate and put it in the fridge when it had cooled. The result was crunchy and sweet crumble that was perfect onto of the puds.