I hope everyone is as excited about 2012 as I am. I found this past year to be a big “transition” year for my household. We had some pretty heavy milestones in 2010, with buying our 1st house, moving to a new town, giving birth to our 2nd born, getting married / hosting a wedding, mourning parents, losing friends, losing weight, starting a blog.. . It was a doozy. 2011 was more about settling into our new lives and making all of the pieces fit. I have a feeling 2012 is going to be an exciting one, now that we’re settled it’s really all about making dreams come true.
To commemorate the past year, I wanted to prepare a special dessert to bring to the NYE party at the neighbor’s house. Something to summarize a big event or change that happened in it. In worldwide news, we had some incredible highs and some catastrophic lows but I’d rather CNN go into those details. We also had some very talented people pass away this year; a Steve Jobs Apple Pie certainly came to mind but I decided to place my efforts into remembering the most eclectic performers of the past decade, one of my all-time favorite singers, Ms. Amy Winehouse. Yes, a dessert tribute to the incredible Amy Winehouse to say farewell to her and the year we lost that incredible voice.
It took no creative master-mind to come up with the traditionally English & boozy dessert, The Trifle to symbolize the songstress. Aside from her immense talent, the English-born Amy Winehouse was kind of renowned for her drinking habits. Most traditional trifles contain a small amount of alcohol such as port, or, most commonly, sweet sherry or Madeira wine but that wasn’t really our girl’s style so I’m reaching for the Irish Whiskey – You know I’m no good. A successful trifle is all about layering cake, fruit and custard (or pudding) and making your flavour choices blend well together. With whiskey on the mind, I soaked yellow loaf cake with Jameson Irish Whiskey, layered it with sweet raspberry jam and fresh berries, added instant coffee granules to vanilla pudding (because nothing beats an Irish coffee) and topped it all with some whiskey-infused whipped cream, dark chocolate and a black cherry.
The Winehouse Trifle
Serves 8 to 10 hungry, boozy dessert lovers
- 1 jar of raspberry jam
- 1 packet of Jell-O instant vanilla pudding
- 1 tsp instant coffee or espresso powder
- 1 banana
- 2 1/2 quarts fresh raspberries
- 1 golden loaf cake
- about 1/2 cup whiskey (1 cup if you’re playing the some for you, some for me game with the bowl)
- 2 cups whipped cream (35%)
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate shavings
- In a medium-sized bowl, add 1 tsp of coffee granules to the instant pudding powder, 2 cups cold milk and whisk for 2 mins. Place in fridge for about 5 mins. to set.
- Place half of pound cake cubes in 3-quart trifle bowl or glass bowl. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons whiskey and toss. Heat jam in heavy small saucepan, or in the microwave for about 40 seconds, until just pourable. Spoon half of the jam over cake and spread. Top with half of pudding. Top with 1 package raspberries, making sure some berries show at sides of bowl. Top with half of bananas. Place remaining pound cake cubes on top and sprinkle with 3 tablespoons whiskey. Layer fruit over. Spoon remaining jam over and spread. Top with remaining pudding, then with 1 basket or package of raspberries and remaining banana. Cover and refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)
- Whip cream and sugar in large bowl to stiff peaks. Add 3 tablespoons whiskey and beat to firm peaks. Mound cream atop trifle. Garnish with fresh raspberries and chocolate. Chill until ready to serve
Amy Winehouse’s 2nd album, Back to Black, was exactly what I needed when I first discovered it. I had just survived the ending of a heavy relationship and found myself rebuilding from the ground up – at the pub. All I wanted to do was drink & play and Back to Black was my perfect soundtrack. Amy Winehouse was my confidante, my kindred spirit. Her “I don’t give a shit” demeanor was easy to relate to, her lyrics made her vulnerable and honest, and her voice was something to be inspired by. I listened to that album constantly for about 3 straight months, until I met my future husband, who inspired me in new ways.
With my own history of battles with the drink, it strikes a very sensitive nerve for me when the addiction gets the best of anyone. As a committed fan to Amy Winehouse, in all of her glory, I was devastated to learn that she had passed away this past July. Ms. Winehouse you will be greatly missed but never forgotten.
Amy Winehouse R.I.P.
September 14th, 1983 to July 23rd, 2011
She summarizes the torment of an honest artist so well in this below performance. Imagine writing your most personal thoughts, your most heart breaking truths into a series of songs and then perform them one by one, night after night for a crowd of strangers.. Tell me you wouldn’t reach for a drink.
Off her debut album, Frank, before the beehive and the explosive fame. I love this song.Add to favorites