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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sherry Trifle

I always make my mum's trifle recipe at christmas and also for our Australia Day barbecue. Last night I made this to go with mum's hamburger recipe. It is such a simple recipe and a definite aussie favourite. I made such a huge amount. Double the normal size and it still was all eaten by the end of the night.


1 swiss roll (jam sponge roll)
1 tin of pitted black cherries or strawberries (any fruits would do)
1/2 cup sweet sherry
2 pkts port wine jelly (jello) I use the sugar free one and any flavour would do
600 - 750 mls home made thick custard - see recipe below

Make up jelly as instructions on pkt and when slightly cool, place in refrigerator to set firm. Slice up the swiss role and line bottom of a deep sided bowl or dish. I always take the roll about half way up the sides. Sprinkle the sherry all over the swiss role, making sure they are well covered. You can always use more sherry if you need to. Drain the fruit and spread over the top of the swiss role. Pour custard over this while still hot as it helps to spread easily and keep the roll from drying out. Place plastic wrap over bowl and when custard is cool, place in fridge. When the jelly is slightly firming, pour over the chilled custard and return to fridge. When jelly is really set, remove from fridge and decorate with whipped cream. Serve chilled with either or both, whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. I used a vanilla and raspberry ripple low fat ice cream and it was a great winner.

600 - 750 mls full cream milk
2 heaped tablespoons custard powder (not sure if available in USA)
1 egg
2 heaped tablespoons sugar - can use splenda (I often use half sugar and half splenda)
1 dessertspoon butter
1 tablespoon cream
few drops vanilla essence
Blend the custard powder with a little of your milk to make a runny paste. Then add the sugar and the rest of the milk, vanilla essence, cream and egg. Using a bamix or mixer, mix this well as you want the egg to be thorougly blended. Pour into a microwave safe bowl, (I always use a china one) and cook on high for a couple of minutes and then stir. Keep doing this about a minute at a time until custard begins to bubble and is very thick. Remove from microwave and stir in the butter. You can cook the old fashioned way, in a saucepan on top of the stove if preferred. By adding an egg cream you will have very smooth and velvety tasting custard. The egg also helps to thicken it as you need it to be very thick for trifle.

Australia Day Hamburgers

Last night we celebrated Australia Day (26th Jan) and we had our usual aussie barbecue with family and friends here at our home. Everyone arrived early so they could go for a swim first in the pool before the fireworks display began. Adults groaned about having to supervise the children but they were having just as much fun as the children were, splashing about on a very hot australian summer night. Soon it was time to crank up the barbecue so David and the men did the cooking, some drinking and a lot of talking and laughing while us girls brought out the salads, buns, etc and waited for the master chefs to do their stuff. I always make my mum's recipe for hamburgers as they are a much requested item. I know most people have their own favourite version of this great aussie icon but this recipe has been handed down through my family and is a definite winner. If you want them to taste as good as my mum's then please don't change the recipe at all. Make sure you make enough for several hamburgers per person as you will need them and copies of the recipe to hand out for the requests you will get. This is even better if you make the mixture up the night before and leave, covered in the refrigerator overnight. This makes the flavours really blend through.


1 kg good minced steak
2 large onions
2 very ripe tomatoes - organic are best
4 thick slices of fresh white bread made into rough breadcrumbs
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of good hamburger seasoning
cracked black pepper or if available, aust outback mountain pepper (my favourite)
sea salt to taste
plain flour

Chop up the onions and the tomatoes first. Do not peel the tomatoes. Then place all the ingredients except flour into a very large mixing bowl and mix in with your hands. I always crack the eggs on top of the breadcrumbs and mix them a little through this first and then mix all together. Using your hands is a much better way than using a spoon or mixer and you have the warmth from them which helps the mixing. If your mixture is a little too sloppy, add some flour to it, a tablespoon at a time, until it is the right consistency. Line a large plate with plastic wrap and shaping your mixture into hamburgers, dip them in some more flour and place on the plate. If you need to layer them, place plastic wrap between each row so they won't stick together. Cook on a hot barbecue plate to your cooking preference and serve on buns with some salad and cooked onions.