The theme of the day was floral and the girlfriends were game enough to turn up in floral dresses for the occasion. I woke up really early that day and I spent at least four hours in the kitchen preparing the stuff. To say that I was tired at the end of it all was an understatement indeed...
Apple crumble trifles
Addictive crumble bits
Luckily, there were some elements of the menu that could be made a day ahead. Such as the trifles. The separate components of the trifles could be made a day ahead, and then put together on the day itself.
The crumble was really really really (yes I need to repeat myself thrice just to emphasize on it) delicious. I had previously tried my hand at making crumble for trifles > here, and the crumble ended up being very oily. I learnt my lesson and reduced the amount of butter in the recipe, and it turned out just perfect. Uber crunchy and not too sweet. I swear I could just finish the whole tray just like that if you would let me...
Red red apples
I certainly was ambitious in making everything that day by myself from scratch (okay, well, everything except the sangria - which was made by my Sis). The menu for the day include:
Drink - White wine sangria with apples, strawberries, grapes and peach slices
Mini appetisers - Sauteed mushrooms crostinis, Chicken cranberry salad in wanton cups
Mains - Baked eggs on fried chorizo and potatoes (not shown), Japanese hotcakes with berry sauce and maple syrup
Dessert - Apple crumble trifles
Here's a shot I captured on my phone. On hindsight, I should have printed a lil menu for the day as my girlfriend suggested to complete the table settings. I had received a small pretty bouquet of flowers from my colleague and decided to showcase them as they are apt for my tea party's theme.
One complain as a baker is that nobody actually bakes anything for me. When asked, most of my friends will say that since I'm such a "good baker", they fear baking anything for me lest it falls short. Like hell no! I'll be more than happy (and in fact touched) if you make something for me cos in my case - I love to bake and I like to share my treats with people and it makes me happy when I see people eating my desserts. Vice versa.
I'm sure most of you will understand what I mean. My lovely cousin agreed to bake me a cake, so she ended up bringing a really yummy chocolate chiffon cake and we managed a slice each though we were truly and thoroughly stuffed like mad.
First ever homemade birthday cake for me! (which is not baked by yours truly)
Back to those trifles at hand. Those who ate the trifles gave the thumbs up for the crumble topping. See? I'm not alone in thinking that the crumble is awesome. So what are you waiting for? Just make it! It's made up of only three ingredients (most of which are probably in your pantry already). Heck, if you don't want to make the trifles, I'll still recommend making the crumble. You can always eat it just like that as a snack. I won't judge. :)
Apple Crumble Trifles (custard adapted from Steph at Raspberri Cupcakes; roasted apple and crumble adapted from Sukaina from Sips and Spoonfuls)
(makes about 8-9 servings, more or less depending on trifle cups size)
4 egg yolks
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Whisk together yolks, cornstarch and sugar.
Place cream and vanilla in saucepan and heat to a just boiling stage, remove from heat and slowly pour into the yolks mixture in a thin stream, whisking constantly.
Transfer the custard back into the saucepan, cook over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from curdling on the bottom of the saucepan. Cook till the custard is thick and coats the back of a spoon.
Strain the mixture into a clean bowl to remove any cooked egg bits, leave to cool for a while, then cover with cling wrap directly onto the custard to prevent a skin from forming.
Store in refrigerator until ready to use.
5 small apples - peeled, cored and diced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sugar
Combine all the above in a bowl and mix well. Spread onto a baking tray lined with baking paper and bake at 180C for 30-35 minutes (or until apples are soft).
60g AP flour
55g brown sugar
35g cold unsalted butter, diced
Mix flour and sugar together in a bowl with a fork. Add diced butter into the bowl. Use a fork to roll and coat the butter into the dry mixture, further dicing into smaller pieces. Use your hands to rub the butter fully into the dry mixture to form small clusters.
Freeze crumbs for 20 minutes.
Bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes (or until golden brown and crisp). Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Divide the roasted apples (and the awesome roasted appl-y juices syrup) among trifle cups.
Layer the vanilla custard atop the apples.
Top with crumble bits (lots and lots of crumble bits please!).