Rachel and I throw one hell of a party. She is the event organizer extraordinaire, full of ideas, creativity and excitement. I am the cook and baker who takes her party ideas and gives them the voice of taste, aroma and color from the kitchen. I keep telling her we should go into business designing parties for people.
Last Saturday we threw another one of our parties (the last one we say). This one was for the Sex and the City movie. We gathered up a group of girls, dressed up and headed for the movie then came back here for laughter, conversation and desserts. We had New York style pizza delivered as well.
We wanted to do desserts and have fun with them and have one fancy thing. Rachel wanted to use the new trifle bowl she bought so I came up with a fun dessert menu that paid a little homage to Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha as well as the fabulous city of New York that I love so much.
We chose Mini Paris Cupcakes (recipe at Epicurious.com) for Carrie’s time in Paris, Alpineberry’s fabulous Meyer lemon bars for a taste of the sweet and the sour the girls experienced on the show and in the movie, double chocolate espresso brownies for those dark Manhattan nights and a decadent peach trifle because the show was so over the top with fashion that we figured an over the top dessert was in order.
I adapted the BBC’s recipe for the Madeira cake, adding more butter and more sugar for a sweeter, richer cake, then used their custard recipe, adding a little lemon zest to it along with the vanilla. I used Montbisou Pêches, an intensely flavored liqueur, I bought at Trader Joe’s a while back to soak my finished slices of Madiera cake in and slathered them with a homemade tart pomegranate jelly instead of raspberry jam. I blanched peaches in white wine and peeled the skins, then sliced them and added them to the third layer. Homemade whipped cream, lightly flavored with Pêches topped the dessert and, as a flourish, I added shaved chocolate and hand poured dark chocolate butterflies. It was as sexy, decadent and hedonistic as Samantha Jones and everyone loved it.
Sexy Sex & the City Peach Trifle
- Madeira Cake (adapted from the Traditional Trifle Recipe, BBC)
My changes were to add an ounce more butter, an ounce more sugar and the zest of one whole lemon rather than a half. I wanted something a little more intensely flavored and it turned out beautifully.
For the custard, i used the BBC’s recipe to the letter with the exception of the bit of lemon zest I added (about 1/4 of a lemon).
I brought a mixture of white wine and the Pêches to a soft boil, then quickly blanched whole peaches in it until the skins were easily removed. I let them cool, saving the white wine, mixture in the freezer. I figure it can use it later for a simple syrup or maybe even a peachy vinaigrette. Once cooled, the peaches were peeled and sliced and set aside.
The second layer of Pêches soaked cake topped with pom jelly was also covered with the custard and then topped with the sliced peaches to completely cover the custard. Another layer of cake and the last bit of custard and peaches formed the third layer. I then covered it and put it into the fridge to chill for a few hours.
For the whipped topping, I took heavy cream and beat it till stiff, slowly adding drips of the Pêches, crossing my fingers and hoping it wouldn’t curdle the cream. I managed to get about a 1/4 cup of the liqueur into the cream, giving it a nice peachy flavor with a kick. A half cup of caster sugar poured in a bit at a time gave it sweetness.
I scooped out the cream and filled the rest of the bowl with it. Topped it with grated dark chocolate and hand poured (a little sloppily but I couldn’t find my piping bag, I think Jasmine or Aiden made it disappear) two fat chocolate butterflies. Back into the fridge it went to chill until the party. This trifle is intensely flavored, extremely rich and a little goes a long way. I’d say it serves about 20-25 people in small servings.