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A birthday spread


I suppose this lopsided shot will have to serve as summary of yesterday's spread, because after this one test snap to check the batteries had recharged, I didn't pick up the camera again once. How do you manage to capture the party while being in the party? My favorite was the rhubarb trifle, barely visible in the bottom left, but there were also brownies, a Boston cream pie, a berry pavlova, tiny fiery cheese scones larded with onions and black olives, homemade oatcakes with a Bärlauch, scallion, cress and black pepper spread, and, of course, friends brought even more delectable goodies.


Rhubarb trifle

This trifle was a happy accident. I was making sponge layers for my Boston cream pie and didn't think to line or flour the pans; the cakes, though beautiful, broke into shards when I went to unmould them. So I transferred those pieces to the bottom of a cut-glass bowl and decided to make trifle. You can use any sponge cake recipe for the bottom layer; mine was the Gold Cake out of the Joy of Cooking.

For the fruit layer, I trimmed a kilogram of rhubarb and chopped it into chunks, then placed it in a gratin dish, sprinkled it with half a cup (100 grams) of sugar, covered the dish tightly with foil and baked it for just under an hour. Lift the rhubarb out with a slotted spoon to keep the cake from getting too soggy.

Custard felt redudant with the Boston cream pie simply groaning with crème patisserie, so I skipped it and just spooned on 200 ml of softly whipped cream. Next time I would boil down the rhubarb juices left in the pan and mix a tablespoon or so into the cream, for what I imagine as a gentle (not lurid!) pink.


Wow! What a spread. Great photos too.

(cough) Just wanted to point out that the idea for using rhubarb in the trifle came from a Certain Someone.

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. That trifle sounded amazing. Love the idea of reduced rhubarb syrup flavoring whipped cream. Hungry!

Fantastic spread, I love everything on the table. Wonderful idea that trifle, I'd never have thought of using rhubarb. I've been seriously thinking about making a Boston cream pie too so you've inspired me to take the plunge.

oops - happy birthday! sorry I missed it.

ohhh that's unfair!! you make me hungry and envious!! mmmmmmh looks sooo delicious!
and who had birthday? you? happy birthday then, dear sylee!!

(btw, just sent you the package, hope the content arrives safe and sound;) let me know)

sorry I missed it too!

ExpatsAgain, Luisa, Vanessa, Katherine, Ieva, Becca -- thank you! I'm thinking to do the trifle again for a brunch this weekend so will let you know how it goes. And David, well, when aren't you the better maker?

Thanks again for having us - a lovely afternoon. Sorry, we could/should have taken photos, but were too busy chatting/eating!

J&K, well, it was a little presumptuous of me to expect guests to be photographers, and of course I'm glad that everyone was too busy talking to photograph! Next time I'll be more organized myself.

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