Trifles from Donna Hay






“Fast, Fresh Simple” is her motto and that is something  women strive for every day.

Donna Hay is an Australian food editor, stylist and best selling cookbook author. I like Nigella Lawson’s recipes and Donna Hay reminds me of Nigella.  Her recipes are simple, fresh and utterly delicious.  I became a fan after reading the holiday edition of her magazine,  and there was a section dedicated to Trifles. Anyone who devotes a section to Trifles, one of my favorite desserts,  is a best friend in my head, for life. Her recipes are global and  I love her mix of ingredients from all over the world with a dash of her Australian culture thrown in for good measure.

Strawberry and Vanilla Macaroon Trifle. 

300  store bought vanilla macarons

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

2 cups cream , whipped

250 g strawberries, halved

strawberry jelly

21/2 teaspoons gelatine powder

3 cups cranberry juice

1/2 caster ( superfine ) sugar

500 g of strawberries, halved.

To make the strawberry jelly place the gelatine and and 1/2 cup cranberry juice in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatine is absorbed. Place the remaining cranberry juice and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add the gelatine and stir to combine. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes. Arrange the strawberries in the base of a 4 litre capacity bowl and put over the jelly mixture. Refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours until set.

To assenblem arrange the macarons on the jelly. Fold the vanilla extract through the cream and layer over the macarons.

Top with strawberries to serve. Serves 6-8.

Carmelised Peaches and cream trifle.

1 cup(250 ml) single (pouring) cream.

1 tablespoon finely grated orange rind.

1 tablespoon icing(confectioner’s sugar)

20 g butter

4 peaches halved

1 tablespoon caster( superfine ) sugar.

4 slices panettone( supermarkets and fine stores World Market etc)

1/4 cup ( 60 ml) orange flavored liqueur

orange syrup recipe

1/4 cup (60 ml) orange juice

1/4 cup 9 60 ml) water

1/4 cup ( 55g) caster sutperfine sugar, extra

2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur

To make the orange syrup, place the orange juice, water, sugar and liqeur in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until thickened. Set aside to cool completely.

Place the cream, rind and icing sugar in a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Melt the butter in a large non stick frying pan over medium heat. Press the peach halves into the caster sugar and cook, sugar side down, for 2 -3 minutes or until carmelised. Cut the panettone slices to fit in the base of the 4 glasses. Pour over the orange liqueur and top with the cream mixture and peach halves. Drizzle with the orange syrup to serve. Serves 4.

Raspberry and Mascarpone Trifle

1 cup ( 250ml) each lemon flavored liqueur and water.

2 tablespoons caster ( superfine ) sugar

250 g mascarpone

600 g sour cream

1/2 cup ( 80g) icing (confectioner’s sugar), sifted, plus extra for dusting

2 tablespoons finely grated lemon rind

34 sponge finger biscuits

500 g raspberries.

Place the liqueur, water and caster sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Set aside to cool. Place the mascarpone in a bowl and stir until smooth. Add the sour cream, icing sugar and lemon rind and whisk until smooth. Dip the spong fingers into the liqueur mixture and use to line the sides and base of a 3 litre capacity glas bowl. Top the spong fingers with half the raspberries and spoon over the mascarpone mixture. Top with remaining raspberries and dust with the extra icing sugar to serve. Serves 12.

Tiramisu Trifle

450 g store bought sponge, halved lengthways

11/2 cups (376 ml) espresso coffee

11/2 cups( 375 ml) singel ( pouring) cream, whipped coffee panna cotta

1 tablespoon gelatine powder

1/2 cup ( 125 ml) coffee flavored liqueur

2 cups ( 500 ml) each single ( pouring) cream and milk

2/3 cup ( 110 g) icing ( confectioner’s) sugar, sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

chocolate ganache recipe

250 g chocolate( dark, chopped)

3/4 cup ( 180 ml) single pouring cream

To make the coffee panna cotta, place the gelatine and liqueur in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 5 minutes or until the gelatine is absorbed. Place the cream, milk, icing sugar and vanilla in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add the gelatine mixture and stir until dissolved. Divide half the panna cotta between 4×4 cup capacity ( 1 ltire glasses) and refrigerate for 1 hour or until set. To make the chocolate ganache, place the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over low heat. Stir until melted and smooth. Set aside and allow to cool. Cut the sponge to fit the glasses and place on top of the panna cotta. Spoon the cofee over the sponges and spoon over the ganache. Refrigerate until set.

Top ganache with the remaining panna cotta mixtures and refrigerate for a  further 1 hour or until set. Top with the whittped cream to serve.

Serves 4.




Vetiver by Guerlain

 Vetiver by Guerlain


Everyone makes a version of Vetiver but no one makes it like Guerlain.

Jo Malone made the second best version spelled Vetyver but I just discovered that it is no longer produced!  I walked into the doctor’s office last week and I was told that my signature scent was nice and fresh.If you like Vetiver this is the one to get. It is clean, grassy with citrus scent combination.It is made for men but has been worn by women for generations. It is not overpowering, do not fear, you will not smell like a gentleman. Women usually buy it for their men, and would start wearing it too.

It is wonderful,fresh and breezy,  get the one made by GUERLAIN.

The Cuba Libre


The Cuba Libre

The Cuba Libre


The Cuba Libre  was one of my favorite cocktails when I was in my twenties and it still is today.   It was easy to make and it always seemed to be the right match for any occasion. Even now, if I am out of ideas I always turn to a Cuba Libre.  For some reason when sitting on a deck, patio or anywhere outdoors the sight of a Cuba Libre with the lemon wedge somehow seems… sophisticated…grown up. So for those of you coming of age for the 40th time …….here is a wonderful version of a favorite drink.

2 ounces Amber or White Rum ( Eldorado 10 year old Rum from Guyana, Appleton Estate Rum from Jamaica, Cockspur or Mount Gay Rum from Barbados,  10 Cane from Trinidad, Ron Brugal from Dominican Republic )

2 ounces of Coca-Cola chilled

4 Lime wedges

In a highball glass filled with ice, pour the rum and cola. Squeeze and drop in the lime wedges and using a bar spoon stir to mix well. Garnish with more wedges. Savor!!

The Cuba Libre most likely comes from Ex Cuban patriots of the Spanish American War hailing their native country following the war ( 1898). Cola was invented around 1900.

The Rum Collins





2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar
3 tablespoons rum
3-4 ice cubes
soda water
2 slices lime
1 maraschino cherry

Mix the Lime juice with the sugar until dissolved. Add the rum,pour on the ice cubes in the frosted glass. Top with soda water and decorate with cherry and lime slices.