Treat of the Week: Eggnog Spicecake Trifle

The chilly weather is making me very happy these days.  Fall cleaning and preparation for the upcoming holiday season are underway.  It's time to polish up all those heirloom serving pieces and get the linens pressed.

The stores are starting to fill with holiday goodness.  One of my perennial favorites is eggnog.  We don't really keep it around during the season, but I always enjoy just a little.  It is creamy and spicy and perfect with a little added nutmeg... and bourbon [insert wink].

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Our treat for this week would be perfect for Thanksgiving Dinner.  The cake is a tried and true spice cake recipe and might be reason enough to continue reading.  The use of non-fat greek yogurt makes it moist and delicious.  We 'up-ped' our game a little with the pudding by adding cream cheese to the mixture.  It is smooth and creamy.  Throughout there is an underlying spiciness that is warm and inviting.

savour... culinary coziness

Get the rest after the jump...

Eggnog Spicecake Trifle

Before you start:

Cutting the spicecake into shapes is optional.  Feel free to just make it with layers of cubes.

Take care when cutting the cake in half.  Use your free hand to turn the cake from the top.  Keep it in a horizontal plane to avoid contact with the blade.  Many a good holiday treat has gone wrong at this step.

Be gentle when folding in the egg whites.  This is critical to the volume of the finished cake.

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The ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 2 cups cake flour / 210g
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground or grated nutmeg
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 1 cup light brown sugar / 180g
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar / 180g
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup non-fat greek yogurt

For the eggnog cream:

  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 4 cups egg nog
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • ¼ cup bourbon
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The method:

For the cake:

  1. Sift together flour, salt, soda, and spices.  Repeat.  Whisk together to make sure everything is well combined.
  2. Beat shortening and sugars together on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until fluffy.
  3. Add lightly beaten egg yolks and mix until well combined.
  4. Add ¼ of the dry ingredients and mix in well.  Add ¼ of the yogurt and mix in well.  Repeat, alternating both and mixing after each addition until gone.
  5. Whisk egg whites in a medium bowl to stiff, but not dry, peaks.
  6. Fold egg whites into batter.
  7. Pour immediately into two round cake pans and bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes.
  8. Cool on a wire rack completely.

For the eggnog cream cheese pudding:

  1. Place softened cream cheese and 1/4 cup of the eggnog in a bowl and mix on medium speed until smooth and creamy (about 2 min).
  2. Place dry ingredients in medium saucepan over medium low heat.
  3. Whisk in eggnog.  Add softened cream cheese mixture.
  4. Cook for approximately 10 minutes or until mixture coats the back of a spoon.
  5. Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. 
  6. Stir in the bourbon.
  7. Cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface to prevent a skin from forming.

For assembly:

  1. To make the circles cut slice one of the cakes in half horizontally.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out circles.  Then use a smaller one to cut out the center.  Do not discard the smaller circles.
  2. Cut the other cake into 1 inch cubes.
  3. Arrange the circles around the inside of the trifle bowl.  Place one layer of cake cubes on the bottom of the dish.  Cover in eggnog cream and fill in the center of the circle.  Continue adding more cream to the top of the circle.  
  4. Add a layer of whipped cream about 1 inch thick.
  5. Repeat circle and pudding layer.
  6. Repeat whipped cream layer.
  7. Top with grated nutmeg.
  8. Keep refrigerated.
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