Happy New Year: Making Lemonade out of Lemons

Desserts, Trifles

A rum cake and toffee trifle, one of the delicious desserts served at the Bayfront Marin House.

What’s your resolution this year? Mine is to look for the good in everything–even when it seems negative.

I had a little dose of that in 2012. When we had a fire in June, our first thought was not particularly positive. But after the reality set in, and we realized that renovations were going to take weeks, we decide to take the negative and make it a positive: in addition to fixing the damaged rooms, we also renovated our most popular rooms. After all, they’re never empty–so we took advantage of the fact that we had at least four weeks to make them even more spectacular.

This dessert recipe is one that follows that same mindset. It starts off with Heloisa’s amazing rum cake. Most days, the cake comes out of its pan picture perfect–an absolutely beautiful picture of crispy brown edges and a rich, moist, dense cake.

Some days, however, when the moon is in the wrong place in the sky, it comes out in pieces. Not picture perfect. It still tastes amazing, of course, but we can’t serve it in its ragged state.

That’s when we go to Plan B. Trifle.

Here’s how it goes–and you can use any cake. Leftovers. Pound cake you bought from Publix, but want to look homemade. Wedding cake (although I’d remove most of the icing if it’s think).

Get a trifle bowl. Or any glass container with straight sides. Cut glass doesn’t work too well, since you can’t really see the layers (but if you’d rather see the glass than the food, that would work too).

Put a layer of the cake on the bottom of the bowl. I try to put just cake on the outside of the bowl–so you can’t see any crust, or discoloration. The top of the cake goes in the center, where no one sees it through the glass. Then, I put a layer of butterscotch pudding. I try to make that layer about as thick as the cake.

Then a layer of Cool Whip, again the same width. On top of that, I put broken-up Heath bars (you can actually buy these now in the store–both with the chocolate covering, and just the toffee bits).

Then I do another layer of each.

At the top, I pat the Cool Whip so it has some cool peaks, and then I sprinkle more Heath bits on top.

Voila–a trifle not to be trifled with. And an utterly amazing Plan B.

For 2013, I hope your A Plans all come true. But when they don’t, I hope you are resourceful, resilient, and positive enough to think that maybe Plan B is better anyway!!