Birthday Picnic! 🥳🥳🎉🎉🎉

Happy birthday to my dear friend @wellnessbyyana! We were truly blessed with glorious weather ☀️ ☀️ this weekend in the U.K., which made it perfect for a birthday picnic in the park! 😉🙌🙌

At the request of my dear friend, this trifle is dairy-free, refined sugar-free and loaded with extra shots of rum ready for the party! 💃 💃 🎉🎉🎉🎊🎊🎊 The trifle consists of a rum and berries jelly at the bottom, layered with a banana sponge cake (soaked with more rum!), strawberries, blueberries and raspberries- all covered with a soya milk custard with a plant-based whipped cream. What a perfect day to celebrate the end of lockdown! 🥳🥳

Dairy-free refined sugar-free rum and berries trifle


For the jelly:

250g mixed berries (e.g. raspberries and blueberries)

30g honey

25ml water

2 tsp lemon juice

3 shots of rum

2 1/2 gelatine leaves

For the banana cake:

190g self-raising flour

1 1/2 bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

2 ripen bananas, mashed

20g honey, plus extra to drizzle on the sponge

90ml vegetable/sunflower oil

60ml plant-based milk (e.g. soya/almond)

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 shots of rum

For the custard:

350ml plant-based milk (e.g. soya/almond)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp elderflower/lemon extract (optional)

4 egg yolks

30g honey

15g plain flour

15g cornflour

For the whipped cream:

Any dairy free double or whipping cream

For the fruits:


Mixed berries (e.g. raspberries and blueberries) to your likening

For the decorations:

Toasted almond flakes (optional)

Goji berries (optional)


1. Start with the jelly by making a fruit purée. Heat the berries, honey, water and lemon juice in a saucepan. Crush/blend the fruits as you are cooking.

2. Pass the purée through a sieve to get a smooth purée and place it back into a clean saucepan.

3. Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.

3. Add the rum and heat the purée gently.

4. Squeeze the water out of the soaked gelatine and add it to the purée. Stir under heat until the gelatine is fully dissolved.

5. Pour the purée into a clean glass bowl. Let it cool before putting it in the fridge for several hours, or until the jelly is fully set.

6. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4.

7. Make the banana sponge cake by passing the flour through a sieve. Mix in bicarbonate of soda, salt and cinnamon.

7. Mix the mashed bananas, honey, milk, oil and vanilla extract together until well-combined. Then fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture until well-combined.

8. Pour the mixture into a parchment-lined cake tray and bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

9. Remove the cake from the tray and cool on a wire rack.

10. For the custard, heat the milk and extracts gently in a saucepan without it boiling.

11. In a clean bowl, whisk the egg yolks by hand with the honey until pale. Sieve the flours in and mix until well-combined.

12. Slowly pour about half of the heated milk into the yolk mixture, whisking vigorously as you pour. Then, pour the mixture back into the remaining milk in the saucepan.

13. Cook the custard gently over heat, whisking continuously as it cooks until you have a smooth, thickened mixture. (If it doesn’t thicken, add about a tablespoon of cornflour.) Set aside and let the custard cool.

14. Slice the strawberries in halves to prepare for assembling.

15. Cut and layer the banana sponge over the set jelly in the bowl. Drizzle the sponge with more honey and soak with shots of rum.

16. Place the sliced strawberries over the sponge to surround the bowl. Add the remaining fruits in the centre. (You can add more rum at this stage if you want!)

17. Pour the cooled custard over the fruits and use a knife to spread it out evenly. Place back into the fridge to set.

18. Use an electric whisk to whip the cream until stiff.

19. Layer the cream over the set custard and again use a knife to spread it out evenly, filling to the top of the bowl.

20. Spread almond flakes and goji berries over the top to decorate the trifle before serving.

Looking For a Place in the Sun

The sun might have gone and rain is falling, but the picnic is still very much going on uninterrupted. The buttery texture of the salmon & avocado quiches, followed by the richness of the raspberry & mango Bavarian cream is sure enough to put a ray of sunshine in anyone’s heart.


Salmon, Avocado and Cherry Tomato Mini Quiches

Quantity: 8 tarts


210g plain flour

105g unsalted butter

130g fresh, skinless and boneless salmon fillet

½ an avocado

100g cherry tomatoes

Garlic olive oil

1 egg

142ml double cream

Pecorino cheese, grated

Dried herbs (optional, I recommend basil)


  1. Rub butter into flour with hand until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Add a little cold water a table spoon at a time to bring the mixture together. The mixture should be just combined and be careful not to overwork the pastry. Chill the pastry dough for 30 minutes in the fridge.
  2. Using a rolling pin, roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and shape into the tart moulds. Make sure the pastry is pushed into all the corners of the moulds. Chill the pastry in the fridge for 20 minutes before baking.
  3. Chop the cherry tomatoes in halves and place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle garlic olive oil on top, and season with salt.
  4. Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cook the cherry tomatoes at the bottom of the oven while baking the pastry.
  5. Using a fork, lightly prick the base of the tarts. Place baking beans on top of baking paper on the tarts to prevent rising. Blind-bake the tarts for 20-25 minutes. Remove the paper and baking beans, and continue baking for 5-10 minutes, or until they are biscuit brown.
  6. To make the egg and cream mixture, beat the egg in a bowl. Add the double cream gradually, and then stir in cheese, herbs and salt.
  7. Dice the avocado, and chop the salmon fillet into tiny bits. Season them. (I suggest adding a bit of lemon juice too.) Remove the tarts from the moulds once they are cooled. Place the salmon, avocado and roasted cherry tomatoes in the tart shells. Pour the egg and cream mixture into the tarts, and sprinkle more cheese on top.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the filling is set and golden brown.

Raspberry and Mango Bavarian Cream

Quantity: 2


200g raspberries

20ml water

50g sugar

1 tbsp lemon juice

250ml milk

150ml double cream

2 egg yolks

7g leaf gelatine

Mango pulp

Dried banana chips, chopped


  1. Place the raspberries (save a few aside for decoration), water, lemon juice and 20g of the sugar in a saucepan, bring them to a boil. Crush the raspberries as you are cooking. Pass the puree through a sieve and leave to cool.
  2. Soak the leaf gelatine in cold water and set aside.
  3. Beat egg yolks in a bowl with the remaining sugar, and whisk until it is smooth and pale yellow.
  4. Add the milk to the egg mixture and whisk. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and cook on a low heat until thickened. Continuously whisk as you are cooking to prevent the mixture solidifying at the bottom.
  5. Take the softened leaf gelatine out of the water and squeeze out any excess water. Add the gelatine to the custard and mix well until it is fully dissolved.
  6. Take the custard off the heat, and pass it through a sieve.
  7. Add the raspberry puree to the custard and mix until well combined.
  8. Whisk the double cream until it is airy. Fold the cream into the mixture until well combined.
  9. Pour the mixture into wine glasses. Chill in the fridge for 3-4 hours, or until fully set.
  10. Add the mango pulp on top of the set Bavarian cream. Decorate with raspberries and dried banana chips, and serve.