The best Christmas trifle ever

The best Christmas trifle ever



I love Christmas and everything involved. I love the build up and the festive feeling of December. I host the Turkey Tasting Theatre at the Ideal Home Show Christmas so you could say by December I am fully prepped with my Turkey skills. 

This year we were lucky enough to be sponsored by Campbell Bothers  They say: Campbell Brothers offer knowledge and experience through over 100 years working as butchers striving for butchery excellence and expanding into fish & seafood and produce to offer a full range of ingredients to professional kitchens throughout Scotland and North England. Despite the changing times and developments in technology and hi-tec production processes, Campbell Brothers have maintained their traditional values of quality product with a quality service.

Campbell brothers work with Copas Turkeys. and Copas Turkeys supplied all the Turkeys at the show. As a chef I am lucky that I get to work with fantastic suppliers and I can honestly say Copas Turkeys are the best I have EVER tasted. FACT: Copas Turkeys are loved by some of Britain’s best butchers, farm shops, delis and food halls as well as a loyal following of home delivery and farm gate customers. Christmas is truly a day of celebration, relaxation and gaiety which is why, over the last fifty years, we have dedicated each year to producing the finest award winning turkeys in the land, just for Christmas.


The Turkeys are a wonderful flavour. Succulent, juicy and full of Christmas joy

The Turkeys are a wonderful flavour. Succulent, juicy and full of Christmas joy


Wonderful Copas Turkeys

Wonderful Copas Turkeys


We don’t get to see everyone at Christmas and I like to host few ‘Christmas dinners’ before the big day. The one thing I have learned is PREPARATION IS KEY. I made my herb butter two days in advance. I use the herb butter under the skin of the turkey as well as on top. 

Herb Butter:

250g salted butter

Handful sage, chopped

Handful Thyme, Chopped

100g Chopped dried cranberries ( soak in port for 24 hours )

Zest of three clementine



Squish and squelch all the ingredients together with your hands. Leave in the fridge but take it out the night before you are going to use it. I put it in the microwave for 20 seconds to soften it. You need it to be soft so you can smear it under the skin. I still had a few lumps in mine but that’s fine. When removing the skin from the breast I use a table spoon to gently ease it away. You may need to make a small incision with a knife to start.

 Halve an onion, apple and clementine and place in the cavity of the Copas Turkey 


The herb butter has been smooched under the skin

The herb butter has been smooched under the skin

I then use a lot of foil as I like to make an airtight parcel. Lay the seasoned Copas Turkey on sliced Onion, parsnip, garlic, carrots and potatoes. Add 400ml of white wine or chicken stock.


Season and wrapped up

Season and wrapped up

If you have a Copas Turkey you will be sent a pop up cooking timer. Insert your pop-up cooking timer at a point approx 3cm to the right or left of the front tip of the breastbone. The timer should not
touch any bone.

Follow the Copas Turkey PREPARATION tips 

pre-heat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas 8 (or 210°C for fan ovens). Cook your turkey at this temperature for the first 30 mins & then lower the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5 (or 170°C for fan ovens). Total cooking time will be approximately 30-35 mins per kg.
Weight Full Cooking Time Weight Full Cooking Time
2kg 1hr 15mins 7kg 3hr 40mins
3kg 1hr 45mins 8kg 4hrs
4kg 2hr 35mins 9kg 4hr 25mins
5kg 2hr 55mins 10kg 4hr 45mins
6kg 3hr 15mins 11kg 5hrs
Do not overcook your turkey – it should be moist & succulent. It will be ready when the juices run clear when tested with a fork (plunge into the deepest part of the thigh or breast), or when your pop-up cooking timer has popped! If using a thermometer, the internal cooked temperature will be 165°F/74°C.

If following my recipe – Approximately 30mins before the full cooking time, remove foil so the breast bronzes. Make sure you allow the turkey to rest.

The best Brussels Spouts EVER 

I love this recipe and I hope you try it.

 Brussels Spouts puree

300g Boiled until soft

150ml Creme fresh

Pinch of fresh nutmeg

Salt and pepper

Blitz in a food mixer until a smooth puree is formed.

Brussels Sprouts & Chestnuts

300g Shredded brussels sprouts

100g Vacuum packed chestnuts, crumbled

100g Pancetta


Bring a large saucepan of waterloo the boiling add the shredded sprouts. Boil for five minutes android.

In a large frying pan, fry the pancetta until crispy. Add in the sprouts and chestnuts. Fry for five minutes whilst constantly stirring.

To Serve on warmed plate:

Drop and drag a large tablespoon of the puree then sprinkle on the brussels sprouts mixture.




I love this recipe

I love this recipe



With Chestnuts


I like to roast my carrots and parsnips in a little olive oil and maple syrup. It really brings out the sweetness


I add a little Maple syrup and olive oil

I add a little Maple syrup and olive oil


I made the stuffing a few weeks before and froze it. It was delicious!!!


400g Pork sausage meat

150g pancetta, fried

150g Chestnuts, tinned or vacum packed

Fresh sage, handful chopped

Fresh thyme, handful chopped

100g Port soaked cranberries

150g Mixed nuts, toasted 


Mix all of the ingredients together and either roll into ball or put into a baking dish. You can freeze or bake on 170c for 4o minutes.




I set the table with a few silvery decorations. It looked very Christmassy. 



The sausage in blankets, bread sauce and gravy I bought. Don’t judge. They all tasted great and I did add the cooking juices to the gravy. The roasties were home made with duck fat. Super crispy and fluffy on the inside.


The Trifle 





The best Christmas trifle ever

The best Christmas trifle ever


Clementine prosecco trifle

Clementine prosecco trifle

The trifle does take a while to make but is worth it. Once a year you can pull all the stops out!


Line a baking  tray

Pre heat the oven to 200c 

Choux Pastry for the profiteroles:

60g plain flour, on parchment paper 

150ml water

50g butter

2 eggs, beaten


Heat the water and butter until the butter melts. Do not boil as the water will evaporate. 

Turn off the heat and add in the flour. Quickly and firmly beat in the flour until a dough is formed and it comes away from the sides.

Beat in the egg a bit at a time ensuring it is fully incorporated before you add more. The paste should glossy.

Sprinkle a touch of water onto the lined baking tray. This will help create steam. Pipe onto a lined baking tray ensuring an 1 1/2 space between each profiteroles. 

Bake for five minutes at 200c and then turn down to 180 oc for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and make a small hole in the back of each profiterole. Allow to cool and dry out.



300ml Whipping cream

Vanilla pod, de seeded 


Whisk together the cream and vanilla seeds until soft peaks are formed. Pipe into the profiteroles. Line the bottom of the trifle dish.

Creme Patisserie with orange oil

4 Egg yolks

125g caster sugar

45g cornflour 

300ml full fat milk

200ml double cream 

2 Tsp of orange oil 

I vanilla pod, split lengthways and seeds removed.

Directions :

Gently heat the milk, cream, vanilla and orange oil in a heavy bottomed pan.

In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolk, corn flour and sugar 

When the milk and cream mixture is about to boil take off the heat and slowly pour half the mixture into the egg and sugar mixture stirring constantly. 

When incorporated pour back into the saucepan with the remaining creamed milk mixture. Place on a low heat and stir until thickened. Use a large whisk. 

Transfer back into the large bow and contact cling until cooled.

Once ccooled spread over the profiteroles in the trifle dish.

Place in the fridge.

Two stages complete of the trifle

Two stages complete of the trifle

Prosecco jelly

Bottle of prosecco

5 gelatine leaves

2 tsp of orange oil

Juice of 4 large oranges 

Segments of 4 clementines. Pith removed. 


Heat a bottle of prosecco

Heat a bottle of prosecco




Boil the orange juice and then add the gelatine leaves. Stir until dissolved.

Heat a bottle of prosecco in a large pan and add in the orange gelatine 

Add in the orange oil

Allow to cool and slightly thicken

Pour over the creme pat in the trifle dish and add in the clementine segments

Place in the fridge to set overnight.


Italian Meringue;

4 egg whites

200g caster sugar

100ml water

Whisk the egg whites until soft peaks are formed

( Whilst whisking) In a heavy bottomed pan heat the sugar and water to 121c.

Gently pour into the margin and whisk until the cooled. The meringue should be glossy.

Pipe onto the jelly and use blow torch to brown slightly




I made simple white chocolate decorations and added edible gold glitter. I use the pump action glitters from The Cake Decoration company


Please do let me know if you make any of these recipes.

Merry Christmas!


Lisa x 


@cocoabox TWITTER

@lisamarleychef Instagram


PS – We made a delicious Turkey Thai curry with the leftovers 




I love Spain, I could see myself and Nathan living in Spain for most of the year to get away from the cold weather. We try to go as much as possible and plan to travel around for a month or so next year.

The dream being to learn Spanish and be able to work and live in England and Spain. I guess you can tell I’m an ‘IN’ but lets not go down that road.

Flying to Malaga is pretty easy for us Brits and I must say I never usually look around the area. It’s always straight to the hire car and off we go. However, on this occasion we decided to stay a couple of nights in Malaga to see what it is like. We weren’t disappointed.

Malaga is a lovely city, friendly and easy to get around. We stayed at a great hotel with a roof top pool. The views of the city were incredible.

stunning views of the city


Not a bad way to spend a few days

Not a bad way to spend a few days


Top of the world

Top of the world

One of the reasons I love Spain is the food and wine. As I mentioned, I haven’t seen enough of Spain to fully appreciate it but we plan to change that. In fact, one of my favourite things to do is watch Youtube clips of Rick Stein on Spain. He knows the best places to go and we are going to follow in his foot steps. Hopefully having our own adventure on the way.

This was a dish we had in Malaga. We found a small restaurant, just by our hotel and ordered an array of Tapas. This was tuna, chill, avocado and lime. Simple and delicious and quite easy to replicate at home. Ideal for a Summer dinner party starter I believe, served with icy white wine.

A healthy and delicious dish

A healthy and delicious dish


Typically Spanish. Fresh, plentiful and delicious

Typically Spanish. Fresh, plentiful and delicious

After a few wonderful days exploring Malaga we headed to Tarifa.  Tarifa is a small town in the province of Cádiz, Andalusia, on the southernmost coast of Spain. It is primarily known as one of the world’s most popular destinations for wind sports. It has a laid back vibe. I’ve never been to Australia but I imagine some parts are similar.

We stayed at a gorgeous hotel called Hotel Punta Sur

Hotel Punta Sur

Ctra. N-340, km 77
11380 Tarifa
Cádiz, Spain
Tel. +34 956 68 43 26
Fax +34 956 68 04 72


Honestly, the food was AMAZING. We had the salt-encrusted beef tenderloin, a hotel speciality and it was one of the best meals I have ever had. Great wine selection as well.


 salt-encrusted beef tenderloin

salt-encrusted beef tenderloin

Salt-encrusted beef tenderloin

Salt-encrusted beef tenderloin

Salt-encrusted beef tenderloin



A good drop I believe

A good drop I believe

As far as a little evenings entertainment, Tarifa old Town is a great place to walk around, see and be seen. Again, a very chilled out, relaxed vibe with bars and restaurants. Little stalls and interesting shops to look at. We felt very safe as well. It was a good mix of local people and tourists.

A bit of shopping

A bit of shopping

Tariff old town at night

Tariff old town at night


Cocktails in Tarifa Old TownSo, I have a confession to make. Even though I would love to come across as cultured and arty, I fear that if I didn’t admit we did take a detour to Niki Beach in Marbella. We like to mix things up and we wanted to see what it was like. I have to say we had fun hanging out with the beautiful people and the food was VERY good, but the one day was enough. Then we hot footed it back to our charming hotel and the old town.

At lunch I had fresh tuna. I was cooked perfectly. We did drink a bottle of wine… oh well, YOLO as they say.Hanging out at Niki beach for the day DSC_0930 DSC_0921

My fresh salad at Niki Beach All in all I cant wait to see more of Spain. Starting with Barcelona in two weeks time! VIVA ESPANA


Lisa x



These Oreo cupcakes are a real Sunday afternoon treat. They go really well with a cup of tea!


Pre heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4

Line a muffin tray with 10 cupcake cases


150g soft salted butter

150g self raising flour

150g caster sugar

2 large eggs

Tablespoon of golden syrup

Vanilla Pod  – scrape out the seeds

Cream the butter and sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Slowly add in the eggs. Mix in the golden syrup and vanilla seeds. Sift the flour and add the milk to create a dropping consistency.

Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.


Oreo Buttercream
1 block of un salted butter – very, very soft

300g of icing sugar

8 crushed Oreo cookies – very fine and

4 Broken Oreo cookies – to decorate

5 table spoons of Milk or cream

In a stand mixer or with an electric whisk whisk just the butter for at least five minutes. Add in the icing sugar a Oreo mix. Sprinkle over 3 tbsp of room temperature whole milk. Start mixing slowly and gradually increase to full speed.

TIP – Use a WIDE nozzel or spatular the mixture on the cooled cakes as the cookie pieces will get stuck in the nozzel.

Decorate with broken Oreo Cookies



How to make this pretty cake

How to make this pretty cake

Valentine Chocolate Cake by Lisa Marley

Above is the link to the film on how to make this cake.

I love this cake and even though I’m not really a fan of valentines day, I am a fan of chocolate!

Pre heat the oven to 160 (fan)

Have all the ingredients weighted out and at room temperature.

Grease and line three cake tines.


150g caster sugar

135g light brown muscovado sugar

100g salted butter

4 eggs

300g self raising flower

4 tablespoons of cocoa powder

2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

130g dark chocolate, melted and cooled

3 tablespoons of treacle

4 tablespoons of milk, warmed

Cream the sugar and butter until light and fluffy.

Slowly add the eggs

Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder

gentle mix int he melted chocolate and treacle

add the milk

Pour into the three cake tins and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.


350g melted dark chocolate

roughly 500g vanilla butter cream – this is a semi naked cake so you will be able to re use the buttercream



Cocoa Box Christmas Pudding Truffles 

Christmas in a truffle!

Christmas in a truffle!

One small Christmas pudding

300g dark chocolate – melted and cooled

150g  very cold cream – double or whipping

splash of orange liquor

Cocoa Powder.


Crumble the Christmas pudding onto a lined backing tray and cover with foil. Bake for around 10 minutes. Allow to cool then blitz in a blender to a chunky crumb.

Crumbled and baked

Crumbled and baked


In the meantime melt the chocolate in a bowl over a very low heat. (Bain Marie) and allow to cool

Adding the pudding to the chocoalte

Adding the pudding to the chocoalte


Add a splash of liquor to the chilled cream.


Mix the blitzed Christmas pudding into the chocolate

Stir in the cream. Do this quickly as it will begin to set immediately.


Adding the cream

Adding the cream

Chill for 20 minutes to an hour.


Shape into truffle sized bites and roll in cocoa powder. Zest orange over the truffles for an extra zingy flavor.


shaping and rolling

shaping and rolling


Adding the zest of an orange works really well

Adding the zest of an orange works really well

Sweet buns with Baby Green Walnuts

Sweet buns with Baby Green Walnuts



Baby Green Walnuts

Baby Green Walnuts

These sweet buns are delicious in the afternoon or as a decadent breakfast.


500g strong flour

15g of yeast

40g of cinnamon sugar ( mix a good sprinkle of cinnamon into soft brown sugar)

60g of butter

250g of milk

2 medium eggs

4 baby green walnuts chopped into small pieces. I used baby green walnuts from  Verita Vita

Warm the milk. Rub the yeast then the butter into the flour. Add the cinnamon sugar and mix. Make a well in the centre and add the mill and eggs. Combine into a dough and work for around 10 minutes.

This is a wet dough and will take around 10 minutes to loose its stickiness.

Rest for an hour.

Gently turn our and mix in the chopped baby green walnuts. Shape into roughly 100g rolls and place inside a cake tin. I used a 22cm cake time.

Prove for 25 minutes.

Bake in a pre heated oven on 160oc for 25 minutes or until cooked.

Use an apricot glaze and allow to cook.

Sweet buns

Delicious and very good for you

Delicious and very good for you


I love Muffins but they are usually pretty sugar laden and have a high fat content. These little beauties however are packed with goodness. Guilt free and from my ‘Saint’ recipes ( I will also post the ‘Sinner’ version, they are chocalicious)

So easy to make, great to get the kids involved.


40Ml Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – if you haven’t used this before you are in for a treat. It is one of my favourite things to work with

1 tsp vanilla extract

5 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar

100g spelt flour

100g Rye flour

4 tablespoons of bran

4 tablespoons of ground almond

4 chopped dates

4 Baby Green Walnuts – If you haven’t used these before then I can highly recommend them. They are soft but still have a great texture. They are also sweet so you don’t need to add refined sugar. I found mine at

5 tablespoon of mixed nuts and seeds ( I toasted walnuts, pumpkin, sunflower and pine nuts)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of bicarb

1 teaspoon of baking powder

I avocado mashed

2 tablespoons of water to loosed the mixture

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ( thats how easy it is) and mix together. Do not over mix! 

Spoon into muffin cases and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through. I baked on 160. Depending on the strength of your oven you may need to go higher. However, it is OK to bake them on a lower heat for longer.




If you toast the nuts and seed it releases the oils and brings out the flavour

If you toast the nuts and seed it releases the oils and brings out the flavour



Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Extra Virgin Coconut Oil



Baby Green Walnuts

Baby Green Walnuts



So amazing. Whole baby green walnuts. A real treat.

So amazing. Whole baby green walnuts. A real treat.




I will be hosting and demoing at the Ideal Home Seasonal Cookery Theatre from the 24th to the 30th of March.

On the 30th I am excited to be announcing the winner of the Ideal Home Cake decorating competition with Great British Bake Off winner Francis Quinn.



Cupcakes for Raymond Hanlon

They look very green but taste very nice

They look very green but taste very nice

– my Dad.

Chocolate Caramel and Cream cupcakes

I want one – what do I do?

100g self raising flour
2 free range eggs
50g cocoa powder
1 tablespoon of golden syrup
4 tablespoons of cream
150g margarine ( we use stalk)
150g caster sugar

Do you think they will go with Guinness?

Do you think they will go with Guinness?

Cream the margarine, sugar and syrup so the consistency is fluffy and pale in colour.
add two eggs and cream – slowly mix for two minutes
sift in the flour and cocoa powder
Slowly mix then go to full speed so the mixture is dropping consistency.

Pipe or spoon into 10 – 12 cupcake cases I normally fill just over half way and this gets me around 11 cakes.


1 block unsalted butter – soft soft soft!
vanilla pod or extract
cream or whole milk –  6 – 10 table spoons
Mint green colour gel – its St Patricks day after all.

All in one – all in the bowl and whisk slowly at fist or it will go all over the place!
Keep adding the liquid until the mixture is light but NOT really soft as it needs hold it’s shape to pipe!


I love chocolate cupcakes!

I love chocolate cupcakes!