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 




Hosting the Super Theatre at the Cake & Bake show

Hosting the Super Theatre at the Cake & Bake show

A good time was had by all at the 2016 Cake & Bake show, London. I met some wonderful people including the Great British Bake Off winner, Nadiya Hussain. I always love working with Eric Lanlard as well as all the talented chefs. We have such a good time. Next stop is Manchester! Email me if you would like a ticket.

It is a wonderful day out.


With the lovely Nadiya Hussian at the Cake & Bake show

With the lovely Nadiya Hussian at the Cake & Bake show


Big crowds at the Cake & Bake show

Big crowds at the Cake & Bake show

1.30 hours of Ashtanga yoga at a barn in the countryside.

1.30 hours of Ashtanga yoga at a barn in the countryside.

St Albans has lots of interesting walks

St Albans has lots of interesting walks

I do love Sundays. Me and the rest of the country. We are all looking for the perfect Sunday, so that can sometimes make it a nightmare. Pubs are so full that we tend to avoid them. However, the urge for a good Sunday roast and a long walk was too strong so I booked a 5pm lunch ( only time I could get at short notice) at The Prae Wood Arms, in St Albans.  Firstly, I needed to do some Yoga. I go every Sunday to a barn in Hertfordshire where they teach Ashtanga Yoga. I go with my friend ( who also runs baby and mother classes ) Jeri,

After Yoga and feeling very Zen, Nathan and I decided to do a two hour walk to try and burn off some of the calories we were about to consume. We parked in the Prae Wood Arms car park and set off.

The Prae Wood Arms

The Prae Wood Arms

It was actually quite hot but the public footpath ( we took the river walk) was beautiful.

Nathan in a field

Nathan in a field


St Albans has lots of interesting walks

St Albans has lots of interesting walks

The Old Mill. What a treat to find!

The Old Mill. What a treat to find!

I love bread and cake. No, really, I do… So this was a thrill to find. Also, I was ready for some sugar at this point. All this lovely fresh bread, made with flour from the mill.

Bread found at the mill.

Bread found at the mill.

You can walk around the mill. You get an information sheets and it gives you a bit of background. It's really interesting

You can walk around the mill. You get an information sheets and it gives you a bit of background. It’s really interesting

As they only accepted cash we went for a bit of bread pudding. 50p! Yes, 50p!! and so delicious

Delicious Bread Pudding and only 50p

Delicious Bread Pudding and only 50p

So, I would say if you are near St Albans, please do visit!

We took a stroll back to the pub and had a fantastic Sunday Lunch. Yes, it was very busy but they have quite a few dining areas. The staff are supper friendly. Service was a bit slow but everything, when it arrived was worth the wait. Good prices for such lovely surroundings. It has fresh ales and a good wine list. I would go back.

A hearty roast beef dinner ( well, lunch)

A hearty roast beef dinner ( well, lunch)


My starter was a winner, simple but really good. Asparagus and crispy egg.

My starter was quite delicious

My starter was quite delicious

A waffle with toffee sauce ( we shared this, honest )

A waffle with toffee sauce
( we shared this, honest )

All in all a lovely Sunday.


Truffle shop at Topshop



The Cocoa Box had so much fun this Easter Bank holiday weekend. We were at Topshop’s flagship store on Oxford Street for three days. Customers got to pick their favourite topping for our chocolatiers to use on their own hand made truffles.

The truffle Shop was a huge success.

Who doesn’t love chocolate???


We set up early Thursday morning.

We set up early Thursday morning.


Out three day Pop-Up at Topshop

Our three day Pop-Up at Topshop



3 day pop up at Topshop topshoptopman_easter_lowres_026-2



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



I seem to be making a lot of cakes lately… I do love cakes but it takes time to perfect the art of cake making.

Even though I have an advanced level 3 in Patisserie and Confectionary, I still need to keep getting better.

As they say, practice makes perfect!



Chocolate fudge cake

Chocolate fudge cake

Bad girl cupcakes

Bad girl cupcakes


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


A selection of photos taken from some of our corporate events. The perfect Christmas Party!

A selection of photos taken from some of our corporate events. The perfect Christmas Party! We run 100’s of events in London and Brighton. We can design an event to suit your budget. We offer great prices for early bird bookings.


EMAIL to find our more about our range of fantastic events and workshops. We specialise in edible fun. We offer bespoke Christmas parties and events in various London and Brighton venues. We can also travel to you.

Mmm tuck in….

Mmm tuck in….

Chocolate truffles


MESSY FUN tables corporate cocoa box workshop corp buffett

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