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I‘m often asked, “Where do you get your ideas?” To be honest, some pop into my head, full-blown, much like Athena from Zeus’ head, while others are sparks by a news program, or something I hear on a radio program. There have been times that old family stories jog the creative process.

The same thing happens when I run across a recipe but I can never leave things alone. I mess with it, change things around, totally change out ingredients until it’s a new recipe. Other times I get a notion of what I want and begin throwing things together. Sooner or later, it works
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Tilly mentions her Caramel Pecan Macchiato Trifle recipe in the book. I’m a retired chef and I was curious about how her fictional recipe would translate into the real world. The Women’s Ministry at church had a ladies meet and greet, so I whipped something up and used them as guinea pigs. The results? My large trifle bowl was empty when it was time to go home, leaving my poor husband to scrape the sides for a small taste. Success, rave reviews, and happy faces told me it was a hit.
First let me tell you, I usually do everything from scratch, but this is one of those recipes that really works with off-the-self mixes. Consider it a time saver. We can all use a few extra minutes for a cup of coffee while we sit down with a good book.
Tilly’s Caramel Pecan Macchiato Trifle
 
This will fill a large Trifle bowl. You can halve this for a smaller recipe. Use three cups of whipping cream instead of a quart. Two cups for the Bavarian Cream and one cup whipped for the top of the trifle.
 
Ingredients:
2 large boxes of instant pudding mix
1 quart of heavy whipping cream
16oz carton of whipped topping (Extra Creamy works best, but the regular will do.)
1 ½ cups of milk
Chocolate Syrup (ice cream topping)
Caramel Syrup (ice cream topping)
2 cups chopped pecans
Powdered espresso mixed with water to taste (some people like a stronger coffee flavor)
½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp of vanilla
1 angel food cake cut into small cubes
Bavarian Cream:
Empty the two boxes of instant pudding mix into a large bowl. Add the milk and stir until the pudding is very thick, but not lumpy. If it appears lumpy, add more milk until it is smooth and thick. Add water to powdered espresso until it reaches the strength you prefer and mix into the pudding mixture. Add the whipped topping to the pudding and stir until incorporated. Whip 2 cups of whipping cream until very stiff. Fold in the whipped cream and gently stir until everything is smooth and creamy.
Whip the remaining of cream with the sugar and vanilla until stiff,
Assembling the Trifle:
1: Place some of the angel food cubes into the bottom of the bowl
2: Put 1/2 of the espresso flavored Bavarian Cream on top of the angel food cake.
3: Add a layer of whipped cream
4: Sprinkle with pecans
5: Drizzle both chocolate and caramel syrups over the top
6: Repeat the steps until all the Bavarian Cream is gone. Top with whipped cream, pecans, and drizzle syrups on top to finish the Trifle. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
7: Enjoy!

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