A Great British Bake Off Star Creates a Genius Make-Ahead Breakfast

Editor’s Note: As more people are working from home, Bloomberg Pursuits is running a weekly Lunch Break column that highlights a notable recipe from a favorite cookbook and the hack that makes it genius. 

On America’s most food-obsessed day of the year, Thanksgiving, there’s one meal that’s woefully overlooked, and that’s breakfast. The meal that starts off the mania is invariably an afterthought, a rushed-through hodgepodge of what might be found in the fridge when all the eggs and butter have been reserved for stuffings and pie. And then there’s Friday, after the big day, and all the holiday days after that, when cooking burnout has descended.

To the rescue this year: dessert. Specifically, a trifle that riffs on the classic, layered British treat, with breakfast ingredients that are—gasp—even a bit healthy.


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Breakfast trifle is the brainchild of Nadiya Hussain, known to fans of The Great British Bake Off as the winner of Season 6, thanks to her monumental My Big Fat British Wedding Cake. Her 2020 Netflix show, Nadiya’s Time to Eat, is less focused on magnificent desserts than on time-smart ways to create meals from first-hand experience as a mother of three. In addition to being an entertaining onscreen presence, Hussain is one of the few woman of color who has a cooking show—no small thing in the year of rising social conscience that even brought a reckoning at the immensely popular Bon Appétit Test Kitchen. 

Her new book, Time to Eat: Delicious Delicious Meals for Busy Lives (Penguin Random House; $30) comes as a companion to the Netflix series. It’s a straightforward manual; the introductory text is mainly a list of rules that include “canned, frozen and dry are not bad words” (such products save time and money) and “don’t throw anything away.” (Assuming “it’s not poisonous,” she writes, there’s always a place for it.)

Hussain’s book includes left-of-center recipes such as Bengali Bangers and Hash Smash, a mix of frozen hash browns and sausages, which she says she never tried them until she was 24 and finally found halal ones. Great British Bake Off fans will also find a few cakes, including the show-offish Swedish Prinsesstårta.  

Hussain has an aptitude for making breakfast fun. The book offers a method for a peanut butter and jelly pancake cake: pancake ingredients baked in a pan to minimize tedious flipping at the stove.

Her trifle is even more delightful.

For the soft pudding component, Hussain mixes high protein chia seeds with yogurt, honey, and a bit of cinnamon for warm, fall flavor. She then combines frozen summer fruit with a little sugar; as the stone fruit chunks and berries defrost, they give off juices that will infuse tender brioche that replaces the standard cake slices. She throws in granola for a satisfying textural crunch.

The dish’s crowning achievement is a garnish of whipped cream, straight from the can. The result is a yogurt parfait that manages to feel both healthy and indulgent, depending on which bite you’re taking in. As Hussain proclaims in her book, “trifle is not just a dessert.” 

If it doesn’t replace a centerpiece bird or cherished pie as the most talked-about dish of the day, this trifle can certainly give either of them a run for the money. And it can also proudly stand as a highlight in any of the dreary days that inevitably follow—a highly functional, quick-to-make, impressive-to-serve dish that can keep bored family members well fed and entertained as the holidays roll on.

The following recipe is adapted from Time to Eat, by Nadiya Hussain.

Breakfast Trifle

Serves 6 

2 cups plain Greek yogurt
2/3 cup chia seeds
1/3 cup honey, plus more to taste
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 ¾  cups frozen summer fruits such as peaches and berries
¼ cup confectioners’ sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 small orange
6 oz. brioche slices, about 6, or half a loaf ripped into large pieces
1½ cups your favorite granola 
Whipped cream, from a can

Start by making the chia seed yogurt, so it can thicken. In a bowl, mix the yogurt, chia seeds, honey, and cinnamon. Taste. Add more honey, if desired.

In a bowl, combine the frozen fruit with the confectioners’ sugar and orange zest, and let the fruit fully defrost, about 30 minutes.

Drain off the excess juice into a bowl and reserve. Place the defrosted fruit in a serving bowl, preferably glass. Mix the brioche pieces with the granola. Spread in a layer on top of the fruit, and drizzle the reserved fruit juice over this layer. Spoon the chia yogurt on top. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until chilled—or make it the night before and keep it in the fridge. Before serving, squirt on some whipped cream, straight from the can.

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