Pain Au Lait, Orange and Rhubarb trifle

We were sent some delicious Pasquier products recently, which thrilled the girls no end, as we love a great bread product, not least when it originates from my “second home”- France.

There were Pain Au Chocolat- ideal for weekend breakfasts and a favourite in our house since The Girls were small. A couple of minutes arming in the Aga and everyone had a smile on their faces to start the day.

There were individually wrapped chocolate-filled brioche, a regular fixture for goûter (the post-school snack) when I lived in France. Because they are individually wrapped, these would work well in lunch boxes, for breakfast on the go (DH) or in the car on the way home from school (girls).

And there were Pain Au Lait rolls. My fondness for Milk Bread goes back to my early teenage years when we were living in Cairo and as a treat would buy a loaf of plaited milk bread at one of the big Western hotels as a treat some days. It was divine and we couldn’t get enough of it: the loaf could be gone in a sitting. But then we were a family of five, three of whom had hollow legs and a love of carbs. Needless to say that when the bread arrived from Pasquier it took considerable restraint not to eat it all.

To my tastes Pain au Lait and Brioche are similar enough that you could use them for the same thing. So I toasted some and ate with pate for lunch. Next day, I smeared toasted pain au lait with mascarpone cheese and some home made cherry jam. Delicious. The children used the mini-rolls for sandwiches and hot dogs. The bag vanished.

Pain Au Lait, Orange and Rhubarb trifle
















When friends came to visit over the long weekend, I took the toasted idea and ran with it, using toasted pain au lait in place of more conventional trifle sponge in a trifle. Because it was a spur of the moment thing, I made it with store-cupboard ingredients, but if you had more time, you could make all the components from scratch: poach the rhubarb, make a rhubarb jelly from the leftover liquid, cook some orange-scented custard.




Pain Au Lait, Orange and Rhubarb trifle
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 4-6 Pain Au Lait
  • 2 tbsp orange liqueur or sherry
  • 1 pack orange jelly
  • 1 tin rhubarb
  • i small carton custard
  • 1 medium carton double cream
  • sprinkles
  1. Slice the Pain Au Lait in half and toast lightly. Line the bottom of a trifle dish. Sprinkle lightly with the liqueur and leave to one side.
  2. Meanwhile make the jelly according to the instructions on the packet.
  3. Whilst leaving the jelly to cool, open the rhubarb and drain of liquid: be very gentle with the rhubarb as it is fragile.
  4. Layer the rhubarb slices on top of the Pain Au Lait.
  5. Then cover with a layer of the jelly (I didn't use the whole pint, but put the remainder in another dish and smothered with cream and sprinkles for the children.) Refrigerate until set.
  6. Once set, cover with a layer of custard.
  7. Finally, whip the double cream until thick, layer carefully on top of the custard (the custard is very wet so the cream sinks a little but DH doesn't like thick set custard so this is my compromise. If I were making for others I would make a thicker custard.)
  8. Finally smother in sprinkles and serve.


*Disclosure: we were sent a pack of each of the products mentioned for the purposes of writing this post. All opinions, recipes and photographs are our own.*



  1. says

    Ooh that sounds divine! Just like you, I could demolish a whole loaf of pain au lait…

Go on! You know you want to tell me what you think!