I have no clue why it’s called a trifle. The word means something of little importance or value. This dessert isn’t anywhere in that neighborhood. It is gorgeous, fresh and delicious. My first experience with trifle was during a visit to Victoria during tea at Butchart Gardens. I devoured layers of soaked sponge-cake, fruit and custard all the while knowing the little dish of it wasn’t going to be enough. I’d have to recreate it at home.
Generally trifle is made with a sponge or pound cake, but for this slightly lightened version I used angel food cake. Since the light white cake has a delicate texture, I didn’t soak it in juice or liqour, choosing to simply brush a little Cointreau over each layer instead. You could use Triple-Sec or (for non-alcohol people) some orange juice.
I used a cookie cutter to make some angel food cake stars to make this a very patriotic dessert. It just seemed right with all those beautiful red and blue berries. It would be PERFECT for any 4th of July celebration.
The star of this show (ha-ha) is most certainly the homemade vanilla custard. Thick and creamy with the perfect sweetness. It is absolutely marvelous. You have to stir it constantly when making it, but it isn’t hard – or really all that time-consuming. Don’t be tempted by instant pudding in a box. Seriously. You have no idea how much more delicious homemade is. It shouldn’t be called the same food. Give it a whirl. You’ll be so glad you did! Look at it pushing thru all those beautiful berries. (happy sigh)
The topper for this berry delight is a delicious rich mascarpone cream. You’ll want to just eat it out of the bowl (confession on that in a sec). Whipped cream combined with creamy sweet mascarpone cheese and some sugar has the perfect sweet richness for this dessert.
Get ready for the confession. Here it comes. You are going to be so ashamed of me. I had the “butt” of the angel food cake and some of the mascarpone cream left over. And, I couldn’t help myself – I made a sandwich out of it. Slapped some berries in there. Mmmmm. Yeah. I have a problem with delicious food. I feel better now that I’ve gotten that off my chest. Thanks.
Bottom line. Make this. As soon as you can. Invite some people over, have a BBQ and let them all marvel at how gorgeous dessert is. They’ll be blown away when they realize it tastes even better than it looks!
Red, White and Blue Berry Trifle
One batch Vanilla Custard (recipe below)
1 package loaf angel food cake
1/2 cup Cointreau (or OJ)
3-4 cups mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
1 batch Mascarpone Cream (recipe below)
1. Make the Vanilla Custard and allow to cool 15 minutes. Begin assembling the angel food cake and the preparing the berries as the custard cools.
2. Cut angel food cake into slices (or shapes) and layer 1/3 in the bottom of a trifle dish.
3. Brush with Cointreau until just moistened.
4. Layer 1/4 of the berries over the cake.
5. Top with 1/3 of the custard.
6. Repeat layers twice. Angel food cake, Cointreau, berries and custard.
7. Finish with a layer of berries done in a design (or just load them on there).
8. Whip Maxcarpone Cream and layer (or pipe using a Ziploc bag) on top of the berries.
9. Refrigerate until ready to eat. This keeps very well overnight.
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups milk (I used non-fat, but you can use anything up to 2%)
4 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a large saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Gradually stir in milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir constantly 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat.
- Stir a small amount of hot filling into egg yolks; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat. Gently stir in butter and vanilla.
- Cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to dessert dishes. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
from Joy of Baking
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons granulated white sugar
2/3 cup Mascarpone Cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place the heavy whipping cream, mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large bowl. Whip until soft peaks form.