I first made this trifle two years ago for the Fourth of July. I’d never even had trifle before that first one, because I considered trifle to be the lowly cousin to the fabled layer cake. Imagine my shock upon tasting this beautiful beast! I look back upon my churlish disdain with nothing short of wonder: The contrast between sweet, billowy whipped cream, tart berries, and moist ladyfingers is HEAVENLY. I now understand that layer cakes are layer cakes, and trifles are trifles: One cannot substitute for the other. Husband and I so enjoyed the trifle, we’ve made it several times since, substituting strawberries for the raspberries and blackberries for the blueberries as our moods saw fit. This quintessentially light summer dessert, with a hint of richness from the whipped cream, is what Husband chose for his birthday treat last year. I was more than happy to oblige him.
The original recipe specified that the trifle be layered inside of an 8″ springform pan with parchment paper wrapped around the inside of the pan to extend the height of the pan. (See notes at the end of the post on layering the trifle this way.) I was able to do this successfully, but it was a pain in the arse. For Husband’s birthday, I decided it was high time our adorable trifle bowl was put to use. The ruby red berries and snowy cream peeping through the glass of the trifle bowl made for a wonderful presentation.
If you enjoyed reading this, click here to subscribe to my blog. That way, you’ll never miss a post!
Raspberry Birthday Trifle
5 packages (6 oz each) raspberries, rinsed and dried off
1 – 3 cups powdered sugar*
1/4 cup orange juice
2 packages (8 oz each) mascarpone cheese
2 cups heavy cream, very cold
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 packages (3 oz each) ladyfingers
3/4 pound (2 1/2 cups) blueberries, rinsed and dried off
In a medium bowl, combine raspberries with the orange juice and 1 cup powdered sugar. Lightly mash berries to release their juices; let sit 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the mascarpone cheese and up to 2 cups powdered sugar until smooth. (Be sure to factor in the addition of 2 cups heavy cream when adding the powdered sugar.) Whisk in the cream and vanilla and continue to whisk until soft peaks form, about 4 minutes by hand.
Layer the bottom of the trifle bowl** with approximately half the ladyfingers (enough to cover the bottom of the bowl) and top with half the raspberry mixture. Spread half the whipped cream mixture over the top of the berries. Repeat the layering of ladyfingers, raspberries, and whipped cream once more. Top with the blueberries.
Refrigerate until whipped cream is stiff, at least 3 hours. Store in the refrigerator, covered in plastic wrap.
*Feel free to increase or reduce the amount of powdered sugar in the berries and in the whipped cream, depending on how sweet you prefer these components to be.
**If using springform pan, cut one or two pieces of parchment paper to be taller than the sides of an 8″ springform pan. Arrange the paper so that it forms a collar, taping the paper to itself as needed. Layer recipe components as indicated, tapping pan gently halfway through to remove air bubbles. The components will be slightly taller than the springform pan. When ready to serve, unmold the sides of the pan and carefully peel away the parchment paper from the sides of the trifle.
Source: Adapted from Everyday Food, July / August 2011