Sunday, July 20, 2008
There are moments when baking is extremely satisfying, and in the case of this strawberry trifle that moment was not when I unveiled it at the dinner party. It was the moment when, having assembled the trifle and put it in the refrigerator, I picked up the bowl of leftover angel-food cake and proceeded to wipe out and eat the contents of the whipped cream and berry covered mixing bowls and utensils that had accumulated on the counter.
I suppose that belongs on the list of indulgent culinary behaviors that are slightly discouraged: licking spatulas, eating raw cookie dough, picking at streusel and the edges of pie crusts, not giving things enough time to cool, etc. It is hard to resist leftover cake, cream, and macerated berries.
Almost everything about this trifle is indulgent. I got the recipe from my neighbor Carol who used to make it every year for her Christmas Eve parties. I've made it for several dinner parties where it usually leads to rave reviews and occasionally stomachaches. This was definitely the case last night- we were already stuffed on milk chocolate-guinness ice cream before the trifle made it out of the fridge.
This is a great recipe for summer that's relatively simple in terms of ingredients and process. The recipe itself is mostly a guideline; I always play around with the amounts of almond or vanilla extracts I use, and I substitute different berries or cake. Giant Eagle had surprisingly good berries on sale this week, so I didn't have any problems.
Carol's Strawberry Trifle
Note: this recipe is pretty loosely adapted because I lost my original copy. I rarely measure anything exactly, and it comes out differently almost every time!
1 large, store-bought angel food cake (about 10 inches, or 2 smaller ones), cut or torn into cubes
3 pints strawberries (I usually use two quarts), sliced or quartered
1.5 cups powdered sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1 pint whipping cream, chilled
1. In a bowl, mix the strawberries with the granulated sugar and some almond extract. Set aside to macerate.
2. Beat together the cream cheese, sour cream, and 3/4 cup powdered sugar until smooth*. In a separate bowl, beat the whipped cream, adding 3/4 cup powdered sugar and some vanilla extract when it begins to look almost done (firm peaks). Fold the whipped cream gently into the cream cheese mixture.
3. Layer the ingredients in a large bowl or trifle dish, starting with cake, followed by strawberries, then cream. You should be able to make 3 layers. The trifle is best chilled for a while before serving.
*the cream cheese mixture can be lumpy if your ingredients are too cold. You can use a food processor if this is a problem.
at 10:04 AM