Saturday, June 12, 2010

The trifle in all its glory

Ahhh, the's synonymous with summertime parties and backyard BBQ's. Typically composed of layered fruit, cream/custard and cake, this dessert is so lovely it MUST be displayed in a super regal glass bowl.

My friend Sultan (a beautiful mother-to-be!), and her husband are hosting a BBQ this evening, so I thought I would re-work a recipe that I had posted previously into a trifle.

If you're pressed for time you can use store-bought cake (gasp!) or lady fingers. Before serving, be sure to place the trifle in the refrigerator for a few hours to allow the individual flavors to meld.

Mascarpone and Sherried Berry Trifle

For cake:
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk 
For berries:
  • 1/2 cup Fino Sherry [I replaced it with Vin Santo, an Italian dessert wine]
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 cups mixed berries, cut if large 
 For cream:
  •  8 ounces mascarpone (1 cup)
  • 1 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Make cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep). Line bottom with a round of parchment paper, then butter parchment.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer at low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined. Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing after each addition until just combined.

Spread batter in cake pan, smoothing top. Rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles.

Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge of cake to loosen, then invert onto a plate. Discard paper and re-invert cake onto rack to cool completely.

Macerate berries:
Bring wine and sugar to a boil in a small heavy saucepan, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Put berries in a bowl and pour hot syrup over them, gently tossing to coat. Let stand 15 minutes.

Make cream and assemble trifle:
Beat mascarpone and cream with sugar in a large bowl using cleaned beaters until mixture just holds stiff peaks.

To assemble the trifle, spoon a layer of the mascarpone cream into a large glass bowl. Add a layer of cake, breaking the slices into pieces that fit. Then soak the cake with a layer of berries and their juices. Keep going to make 3 or 4 more layers, depending on the size of the bowl, finishing with a layer of mascarpone cream and top with a few more berries. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.


  1. Hi, I was wondering what a substitute would be for the sherry. I don't drink/consume any alcohol, is there anything else that can be used? thanks!

  2. @Faria: I haven't made it without the sherry, but perhaps you can try it with some type of fruit juice?

  3. Hi... I just happened upon your blog. Love the recipes and the super photos.

  4. Thanks Moogie, I'm glad you enjoy it.