Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trifle of love

According to Webster, a trifle is something of little value, substance, or importance. It can also be a dessert. It cannot, however, be both. So for the Valentine’s Day wine tournament we attended the weekend before last, I made a very valuable, substantial and important dessert. I call it my, “Trifle of Love.” This is a recipe I’m especially proud of because I created most of it myself, with just one idea from Paula Deen. Shhh. Don’t tell Morgan — he’s not a fan. We get into it whenever I watch her show on Food Network:

M: Uggggggghh! Paula Deen. Turn it off!
Me: You’re just jealous because I don’t feed you real butter.
M (in his best Paula voice): What-ev-uh, honey.
This trifle has three main components: cake, fruit and cream. For the cake layers, I used a chocolate fudge cake mix (my mother taught me to only use Betty Crocker cake mix and I swear by it), substituting half the water with sweet Marsala wine (Paula’s tip). For the fruit layer, I used three sixteen ounce bags of frozen strawberries and one ridiculously expensive ($9) pint of fresh strawberries. And for the cream layer, I combined heavy whipping cream, mascarpone cheese, cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, and a liberal amount of sweet Marsala wine — this resulted in a nice, fluffy tiramisu-like flavor and texture. I left the frozen strawberries whole, and they turned out a bit slimy when thawed, so I think next time I’ll chop them up a bit. They still tasted good, though. Here’s the full recipe, as best I can remember:

1 chocolate cake mix (I like chocolate fudge)
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1 ¼ C. sweet Marsala wine, plus extra for sprinkling over cake layers
2 8 oz. tubs mascarpone cheese
¾ C. powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp. real vanilla extract
3 16 oz. bags frozen whole strawberries, thawed
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and halved

Place thawed strawberries in bowl with sugar, mix thoroughly and set aside. Prepare cake mix according to instructions on box, substituting half the water with sweet Marsala wine. Set aside to cool completely.

Add together in a large mixing bowl: mascarpone cheese, whipping cream, vanilla, cocoa powder, sugar and ½ C. wine. Stir lightly until all ingredients are moistened. Whip with a electric hand mixer until consistency is that of extra thick whipped cream, about three to four minutes. Set aside.

Cut cake into 1-inch cubes. Place half of the cake cubes in the bottom of a 3- to 3 1/2-quart trifle bowl or other straight-sided glass bowl. Place thumb (or if your thumb isn’t big enough, as in my case, your index and middle fingers) over the opening of the Marsala wine bottle and “sprinkle” wine liberally over the cake.

Drain strawberries from sugar/syrup that has developed. Using one half of strawberries for first layer, roughly chop and place on top of cake, making sure some fruit can be seen through sides of glass.

Spread half of cream mixture over strawberries.

Repeat with another layer each of cake sprinkled with wine, strawberries and cream, finishing with fresh strawberries on top of trifle.


jenny said...

What a beautiful creation and yet again, a lovely photograph!

Emily said...

Yes, this was a trifle of love. It stole my heart! So, so, so yummy!

Missy said...

The trifle was DE-lish! And the mult-use dish blew my mind.

Jen said...

This was so good and it looked like a giant champagne glass filled with love!