Who wouldn’t be excited for this combination? Strawberries and cream, that is. Our Improv Challenge for May was to use these two ingredients in a recipe. Piece.of.cake.
Thanks to Kristen, of Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker, for coordinating our efforts again this month. Please check her blog if you’d like to join us. Next month’s challenge is cherries and almonds.
The first time I had a trifle was when my parents were living in Glasgow, Scotland. Bill and I spent a week’s holiday with them, and their sweet neighbor, Clare, invited us all over for dinner. Made with fresh raspberries from her yard and a delicious vanilla custard, it was somehow both elegant, yet old fashioned and homey.
It was still too early for our local berries to be ripe, but the strawberries in the market were luscious and fragrant. I did not use any jam, booze, or custard but instead just layered cubes of pound cake, mascarpone whipped cream and sliced strawberries. Using a bakery pound cake would make this a breeze to put together. I had no doubt this would be a winner…and as predicted, Bill and the boys claimed it was terrific. Katie had Oreos instead :/ That’s the way she rolls!
Strawberry Trifle with Mascarpone Cream…cake adapted from Ina Garten
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange extract, optional
Preheat oven to 350º. Grease and flour an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a mixer fit with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, till light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time.
Whisk together the dry ingredients. Combine the buttermilk with the vanilla and orange extract. Alternately add the about a third of the dry ingredients, then half the buttermilk, etc., ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool on rack.
8 ounces mascarpone
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups whipping cream
Approximately 24 ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced.
Whip mascarpone and vanilla. In another bowl, whip cream and sugar till soft peaks form. Add mascarpone mixture and whip till combined.
To assemble, cut off heals of cake and save for another use. Cut cake into cubes. Layer half of cake cubes on bottom of trifle dish, followed by 1/3 of the berries (place some against side of bowl), then half of the mascarpone cream. Repeat with the rest of the cake, another 1/3 of the berries and the rest of the cream. Top with the remaining berries.