Summer birthdays are the best don’t ya think? Mine is in March so things are always a little iffy with the weather when trying to make plans. In Pennsylvania the first day of spring can mean 72 degrees and sun, or 27 degrees and a foot of snow. July on the other hand is almost a guarantee of sunshine, perfect for a birthday BBQ or a celebratory cookout.
My coworker turned friend Maria, is one of those lucky ones with a coveted summer birthday and her fiance threw her a super fab get-together at their house last week to celebrate. It was a fantastic evening full of good food, good friends, and lots of laughter. As we lit the candles and dug into dessert, I asked everyone what I should name the trifle? Since it was Maria’s 27th birthday, we all agreed that Maria’s Delight was fitting.
[side note: I loath driving in New Jersey, but for Maria, I’m willing]
When it comes to parties, I’m one of those annoying people who can’t show up empty handed. If you tell me to “bring nothing,” at the very least I’m coming with a bottle of wine in tow.
[Interesting sidenote: when I tell you to “bring nothing” to a party at my house, I actually mean it. Weird double standard of hostess gifting, I know].
Anyhoo, because of my can’t-show-up-to-the-party-empty-handed-complex I volunteered to bring dessert to Maria’s BBQ. I also have this weird complex that prevents me from baking a simple boxed cake and calling it a day, hence the creation of the Triple Berry Trifle. And my final confession about the development of this recipe is that I impulse bought a trifle dish about a month ago and haven’t had a chance to use it, so this seemed like the right opportunity. Therefore, I’d say 80% of this was to celebrate my friend, and 20% was a self serving moment for me to play with my newest kitchen accessory. #lifeofafoodblogger.
In my opinion, nothing says summer quite light layers of pillowy cake and fluffy berry cream. This trifle is so cool and light, you’ll almost start to think its healthy. I love how perfectly pretty the layers look in the glass trifle dish, but also how mixed and messy they are after plopping a big spoonful onto your plate.
[oh, and confession time: there were some leftovers, so I ate them… straight. from. the. dish. with a fork. for breakfast the next morning. classy, meghan. classy.]
My recommendation is to start this trifle off with a store bought angelfood cake. I actually made mine from a boxed mix, but looking back I should have saved myself a step and gone with the pre-made. I’ve never baked an angelfood cake from scratch before, and I hear it’s a nightmare, but if that’s your thing, then by all means have at it. In my opinion though, the decadent layers of homemade berry mousse are more than enough to make up for one store bought ingredient. Everyone on board with cutting some corners? Ok, cool. That’s what I thought.
- Prepared angel food cake (either store bought or made from a box)
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 4 oz white chocolate
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 1/2 cup blackberries
- 8 oz of whipped cream or whipped topping
- Additional berries for layering
- Large Trifle Dish
Triple Berry Trifle is definitely a “make ahead” kind of dessert, since there is quite a big of refrigerating time required as you go along. The first step is to make the white chocolate custard which is the base for our berry mousse. I’m crazy about this recipe from Betty Crocker and use it as a starting point for nearly all of my homemade mousses.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks on high speed for 3 minutes, or until thick and lightened in color. Add the sugar and beat for another minute. Meanwhile, heat 1 cup of cream in a 2 quart saucepan on the stove top until hot, but not boiling. Gradually pour the cream into the egg mixture, stirring constantly to avoid scrambling the eggs. I find the best way to do this is to slowly drizzle the cream down the edge of the bowl, so it can cool just a tad before coming into contact with the eggs. Once combined, transfer the whole mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for about 7 minutes. The mixture will thicken considerably, but be sure to keep stirring to avoid bringing it to a boil. Stir in the white chocolate and continue cooking for another minute.
Turn off the heat and pour the white chocolate custard into 3 separate bowls allowing it to cool for a few minutes on the counter. While the custard is cooling, puree a half cup each of your berries (I used strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries) in 3 separate batches in the food processor. Just give the processor a quick rinse between batches. Also note, I use a 1/2 cup of fresh berries, which will give you closer to a 1/4 cup of actual berry puree. (1/2 cup of actual puree will be too much)
Fold the berry purees into their respective bowls of white chocolate custard and refrigerate for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
When the custard is cooled and set, use a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment to beat 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream into a thick whipped cream. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into each of the berry custards, then cover and return to the refrigerator for another couple of hours (or overnight).
When you are ready to assemble, cut the angel food cake into bite sized pieces using a serrated knife. Place the cubes of cake in a single layer on the bottom of the trifle dish. Spoon one of the berry mousses over the cake. (The mousse is going to seem a little bit on the thin side, but no worries, it will thicken up more while the trifle chills). If you want to add an extra element to the dish, I recommend placing a ring of berries around the edges of the trifle. Continue this pattern of cake-mousse-berries-cake-mousse-berries and finish things off with another layer of cake. To make things extra special, I like to top my trifle with a layer of whipped cream. I typically use homemade whipped cream, but an 8 oz container of cool whip will work perfectly as well.
Refrigerate the entire trifle for at least 2 hours to let the mousse set back up, but don’t be afraid to make it a day early and chill it over night.
Betty Crocker’s White Chocolate Mousse.
Looking for another great trifle recipe? Give The Spatularette’s Chocolate Peppermint Trifle a try!