One exception is the delicious and beautiful dessert known as the trifle. This multi-layered dessert has been a popular favorite since Colonial times.
The traditional trifle was made with two thin layers of sponge cake sandwiched together with jam. It was then broken into large pieces, sprinkled with a liqueur and placed in the bottom of a transparent bowl — now referred to as a “trifle bowl.” This special bowl lets the beauty of the layers show through. The cake pieces are usually topped with custard, fruit and whipped cream.
My versions of trifle vary somewhat from the ordinary. The first time I made Cherry Toffee Trifle, I used a chocolate sponge layer and married it with cherry pie filling — a great flavor combo.
Almond brickle bits give the dessert a delightful, crunchy taste of toffee. I opted to use a little liqueur in the cake rather than sprinkle it over the cooked layers. If you prefer, you can use your own “from scratch” custard instead of the pudding mix.
If you have a vanilla sponge cake, you might want to try using some sugared fresh peaches or strawberries topped with white chocolate pudding. Makes my mouth water just to think about it.
A friend shared a recipe with me called Death By Chocolate, which is not exactly a trifle, but similar. She uses crumbled chocolate cake, but I am thinking brownies.
Instead of sprinkling it with liqueur, she uses chocolate syrup. This is topped with crushed Butterfinger candy bars, pecans and non-dairy dessert topping. Wonderful — especially when enjoyed with a bowl of homemade ice cream!
Email Prudence Hilburn at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cherry Toffee Trifle
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup amaretto liqueur
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (6 ounce) bag almond brickle chips
1 (5 1/4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1 (21 ounce) can cherry pie fillin
1 (12 ounce) container of whipped dessert topping (or real whipped cream, if desired)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10x15x1-inch jelly-roll pan.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Add the sugars and beat well. Add the liqueur alternately with the flour mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Add the vanilla and beat until mixed. Pour into the prepared pan.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the almond brickle chips. Return to the oven for 3 to 5 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched and the brickle chips begin to melt.
Remove from oven and immediately cut in half, making two 71/2x10-inch layers. Put the two layers together with the brickle chips in the middle.
Cut or break the layer into 1-inch to 1 1/2-inch pieces. Cover the bottom of a trifle bowl with the cake.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the pudding mix and the milk. Beat with a whisk until smooth. Place in the refrigerator for about 5 minutes.
When the pudding is set, spoon it on top of the cake layer.
Top with the cherry pie filling, then a thick layer of whipped topping. Chill until time to serve.